Sunday, 7 January 2007

And What About The Weather?

I know that Scottish weather has been really interesting lately and I do know that it has been unusually wet! Well that’s what I’m told but being new to an environment you pretty much go with what’s dished up…a bit like being a guest at the home of a new friend. So I was not going to be caught out complaining about my new county’s weather. This is not a rant about lousy weather, it is winter right? This what happens in winter, wind, storms, rain, hail, frost (although there is no frost here – too close to the Gulf Stream) and snow, but only on the higher elevations. Personally, I love the changing seasons but then I’ve only had to deal with tornadoes one spring when we lived in Missouri, leaving me with huge respect for those who face that terrifying phenomena each year.

We left our little haven yesterday for the first time in two weeks and had a chance to see the effects of the gales first hand. Many majestic old trees along the side of the road had gone, reduced to stumps and logs by chainsaws. Whole sections of evergreens in the forestry plantations lay on their sides as if weeded out and dropped back down by some giant hand. We eventually stopped counting and just gaped open mouthed, breathing a silent thanks to those who had worked so hard to clear the roads. The worst damage had been done on New Years Eve and then a bit more just a few days ago but fortunately, our worst casualty around here was the glass greenhouse next door. That’s if you don’t count the pontoon! Now, the pontoon (not sure if I should capitalise that) normally lies parallel to the jetty and provides extra mooring for the yachts and boats in summer. In November, it's disconnected from the moorings that hold it in place, taken about a half a mile down the loch and pulled ashore into a sheltered spot about 50 or so metres from the water’s edge where it is supposed to stay until Easter.

New Years was subdued as many of the expected customers never made it to the Pubs’ scheduled celebration, fireworks had to be cancelled as the wind was blowing toward the houses, trees were already across the roads and the electricity was threatening to go at any moment. We, wild party animals that we are, had a Hot chocolate, watched the Australian fireworks on the Satellite and then buried ourselves under the duvet. So I couldn’t blame it on a hangover when I opened the curtains on the landing the next morning and surveyed the following scene!

What’s wrong with this picture? It took me about four or five minutes to work out what I was seeing…modified docking arrangements at the Pub and then later, on my walk, saw the seaweed in the sheep’s pasture and realised we had slept through one really big storm! How’s that for sang froid!


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