Thursday, 13 February 2014

...and I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down

Living in little 'ole England we don't suffer hurricanes and tornadoes and consider ourselves very lucky.  We had what some USA citizens may consider a slight breeze a month or so ago with winds of up to 80mph.  Living on the coast the town I live in was at risk of suffering worse than some.  We got away lightly for all intents and purposes.  

Nevertheless, Hubby decided that while having a new front gate made, which had needed a replacement for nearly a year, he wanted the fence panels in the back garden strengthened.  Now, I laughed and scoffed at this idea. After all, the fence panels between us and our neighbour to the right were strong and although nearly 10 years old they stood all sorts of weather.  The fence panels to the left of the garden were bought last year and while they rattled and sang all sorts of songs in the wind and while that scared the hell out of Fredster dog they were at little risk of breaking.

Nevertheless, I let Hubby have them reinforced and stupidly, have sat in the chair in the last month and kind of missed the rattle, moan and song of the fences.  

This week we had an amber alert for wind.  I ignored it; after all last months same warning only caused my then, un-reinforced fence panels to sing even louder.  As the days went on the warnings were increasing and on Tuesday our area was given a red alert.  Watching the weather the swirl of the cloud was right over our part of the country.

Now, Beautiful B who spends her spare time between a full time job, 3 days of college and her almost constant writing of assignments and research watching the news had somehow missed all of these warnings because as I sat in my cross-stitching chair opposite the patio door yesterday morning while settling down to watch the Olympics I noticed that her bike had disappeared.

Really, on the one day that the weather was going to get severe from lunch time she decides to ride her bike instead of get a taxi?!  So all sorts of texts were sent from a very concerned mum to her daughter insisting that she leave her bike at work and get a taxi home.  After all, I still wasn't convinced that the winds were going to be 'all that' but still a little gust of wind could blow my very talented and beautiful child into the path of an oncoming car.  

Feeling much more settled when I received a text confirmed a taxi would be used I settled down to the Olympics and as the day went on watched the tree in a neighbours garden slowly start to move, increasing it's movement by the hour.

When I ventured outside mid-afternoon to put some recycling in the bins the wind decided it wanted to help my keep the bin lid open.  

Texts were received from Hubby telling me to drive carefully to Angel's house that night and texts from Angels telling me to be extra careful.  I ventured out to the car and even at my weight I had to fight the wind to the car and I sat in the car at traffic lights while the wind buffeted the car from left to right watching the street lights sway quickly in the wind.  I saw telephone cables struggling to stay attached and when I reached Angels the wind helped me to close the car door.

Angel and I sat in her house listening to the wind while she told me all about her surprise trip to San Francisco for her Hubby's 40th birthday and periodically she told me she didn't like wind because it is the one weather phenomenon that can cause serious damage.  I reminded her that she doesn't like thunder and lightening and lightening can cause serious damage too.  We laughed at how she can forget that when in the middle of another type of storm.

Buses and trams were stopped, roads were closed, news of garage roofs sitting in the middle of a road just around the corner from my house reminded me just how my house may be affected.  Illuminations were down, the promenade was closed, siding from businesses on the promenade were being blown away.  Truly, the red alert warned of exactly what it predicted.

This morning the wind is still high but not as severe as last night.  Buses and trams are running again, though slower than normal I noticed when taking Hubby to work. Roads are closed, workmen are up and down the promenade assessing the damage to the illuminations and making it safe for cars.  Work has begun to move felled trees and building parts to open roads as soon as possible.

Our damage?  The patio table cover has blown off despite being held down by huge sealed packets of Fredsters food.  That is it.  What of the fence panels? - not one of them moved last night.  While the wind blew all around us those fence panels held strong.  Hubby was right.

I shall scoff no more.

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