According to the Met Office, we were due to be hit by a hurricane in the early hours today. In readiness, we both laid out practical clothes in case we had to get up in a hurry. A year or so ago we almost lost our back fence due to heavy winds and a broken post. The pair of us were outside at 4.30 on a Sunday afternoon (typically after all the shops had closed) propping it up with old posts, rope and boulders as a temporary measure, until we could get to a DIY outlet to purchase the necessary materials for a proper repair. Since then, we have reinforced it with metal spikes in between each post for added stability, and when we noticed another post wobbling just a bit too freely on the other side of the garden, we replaced that too. Obviously, whenever heavy winds are forecast, I tend to get a bit twitchy.
Hubby and I met in 1989, and I have photographs of fallen trees in the New Forest from around then. Hubby stands over six feet tall, and the base of an uprooted tree stood a good three feet above him. The dog of the time had to be lifted over another fallen trunk as she didn’t have the sense to go under it where the branches provided a nice little archway for her. They say the Great Storm in the UK was in 1987, but to be honest, I can’t remember that one as well as the one in ’89, which literally blew me off my feet when I rounded a corner in town as it hit me full on.
With all the publicity and warnings of hurricane St Jude, my twitchiness went into overdrive. I don’t like the wind anyway, but I would’ve known we had some because although our fences are still up, most of the apples have now fallen off the tree to the ground. Apple pie and crumbles will be on the menu for the next few weeks, so if anyone has any recipes for savoury apple dishes, please let me know so that I can ring the changes as my freezer is already full!
Rain is a different matter. It can hit us from all directions and we have names for all types of it.
Invisible rain is the stuff you don’t really see, yet it seeps into your clothing giving you a chill.
Normal rain is basically what you see is what you get…… wet.
Fat rain is the big heavy drops that splatter on your windows and roof making one helluva row.
Stair rod rain is heavier than fat rain, coming down in straight lines, and hurts when it hits you.
Hose pipe rain is the stuff most of us can’t handle for prolonged periods as it leads to floods.
The Experts call it Drizzle, Showers, Heavy Rain, Downpour, and Torrential. It’s all wet though.
It’s raining today. I know that because I’ve been awake since 1 a.m. listening to it. Another clue was that when I opened the curtains this morning, the windows and paths were wet. If that hadn’t been the dead giveaway, I would have been aware of it as my corns were shooting, my knees were stiff and my hands were cramping. Arthritis and rheumatism don’t like the cold and damp.
I’ve seen the headlines this morning of the devastation in certain areas of the country, and wonder when their photographs were taken, as they seem pretty bright if the damage was done in the early hours. I don’t understand why trains have been cancelled when they are not in or going to these affected areas. It makes no sense to tell people not to travel to work in the rush hour because all that will do is delay the rush hour to when people decide to travel.
Electricity is out for thousands which sounds horrendous, but if you put that in context to say, one power line supplying a large town being down, it’s not as severe as suggested, and just another inconvenience to those households. The Power Companies are working hard to restore power, yet if they had heeded the suggestion not to travel, then who would be there to do the work?
This potential danger was forecast several days ago, and judging by the loaded trollies in the supermarkets over the weekend, people were getting in supplies in case they got cut off. Not a bad idea really, but why buy masses of frozen stuff for the freezer if the power is likely to fail?
There is provision, and there is panic buying.
Why is it that people overreact this way? Michael Fish denied there was a hurricane coming in 1987, so have the Experts decided to more or less declare a state of emergency every time the UK is likely to experience weather conditions above the expected or acceptable norm? It’s all very well to be warned of an impending danger, but why all the scaremongering, and what of the effect this has on people like me who are twitchy about certain weather conditions and imagine the worst? (Please don’t tell me this is part of some master plan to scare us all to death).
Our current dog had never seen snow until we moved here. She went bounding out as normal in the morning and sank up to her belly in white stuff. She stopped dead in her tracks as if to say ‘What the hell is this?’, then promptly sniffed it, decided it was fun, and rolled in it. Not that I am suggesting we are all dogs and should enjoy a romp in the snow, but surely we must look at things in perspective. When I think of that freak snowfall in April 2008, the roads were impassable, public transport wasn’t running, and I remember the number of kids getting their taboggans and sleds out, having races down the snowy hillocks and enjoying the extra holiday school closures had given them. The best bit was that some adults joined in too, and why not?
I don’t believe in burying my head in the sand and ignoring the facts either. We cannot control the weather, but we can take precautions against the effects of it, having some back up plan should things really go tits up and we have to leave our homes. That’s just common sense.
By the look of it, the sun’s coming out, so does this mean I can dispose of my thermals and get my bikini out now because we’re due for a heatwave?