Well - was that a storm!!? I’ve never known anything so severe as last night. At 12.30 pm I woke with the noise of it and felt - yes felt - the wind slamming into the cottage; the bed shook a little with each gust. Thinking that the bedroom roof was going to rip off, I spent the rest of the night until 4.00am in the sitting room where the sound of the wind howling in the chimney kept me awake. I heard on the news that in Stornoway 113 mph was recorded and I would believe that we had 100 mph winds here as forecast.
Today has been spent coping with the aftermath: power cuts and helping elderly neighbours, one of whom - into her nineties - has an all electric house and therefore no heat. The power in my cottage was restored and along with it the heating, but I had difficulty persuading her to come here to sit in my cosy kitchen. Poor soul has now been without electricity for nearly 21 hours as I write and no hope now of it being restored until tomorrow morning at the earliest.
It makes me think about Global Warming and Climate Change. There have always been severe storms in the North West of Scotland and the Islands, but the frequency of them is now worrying; the wind is picking up again and forecast for gale force up to storm force again tonight after a brief lull today. We seem to have one storm immediately after another in the winters now. I can’t help but feel that indigenous aboriginal peoples had the right idea in respecting and caring for the planet. Alas, too late I fear and our descendants will pay the price for our stupidity.
Last night’s wild winds also reminded me of a poem I wrote a while back - Crying Air - so I will post it here. At the time I wrote it I was thinking of rather gentler winds.
Sitting here looking out through storm-salted windows at my wind-battered garden and yet more sleety rain. The bird feeder pole is listing badly and the wooden side walls of my compost heap are lying flat on the ground, the supporting cross pieces having been ripped off by the strength of last Thursday night's storm. There's no chance of me fixing any of it until we have a have decent weather forecast for several days. My elderly neighbour (who has now moved off the island to stay with a daughter for the duration) lost sections of her greenhouse. What is really scary is where those glass panes and shards ended up. It's just as well that the wind was blowing away from the cottages!
Another storm, another power cut. Not that we aren't used to it here, but golly! does it become tiresome. Last night was wild again and breakfast by candlelight is nowhere near as romantic as it seems. No power: no electric shower, no electric kettle, no electric toaster, no wireless phone; actually no network for my mobile phone either - again. It seems that the power dropped out at around quarter to five this morning so there is still a little warmth in the Rayburn and the kitchen is comfortable, but if the power does not come back soon I will have to light the fire in the sitting room for heat.
Are winters becoming worse .. wilder .. more prolonged? It certainly seems so today.