More than a thousand properties remain without power after Storm Imogen brought heavy rain and strong winds. South-west England and south and mid-Wales bore the brunt, with rail and ferry services disrupted and some schools closed. Waves of up to 19.1m (63ft) were measured off the Cornish coast, and winds of 70-80mph felt in many areas. An RSPCA inspector is missing after trying to rescue dozens of sea birds at Porthchapel Beach near Penzance. Although the eye of the storm passed on Monday night, high tides and large waves are expected to continue along the south coast of England on Tuesday, forecasters warned. Read more >>
In the cartoon by Mac from The Daily Mail, a woman from the county of Cornwall (where Storm Imogen was particularly violent) has come to ask if she can have her shed back because 'it's got her husband in it' (you can see the shed stuck in a tree). We are meant to assume that the strong winds have blown the shed all the way from Cornwall to some other part of the country.
The cartoon works well enough on a basic level, but to really appreciate the joke you have to be familiar with the UK's 'shed culture'. The British are not only obessed with tea, the weather, and house prices, they're also obsessed with sheds (or at least, married men of a certain age are). In a 2014 survey, one in five Brits admitted to spending time in their shed to avoid their partners (it's no coincidence that the wife of the missing husband is portrayed as being unattractive). In fact Brits love their sheds so much that the average ‘sheddie’ spends almost a year of their life in their shed! What's more, the garden shed is worth £5 billion to the British economy, with over 14 million people in the UK now owning a shed. There's even an annual 'Shed of the Year' contest. So, the cartoon is not just about the storm, it's also about the shed!
Lady is more polite than woman. In fact, 'This woman from Cornwall ... ' would sound rather rude, if you were speaking in her presence. However, if she were not there, you could say, for example, 'There's a woman from Cornwall at the door ...' without sounding rude.
• Why Are the British Obsessed with Sheds? (Vice)
• One in five Brits admit to spending time in their shed to avoid their partners (Shedblog)
• Shedonomic report 2015 – and what you need to know about Shed of the year 2015 (Shedblog)