Monday, 12 December 2011

In between the storms

We were lucky. The Recycling Shed may have lost its roof, and we may have to spend some time clearing up things that have been blown around, but there was nothing major, and our house is solid and we were warm. We lost the electricity for a couple of hours on Thursday and all day and evening on Friday, but some areas still don't have their power back on.

It was awesome watching the sea. Words cannot express how huge long and high the rollers were making their way up the bay.

Thanks to those of you who emailed to find out how we had fared in the storm! Some die-hards would say we have this weather all the time, but I think this is only partially true. We do have strong winds, but they more often and not blow through within a few hours. In the 17 years we have been here, we have had lots of storms, and whilst the averages around 60pmh might happen quite often (tonight, now as I write!) the peaks of 91 mph on Tiree 15 miles west of here don't happen quite as often! Alot of neighbours I have spoken to found Thursday's wind very distracting, almost disturbing - unsettling certainly. I felt very twitchy all day, and only relaxed when the wind dropped. Watching the shed roof peel off like the curling lid of a sardine can was like watching footage of a American hurricane on the news, and then realising that we were in the middle of it.

I am glad there wasn't anyone staying in Duill! (It was all fixed the next day, well in time for the guests who are staying there now).

A family from northern England were staying at Haunn last week, and I was worried for them during Thursday's storm, but they assured me they had seen similar winds when living in the Far East - typhoons and cyclones! On the Friday, by evening we still had no electricity so we drove down to give them some more candles and tea lights. They were all warm and cosy in candlelight sitting by the fire, but grateful for the additional candles!

Part of the Recycling Shed roof lies in the burn.

Friday morning, we had a little snow - actually thick enough for a time to realise it might folly to send Daughter to school, so she came home again (quite pleased). Within a couple of hours it had melted. The sea was flat calm again, as if the huge rolling, huge breaking, perpetually moving, rising and falling football-pitch-sized waves had never been happened 24 hours before.

Jamie's puppy learns about riding in the buggy.

This little gate into the veg garden was recycled from the original fank, where the wood chip boiler is now. The wind blew its fastening right out of the gate post!

The Aracona hens enjoy the great outdoors. The Keder polyhouse survived the winds, but Farmer had opened the side vents before hand which hopefully saved them from being blown out, as the wind could get out the other side.

A quiet winter rhythm is taking shape. Jamie comes in in the morning to feed the hoggs - as they are in he can do this early before light. Farmer feeds the cows later on. They are receiving a bit of 'hill cow cob' - even though they are still fat from the summer grass, it is better to keep the weight on them, rather than yo-yo dieting. It is not good for them to be too fat before calving so Farmer will do some condition scoring to help assess whether they need more or less additional food. The ewe hoggs are still in the cattle shed. Ewes and tups together in their different groups in the in-bye fields. The cows are in between the Point and the Haunn field. They are all munching on the deferred grazing, left from under grazing the fields during the summer so that flowers can safely flower and set seed whilst ground nesting birds rear their young before the silage is cut.

Another storm is raging whilst I write. Torch by my side, just in case. Goodnight!

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