Thailand is currently experiencing its worst flooding in living memory. The ancient capital of Ayutthaya is inundated. Above you can see Buddhist monks in their familiar saffron robes wading down the main street. Heaven knows what damage will have been done to the various irreplaceable archaeological wonders that Shirley and I saw there in March.
One evening, lower down the Chao Praya river in the Bangkok suburb of Nontaburi, we enjoyed a lovely meal with the owners of my lodging house - Sataporn and Thida. The beautiful and newly built house overlooked the river which is wide and deep even in the driest of seasons. I remember asking Sataporn about the possibility of flooding. He pointed out that before erecting his designer house, he had had a sort of concrete tank wall built that was a full metre above the usual flood level. The house sat within the bounds of that concrete wall and Sataporn was quietly confident they'd never be in trouble. However, given recent news from Bangkok I rather suspect his confidence will have been unfounded.
A bizarre news titbit I spotted earlier today was Primeminister Yingluck's announcement that a fleet of a thousand boats would sit upon the river with engines churning to assist water drainage when the high tide from the Gulf of Thailand met the river's floodwaters.
Much of Thailand is low-lying and when you fly over it you see fishponds, paddy fields, lakes and drainage ditches glinting in the sunshine. A lot of this retained water is partly down to regular heavy tropical rainfall but the main river network connects with the mountains of Burma and the Tibetan plateau.
At least three hundred people have died in the current floods - many through electrocution. Factory production has ground to a halt in various locations and tragically much of the nation's vital rice crop will have been ruined. Thailand is usually the world's number one rice exporter but perhaps not this year.
Calling my Bangkok reporter - Mr Booth! Mr Booth! Come in please. How do things look from your perspective?
On Sunday - Bangkok motor boats fighting the floodwaters