After the Storm

After Storm Ciara yesterday, and a flood warning overnight, thankfully the River Ness has not advanced too far beyond its usual perimeter – still within normal expansion levels, although this morning I found the Ness Islands to be a little less island-y than usual 🙂

Water Water Everywhere

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Advance

Floodgates firmly closed…

Storm Ciara has done her stuff, and after a day of whipping wind and lashing rain here in Inverness it seems we now have a flood warning in place tonight, as with the combination of high river levels and high tide due around midnight, the gates on the flood defences have been closed. We have another high tide due at around mid-day tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.

I actually remember the River Ness bursting its banks in 1989, long before there were flood defence walls in place. There was the river, steep sloping grassy banks, then only a small open metal fence that made a sieve look solid separating the pavement and road from the rising water levels. I remember the army layering sandbags all along the riverbank, but the river breached them anyway and scarily the railway bridge was dramatically washed away in the middle – it looked so strange, just rails hanging across thin air. Not a great memory.

Our new house in Inverness is situated about half way between the river and the canal, so we have a vested interest in hoping the flood defences hold tonight and again tomorrow, when the forecast is for… snow. Or at least this close to the coast, probably more like sleet. Oh yeah, and more wind… But at least our power stayed on, some people in Inverness had power cuts earlier today…

One Liner Wednesday: Shit, it’s Hot!

Shit, it’s hot!

OK, so for all you people out there who live in everyday hot countries, it may not be hot by your standards, but remember that here in the UK we live in a naturally temperate climate in homes designed and built for keeping people snug and warm, not airy and cool.

And as most of us don’t have air conditioning as standard, when I tell you it’s well over 30-something degrees celsius outside I mean we are all also living inside in that sweltering, suffocating, humid heat, not sitting smug in a cool air-conditioned environment watching the heat and sun out of the well-shaded window.

Or, worse than being hot stuck at home, if you’re really unlucky you have no option but to commute to work all suited and booted in a sardine-packed moving metal cylinder travelling deep underground with NO air-con, surrounded by a whole host of other hot sweaty and grumpy commuters in the stagnant, stifling heat, many of who have no concept of personal hygiene.

We had some spectacular thunderstorms overnight last night, but disappointingly it’s still ridiculously hot today. And tomorrow is potentially record-breaking – if we do hit the predicted 37 degrees celcius (98-point-something farenheit) then apparently that will be the hottest July temperature ever recorded here in the UK – ugghh!.

So this mini-heatwave we’re having just now is absolutely unbearable for me – I’m soaked in salty sweat all the time, sticky and stinky, damp hair stuck to my scalp and forehead and neck, and I absolutely hate it. I don’t even do traditional beach resort holidays because I dislike the heat so much – lying on hot sand all day and being eaten alive by foreign bugs is my idea of hell.

I’m not even a huge fan of summer as a season in general – give me the balmy grey delights of spring and autumn any day over the black-or-white extremes of summer or winter…

So anyway, that’s why I feel perfectly justified today in saying ‘Shit, it’s hot!’

One Liner Wednesday

Scotch Mist

I’ve never understood the phrase ‘Whaddya think this is – Scotch mist?’ often said with more than a heavy hint of sarcasm when someone simply can’t see something that’s right in front of them, as if it’s suddenly become transparent, invisible. To me it’s always seemed such an odd use of both words?

For a start, ‘Scotch’ is whisky – it’s the word ‘Scottish’ that means something from Scotland. So in my younger days I used to have imaginative visions of people getting such a surprise at something while drinking a wee dram that they would spray a mouthful of whisky all over the place – now that to me would be Scotch mist!

And anyway, the kind of mist you get in Scotland is anything but invisible or insubstantial, it’s more like having a fine filmy gossamer rain spritzing your skin as you wander damply through a low-lying cloud. Although perhaps there is an other-worldly ephemeral nature to the experience rather than the reality of it, it does sometimes feel ghostly to be in and it certainly chills you to your bones?

Mind you, although the mist itself creates a cold wet blanket of grey, it does also mean a vapour cloak of invisibility descends silently over eveything else, causing it to disappear from view? Hmmm… So if anyone out there can possibly shed light on the etymology of this very odd phrase, I’d be more than happy to be enlightened – even trustly old Google hasn’t helped me find any clarity this time… sigh!

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Mist

One Word Sunday: Movement

Travelling up from London to Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper at the end of last month I awoke to find myself in the very last carriage of the train, so although it was still quite early in the morning so not fully daylight I was nevertheless able to take a few shots out of the grubby back window in the closed-over door that normally sits open between the carriages.

I only had my phone camera with me, but I did my best! Although they look monochrome, they are actually full colour – but what I really love most is the way the speed of the train rattling through the wintery Scottish landscape has successfully captured the motion blur at the edges of each shot, perfect contenders for Debbie’s One Word Sunday today on the topic of Movement 🙂