1 EAGLETON NOTES: Another Weather Window

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Another Weather Window

It's 9 years since I had to worry about weather windows and getting on and off the Island. In all honesty I don't recall it being so problematic in the 30 years previously: the ferry seemed to sail in all but the most exceptional circumstances. One was more likely to be worried by snow in the Highlands.  I can recall back in the '70s driving up to Uig on Skye. On the stretch above Glengarry we were behind a snowplough up the through roads with cars strew left and right. We did it with two young children in a Renault 14 (and in those days there weren't even winter tyres) and, if I'm truly honest, with reckless disregard for our safety. We never ever got stuck at the side of the road although we have been stranded overnight on Skye, Tyndrum, Pitlochry and Moffat. Two occasions were caused by major power outages which meant that there was no petrol to be had because no pumps would work. Now I'm retired I can choose my moment to make the crossing and the journey and, so far this winter, I've managed to time it just right. 

I arrived back home to find that the internet was virtually unusable despite the efforts of the Liverpool Lads. Ho hum. It's a bit better this morning. After constant internet access whilst I was away (wifi is even available through most of Glasgow City Centre so one doesn't even need to rely on 3G) our poor access here is a bit of a sharp return to the reality of the Island.

Ah well hopefully I'll be back in Blogland properly for a while.

23 comments:

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    1. I'm having a lucky streak so far as travel is concerned Adrian.

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  2. I just watched an old episode of "Coast" which explored the HMY Iolaire Disaster in 1918 and then I noticed the word "Iolaire" appears in your signpost at the top of "Eagleton Notes". What does it mean? (Assuming of course that your internet problems allow you a small blogging window)

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    1. I'm having a good afternoon so far as the internet is concerned YP. Iolaire is the Gaelic for eagle. Baile is town. The Gaelic translates literally as town of the eagle.

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  3. Graham, I think we used to be much better at coping with weather than we are now. I don't recall my school ever closing because of snow. In fact when the school bus broke down some distance from my home, I walked home through thigh high drifts without giving it a thought. I can't have been more than twelve at the time. But....I'm glad your Internet problems are solved. Long may it last.

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    1. Frances I agree. I recall the three mile cycle to and from school in the most atrocious of conditions of freezing fog (often smog) where it was difficult to see the hand in front of your face. Then there was the snow which, as you say, you waded through almost to your waist. Hardship is not something we will put up with now and effort - heaven forbid that we should have to make an effort.

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  4. Good to know you timed your trip just right once more! If I should ever be faced with the decision about a similar trip, I think I'll ask your advice on when to go.

    When I was still at school, there was a rule about "Hitzefrei" (literally, "heat free"). It said that when the thermometer rose to 28 Celsius at 10.00 in the morning, the last lesson of the morning and all lessons after lunch were cancelled for the day. I don't know how much that was done for our benefit, and how much for our teachers - they surely didn't like the idea of sweating it out in front of a bunch of kids totally apathic from the heat.

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    1. I can't recall temperatures at school ever getting anywhere near that Meike. In New Zealand the schools would be closed a lot though because that is a pretty common temperature in the summer there.

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  5. even my kids had to endure walking in a blizzard because our car couldn't get through our half mile road. They took turns carrying their lightweight younger brother through the waist-high snow. So not all today's younger people were spoiled.

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    1. Norma I was thinking of people now and in the UK particularly. Only once or twice since I've lived on Lewis can I recall serious blizzard conditions and they were several decades ago and, yes, my children seemed to cope better then. I think, perhaps, our expectations of what the authorities could do were less demanding.

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  6. internet been really poor the last week or so. Welcome home

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    1. Carol I've been trying to blog on and off for most of the day but the broadband connection is pathetic today.

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    1. Thank you Sue. Now that I know this was meant for the 'Andrew' post I understand.

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  8. Those of us who live on the mainland have no idea of what islanders have to face. You pay for the pleasure of island residency. It's also interesting what we did as younger people and thought nothing of it. Now the sun has to be shining before I go out of the house!!!

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    1. Red if I had to wait for the sun I'd be housebound quite a lot!

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  9. "In MY day..." (LOL at you and Frances) ... Sometimes I think modern technology makes us more vulnerable to the weather even if, when it does work, it also offers better protection and warnings. (We probably should not forget that there has also been a certain increase in traffic over the past 50 years, though.) - In my childhood, most of the year I had a walk of about 2 km to school. But in the snowy part of winter we got to go by taxi (a big black one much like the classic London style). (We = a bunch of kids living in the same neck of the woods.)

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    1. Monica I always walked to Prep School ( probably about the same distance as you) but Grammar School was 3 miles away and I cycled unless conditions were impossible.

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  10. I think I was lucky growing up in the tropics. If it was too hot, it simply meant we'd be allowed to go for a swim. I'm glad you made it home through the weather window and hope the internet performs for you.

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    1. Pauline I never liked the cold (who does?) but as a child that was the norm (except in the family living room which was always toastie) and we got on with it. I'm not sure how I'd cope now if I had to do without my centrally-heated luxury in this weather.

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  11. You definitely have "the window for travel opportunity" down to an art, or is it a science for you now????
    Hope your internet settles down soon.

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    1. Now you've got me thinking Virginia: quite an achievement. I can recall at Uni having to answer questions on whether things were art or science. At least then I had the incentive of a degree to spur my thoughts along.

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