Thursday, 8 December 2011

Stormy weather

The Hurricane force winds and gales in Scotland and the north of England today, vividly recall for H and myself a time when we too experienced similar conditions in Scotland. We had a little chalet bungalow that was built on a rise with wonderful views to the Campsie Hills.
via wikipedia 
The Campsie Hills
We were woken in the wee small hours by a tremendous noise, it was like being cast on a ship in the middle of the ocean. We could hardly hear each other speak and had to shout to make ourselves heard. When we looked out of the windows, wood and debris was hurling itself around. Needless to say we felt worried, but did not really understanding what was going on. H was studying for his PhD so we had no spare money for newspapers or luxuries like phones and TV; the news didn't really figure in our lives, we were living in our own little bubble. In the morning when we looked out it was like a disaster zone. Our neighbours roof had gone because the builders had left roofing timbers opposite their house. These timbers had taken off, and smashed the windows, allowing the wind into the house. Another neighbour was surveying his drive, minus his timber garage, which he never saw again. One neighbour was trying to retrieve his car from beneath a collapsed garage.  We were so lucky, our little Mini car, which did not have a garage, was surrounded by tiles from the neighbours roof, but not one had hit the car. We only lost three tiles from our roof, and the builder kindly came and replaced them without charge. Our sons new swing for his birthday was in the corner of the garden and H was able to crawl on his hands and knees and retrieve it to safety (it was impossible to stand upright). In retrospect he probably should not have gone out in it.  Nearby Glasgow had 100,000 damaged roofs which needed tarpaulins to keep out the weather. Hundreds of vehicles were damaged by collapsed chimneys and falling trees, it was fortunate that it happened in the middle of the night and not during the daytime.
The experience unsettled us, and I believe was part of the reason why we eventually moved south. Every time the wind got up we felt insecure, and worried that we might incur damage to our little home, the expense of which we could not afford. 
images of the storms today courtesy Yahoo news

10 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:
    Yes, we identify with all of this. We were living on the South Coast in 1987 and, as you say, the strength of hurricane winds is truly frightening and the damage wreaked by them catastrophic.

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  2. Hello Jane & Lance - I remember the 1987 storm too. We were living in Hertfordshire. The storm seemed to curl around close by, but did not do much damage near us. I think that the Scottish one had a big impact on us, because we were a long way from our families, and young.

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  3. Hello Rosemary,
    impressive strength of the sea! Despite threatening and destructive it is also beautiful!
    Best wishes and congratulations for the beautiful blog

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  4. Photographs like this always remind one of the tremendous power of nature. Our hurricane watch in Florida (as you probably know) is June/July-November, but apparently you're still getting whatever missed us in November!

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  5. Dear Antonio - how right you are. In a coastal storm the sea has enormous power and strength but at the same time is very beautiful.

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  6. Hello Mark - the news from Scotland today is that the weather has calmed. Yesterdays storm in Scotland caused a lot of damage, there are 60,000 homes without power.

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  7. Rosemary, this is so topical for us. Your experience sounds such an extreme one: it is sobering when we realise the weather is a force we can't always subdue.

    My brother and his wife have eschewed the rat race and have renovated an old fisherman's cottage miles from anywhere on the West Coast of Scotland opposite Mull. They got through it ok: but our heart is always in our mouths at these times. Those pictures! A dramatic post: thank you.

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  8. Kate, what a wonderful place for your brother to live - I do really love Scotland, and there will always be a special part of us that is forever Scotland. Indeed our eldest son was born there, and so was our youngest grandchild. The power of the elements can be really frightening in its many different forms.

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  9. these images are quite scary ...i have been so busy with my sons burthday that , yes , i live in my own bubble right now... i have only experienced earthquakes back in Greece( some of them very strong ones) and i absolutely understand the sence of helplessness but also the awe one feels in front of that power called nature

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  10. Demie, do hope that your son had a really lovely and happy birthday. Mother Nature can be overwhelming with her power and we are helpless against her. However, the other side of her gives us sunny days, soft breezes, and gentle rain.

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