1 EAGLETON NOTES: Stormy Weather

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Thursday, 13 February 2020

Stormy Weather

Given the paucity of my posts over the last few years I don't suppose many noticed that I've not even been commenting for over a week. I was happily beavering away last Thursday when yet another suspected bout of urosepsis hit me. Thanks to the usual exceedingly prompt hospital treatment, within a couple of hours I was on pretty strong IV antibiotics and some days later I was back catching up with real life. Having just about caught up I'm back in Blogland. Hopefully I'll get some blogs read this evening.

In 2005 we had a storm. It was before named storms (which started in 2015 with Storm Aileen). The storm of 11–12 January, 2005, affecting northern Scotland, had a particularly severe impact in the Outer Hebrides, particularly The Uists, resulting in widespread damage to property and infrastructure, and in the loss of five lives. Through the night, the severe storm moved over Northern Scotland before eventually starting to ease off. The remote North Rona in the Western Isles recorded a mean wind speed of 100mph with gusts over 115mph. with a top gust of 134mph which made it a Category 3 Hurricane. In addition to the physical impact on the coast, there was widespread marine flooding. 

Somewhere around 2am I lost my conservatory. I ceased worrying and went to bed and slept through the rest of it. The conservatory wasn't small at 6m x 2.5m. By the morning it had all but disappeared. 

Last week we had Storm Ciara wreaking havoc throughout the British Isles. Well, up to a point.  We on Lewis were not affected apart from some ferry cancellations. Perhaps we are just better prepared. Our winds apparently got to nearly 60mph but didn't get as strong as in Storm Brendan in January. 

Storm Brendan didn't do much damage up here either although the winds were fierce - gusting 80mph. and they they did result in a lot of transport disruption and the closing for 5 successive high tides of The Braighe which isolates the peninsula on which I live as well as many of the causeways which join other islands.

33 comments:

  1. I did notice that you had been absent, but glad to hear that your health has been restored. The photo of your "disappeared" conservatory is quite sobering. You must be pretty exposed up there when the storms are in full force. We are protected somewhat by Ireland to our west but it can still be rough at times.

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    1. Yes, Jaycee, we are very exposed to the winds from whatever direction. The worst storm winds come from the west and south-west and the 2005 wind hit the conservatory right on the corner and lifted the roof right off. As soon as that happened the rest just disappeared. Bearing mind the huge double glazed windows need at least two people to lift them the gale made short work of it. It's been rebuilt now and has survived since 2005.

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  2. I also notice when you are gone. I am not always around. The flow of blogs that I read means it takes time before somebody is absent.
    I am glad to read you feeling better and are safe. The loss of your conservatory is sad.

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    1. Maywyn, thank you. The loss of the conservatory was along time ago and the new one is much stronger (I hope).

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  3. Oh dear. I'm glad the recent storms have not been quite as bad-tempered as that one back in 2005 was for you. Sound like you've had enough to deal with anyway!

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    1. Thanks Monica. Well we've another storm coming in tomorrow but I reckon it will take another 2005 to do any more damage. Anything that can blow away here blew away long ago.

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  4. I was worried when you hadn't posted but I'm relieved to read your prompt hospital treatment has you feeling better again.
    I thought we'd experienced some bad weather until seeing the photograph of your missing conservatory. 😨

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    1. Thank you, Jules. It's a fairly common problem I have and only once have the docs been apprehensive that it might have got too big a hold to control. I didn't know at until I was on the mend though so wasn't worried.

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  5. I missed you. I thought, "have I upset him in something I said?" but did also worry that you may not be well. I am glad you are back and well again. The storm got us quite bad but storms are nothing, it is just weather and all can be put right.

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    1. Thank you. If you upset me, Rachel, I'd just tell you. I don't do sulking or grudges. Life is too short. As you say, unless there is loss of life all can be put right. However so many people have been affected by floods that it must be pretty dispiriting.

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  6. Just wait till Storm Graham strikes! Then the devastation will be of biblical proportions. Sorry to hear about your bout of urosepsis and how marvellous that the medics were able to sort you out again. When you say you were beavering away do you mean you were gnawing down trees with your teeth and building a dam?

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    1. YP, you've just given me a good laugh. The mental picture of me chewing trees with people looking on knowing that I really had lost the plot was just too much! The next G storm will be female - Gerda.

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  7. So good to see you back in fine form, Graham. I admire your resilience and ability to bounce back. I hope the worst of the storms has passed for this year. And long may your conservatory stand firm.

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    1. Thanks Pauline. The start of the next storm should greet me when I wake in the morning but as Pat and Dave are hoping to get off on the morning ferry at 0700 I'm hoping that it won't arrive until after they have reached the Mainland at 0930.

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  8. Good to hear you were able to act quickly on your latest health dip and life has resumed to normal for you. Modern medicine is a marvel and the fact you can enjoy a life on an island, often cut off from the world, and still have excellent treatment when you need is just the icing on the cake! ... One December, I once went to Skye and got to experience some Hebridean wind. You could lean right into it! The highland cattle blithely continued grazing with their long hair whipping about. Just a normal day for them.

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  9. Storms are not nice to experience. I hope this is the last one for this year.

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  10. Glad you are feeling better again. Sounds like you live on a very stormy windy island. We used to say a good strong wind blew all the bugs away, so you should all keep healthy!!

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    1. Thank you Margaret. On the whole the Island is a pretty healthy place to live: no traffic pollution here.

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  11. GB, I am so sorry you had to go to the hospital again... but glad you are feeling better. You had me completely jumping off my chair and yelling, I missed the "2005" part and thought your conservatory had blown off your house!!! Serves me right for not paying attention. Sheeeeesh!!
    Been miserable rainy and blowsy here, as well. It's tough driving a Jeep (basically a box on wheels) in the wind, I can tell you that.
    I love how optimistic Red is. It's only February and he's hoping to have seen the last storm of the year. Hey, why not dream big? Me, I'm just keeping my toes crossed that we don't have any white stuff falling out of the sky. So far so good this winter, but until April is over, I don't get too complacent.

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    1. Wind is definitely our bugbear, Marcheline. Not so much for the damage but for the disruption. I got to Town this morning to meet a friend but there was a two hour delay getting home because the Braighe was closed.

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  12. Oh dear, how many times have you been in hospital for sepsis now? I've lost count! Good to know that a) you are very good now at detecting the first symptoms and b) they know what to do at the hospital and have you back in order quickly.
    I've not heard yet about the coming storm, we have only just come out the other end of the one that started last Sunday, Ciara in your parts, Sabine in ours.
    I also didn't know that storms were not named back in 2005. They definitely were in Germany; "Lothar" was in 1999, and everybody old enough to remember it still has a story or two to tell.

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    1. Meike. I've lots count but it's almost double figures excluding a few 'false alarms'. We still refer to memorable storms as 'The Storm of Whatever Year' even if there were 12 storms that winter everyone would know the one to which you were referring. Mine was The Storm of January 2005. We are now in the throes of Storm Dennis.

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  13. Graham, you were missed in your absence it seems. I for one kept popping into blogland to see if you had posted anything. I didn't expect you to have been in hospital again though. It's good that the team there on the Island have everything to hand and deal with you in a timely manner. You will be like part of the furniture there by now.

    The storms are a real pest here in west Yorkshire. Not where we live as we are up on a hill but in Hebden Bridge and in Mirfield and Dewsbury who didn't get a mention on the news. I can't imagine how I would cope if we were flooded. All your downstairs possessions ruined, the plaster on the walls soaked and all the floorboards needing replacing, not to mention the electrical sockets not working so no power to begin a clean
    up. I saw on a video that parts of NSW were just as badly affected by storms this week. The rain storms have extinguished the fires but now people are flooded.

    It all puts our own moans into perspective doesn't it?

    Take care and keep on carrying on.
    Beverley x

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    1. That's lovely of you, Beverley. Thank you. Mind you as you must still smile at meeting the Amazonian Paramedic in the middle of the night. I still smile too at the thought. I was thinking this morning, as I managed to get across the Braighe into town before it was closed, about the flooding and damage 'down South'. As you say, it puts our situations into perspective.

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  14. Good to hear you are feeling better. Had wondered if that nasty bugaboo might be the reason for your absence. Isn't it nice to know you are missed?

    Hope the upcoming storm leaves you and your house in one piece--preferably on the same spot, too.

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    1. It is nice to be missed, Mary. The main part of my house is very solid being traditional poured concrete and stone built in 1927. It's the modern bits that are always more susceptible to the elements.

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  15. Interesting what you say when naming storms started. In the States, so I believe, it's been going for a long time. Indeed, I do have a paper cutting with a Hurricane (insert my son's name) causing havoc. Not that he [my son] does. The Angel is so laid back as to be horizontal.

    What is, only a little, disappointing that no storms/hurricanes/tornadoes are ever named starting with 'U'. Not, of course, that one wants to be associated with destruction.

    Hope you are well, Graham. Main thing is to not go outside when the winds do what winds do and be hit by a roof tile. Once they [the winds] have died down find a snowdrop and marvel at the benign forces of nature.

    U

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    1. Thank you Ursula. I am very well now. The naming of hurricanes and storms is fascinating. The UK's Met Office simply followed the lead of its US counterpart in not using Q, U, X, Y and Z due to the low number of names that begin with these letters. We have something in common: my son, too, is that laid back.

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  16. yes, I too wondered where you had gotten to, good to see you back. We were meant to have 2 cyclones visit us this week, one from Vanuatu and one from the South but sadly they seem to be concentrating on the South Island who really don't need anymore moisture.

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    1. Oops. Sorry Amy. I'm late again. No the South Island has plenty. I hope that you get some rain soon too. We've had a lot but England and Southern Scotland have many hundreds of flood warnings in place at the moment.

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  17. I'll have you know, Graham, I did take notice of your absence...and I was hoping all was well with you. You are a fine gentleman...and are missed when you go into hiding for a while...without leaving a note! Good to have you back...take care. :)

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