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Rather a lot of weather

December 10, 2015

A friend from the south of England was looking at some of my photos on social media a few days ago.

‘You do have a lot of weather!’ she commented.

Well, I know what she meant. At the end of November it snowed: enough to build a couple of snowmen. Two days later – the beginning of last week – several more inches of snow fell; perfect, fluffy flakes piling up rapidly to make a Christmas card of the landscape. We were outside that day with guests, all marvelling like children at the beauty of the transformation. We began to think half-hopefully of the intensely cold, white winter of six years ago, which also began with a heavy November snowfall.

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Then it began to rain.

When we opened the shutters the next morning, there was hardly a trace of the white stuff to be seen. All had washed away in an overnight thaw and heavy rain. It continued to rain all that day and most of last week. On Saturday, it really began to rain. The Tay burst its banks and flooded across the fields, submerging the fishing huts and the access roads to them.

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The burn became a swollen river, the lochan doubled in size, the river became a vast menace of rushing water. We saw huge round hay bales tossed along it like corks in a bath. The stretch of our woodland beside the river was now in the river, the young specimen trees in their wooden cages almost completely submerged. The water was full of little bubbles rising up, as if there were fish in the grass: actually, water bubbling up from the saturated soil.  

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We retreated to the house, thankful to be in a home well above flood level. Still, we were anxious for those in our wider neighbourhood whom we knew would be more affected. In the end it could have been a lot worse. While it seems that some farmers and gardeners have lost out – those hay bales in the river, for example, and allotments inundated – I don’t know of anyone whose house was flooded around here, thank heavens.

Of course, our neighbourhood was only a tiny part of the swathe of Britain affected by flooding this week. As anyone who has seen the UK news will know, the north-west of England and the Borders have had a far worse time. The flood waters really must have seemed apocalyptic to them at times, and our hearts go out to them. To anyone who loves the Lake District or who has never visited Carlisle Castle, for example, I’d say get planning your next trip to beautiful Cumbria! The county will need our support in 2016.

 

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For most of us here in Perthshire it has not been nearly so bad, despite flooded roads and railway lines bringing travel disruption for a few days. Since the weekend the water levels have receded, risen after more rain and then dropped again. But what do you know, coming full circle, we now have snow forecast for this evening. At the moment it is heavy, sleety rain – which I am about to head out into with the dog – but snow is coming.

So I think it’s fair to say that yes, while we may have got off relatively lightly, we have had quite a lot of ‘weather’ recently!

 

You might enjoy Wintry pleasures, from the sub-zero winter of 2010. For a contrast, Cabin Fever touches on the last serious floods, in January 2014.

 

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Toffeeapple permalink
    December 10, 2015 5:00 pm

    I feel so sorry for those whose homes have been flooded and sometimes for a second time. It’s good to know that you are safe in your castle and I hope that the saplings will recover.

    • December 10, 2015 7:29 pm

      Thanks. Yes, it must be just gutting to be flooded, let alone more than once. Somehow it seems even worse with Christmas approaching.

  2. December 10, 2015 5:41 pm

    I’m glad you were safe and dry. Family back home were keeping me abreast of the weather situation. It sounded and looked pretty awful.

    • December 10, 2015 7:30 pm

      Thank you. It was certainly well out of the ordinary, even for the rainy north-west of England. I do wonder if these more frequent storms and floods are a sign of climate change… 😦

      • December 10, 2015 8:01 pm

        I suspect so. We are experiencing oddly warm weather for this time of year here in Pennsylvania too. Everyone is glad because we’ve not been snowed in (yet) but I’m concerned about the bigger picture.

  3. Maria Al Salem permalink
    December 11, 2015 5:44 pm

    Thank you , dear Madame, for the lovely photos and inspiring prose. Here in Paris, It is not even drizzling, its lethargic and gray. No floods though… One must be grateful .

    >

    • December 16, 2015 12:06 am

      What a kind thing to write: thank you, Maria! I hope that you (and we!) get some bright crisp winter days soon to invigorate the spirits. Although I must say, when Paris is cold it is somehow one of the coldest places I know – it can be really bitter sometimes, can’t it? Of course, that is the perfect excuse for a good thick chocolat chaud in a warm café! 🙂

  4. December 11, 2015 9:21 pm

    grateful that the builders put your castle above the flooding river.
    Wish you a kind and suitably snowy Christmas!

    • December 15, 2015 11:53 pm

      Thank you for your good wishes, Diana. I guess there’s no point wishing you a snowy Christmas, but I wish you a happy and peaceful one!

  5. December 14, 2015 12:58 pm

    That snow picture is so beautiful!!! I’m sorry for all the rain and flooding. Wow. We had 3 inches of snow the weekend before Thanksgiving — which came out of the blue. But now we’ve had the heating off for 3 days and extremely high temperatures (like 68F). This is very strange for December. I’m not sure we’ll have any snow this month! Part of me wonders if winter will come with a vengeance in January — maybe we will get off with a very mild winter though. Hope you have a very Happy Christmas!

    • December 16, 2015 12:00 am

      Thanks, Heather! You are getting Scottish summer temperatures at Christmas – weird. 😀

      Our autumn and winter has actually been mostly very mild too. I have a feeling we may get a cold new year to make up for it, but we’ll see. Happy Christmas to you too!

  6. Perpetua permalink
    December 26, 2015 12:23 pm

    Gosh, you really have had a lot of weather, DB! Those flood images are disturbing, even though I know your home was safe. Having lived in Cumberland in the early years of our marriage, I’ve been following events in Cumbria with deep concern and sympathy for those so badly affected. As I write on Boxing Day, it’s now my home area of mid-Lancashire which is under threat from yet another exceptional amount of rainfall. 😦 At home in Wales,we have been just on the fringes of it all.

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