Friday 26 January 2024

Thank you Isha, Thank you Jo-ce-lyn

Channelling my inner Alanis Morissette a bit with the title there, but I am sure you get the picture. Yes, winter storms, of which there seem to be an ever increasing number each year. Surely it can't be the climate breaking down can it?

When I see one of these coming and look at the forecast I always have a sense of dread. Our house and garden contain a lot of glass - greenhouses, conservatories, french doors...all protecting precious tropical plants. Oh and family members of course, which are my chief concern naturally. As the winds gradually build to a ferocious howl, to the point where I can actually see the glass bending, my heart is in my mouth. Will I get away with it, or will there be damage.

As I surveyed the damage after Isha I breathed a sigh of relief that I appeared to have had no significant issues once again. Yes lots of plants had been blown over, including ones I can barely lift, but such is their height and exposed surface area that the gusts from these storms easily topple them. A greenhouse vent had come loose and smashed itself to bits, but the panel was deliberately polycarbonate so I can simply find some replacement nuts and bolts and put it back together. Other than this there was nothing that would cost money to fix, for which I am thankful. It could have been a lot worse. One day it probably will be.

I didn't have time to fix the vent between Isha and Jocelyn, they came one after the other without pause, so I bodged it and hoped for the best. I was worried that the wind exploit the obvious weakness, dispense with the so-so vent very rapidly, and then enter the greenhouse and explode it from the inside. But that didn't happen. Of course Jocelyn did re-topple all the same plants that I had picked up after Isha, and as I stuggled to get them upright again before work after it (she?) had passed I wondered whether I shouldn't have just left them on the ground where they were. Would have been easier.

Sleeping is the biggest problem. Up in the loft where we sleep the windows face the Atlantic. Well, not really, but the room faces south-west so we align directly into the path of these Atlantic storms and are buffeted mercilessly each time, pounding wind and lashing rain. It is very noisy, and it gets a lot colder too. These storms seem to occur overnight more often than not, although there is no logical reason why this is the case. I'd prefer to be at work in Canary Wharf in a nice sturdy office when they go through, but it always seems to be when I am trying to get some rest.

No, not much birding, why do you ask?