It seems autumn is well and truly upon us – the garden furniture has been stacked, put away, hidden from the coming weather and just generally put out of harms way.
The temperature is still very mild, the trees are still in full leaf, more or less, and have hardly started to turn colour. The forecasters are predicting, not quite doom and gloom, but certainly the chance of some damage, trees down and some darkening of daylight because of those pesky rain clouds.
This is all in marked contrast to 1987 when poor Michael Fish pooh-poohed the idea of a coming hurricane. I say ‘poor’ because forecasting technology has come on a long way since then, sting jets weren’t a thing, and the UK, frankly, just doesn’t do extremes of anything much. Except Extreme Ironing, which we have taken to with enthusiasm. I think it probably taps into the same mentality that dressed for dinner despite having got lost on an expedition to find the source of the Nile, or whatever.
Anyway, many of us make mistakes, particularly when we aren’t in possession of all the facts, but few of us do it on camera and have to look a nation that’s surrounded by devastation in the face the following morning.
So, the storm may or may not be as bad as 1987 but at least we know it’s coming and make plans as necessary. Part of our preparations will be to find as many rags, sponges and other absorbent material as possible. These will be for the buckets and bowls that collect all the rainwater that pour down one of the chimney stacks.
If the wind is in a particular direction, and you just know it will be in a storm this big, don’t you, then it comes down into our bedroom (yes, we have a fireplace in our bedroom). Without the rags and sponges the water hits the bottom of the bowls and buckets with a thunk…thunk………thunk thunk thunk……thunk, which keeps us awake. If there is no wind at all (not quite what we are expecting tomorrow) then it comes down the neighbouring flue to the inglenook, thunks, wakes the dog, who barks, and wakes us up.
Either way, pink sponges have become a regular part of our storm preparations, along with everything else. Keep safe out there, everyone.