They were a Scottish rock band weren’t they from somewhere back in the 80’s? Well I bet they sounded a darned sight nicer than the constant torrential rain lashing against our windows for the past three days. While everyone in England has been enjoying sunshine and warm spring weather, we in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland have been alternately dragged unceremoniously back into the depths of winter with sudden, unexpected snowfalls on Monday and Tuesday, then being blown away and drenched from Thursday onwards.
The garden now has more puddles than grass, flower beds are awash and the bird table has become a state-of-the-art bird bath with air-conditioning they would pay good money for in warmer climes.
It’s not as if I mind the rain, I quite like it actually, but when it becomes impossible to walk in a straight line and the birds are looking accusingly at me with eyebrows raised while I struggle to top up the feeders, tut-tutting at my feeble efforts – and the wet stuff is horizontal, well that just takes the biscuit – so to speak. It’s the humiliation really, we are so clumsy compared to birds. How do they flit across the sky looking graceful in howling gales while we stumble about the place like Friday night drunks?
52mph wind gusts were recorded by our trusty weather station this afternoon (how that thing hasn’t been blown away I’ll never know) as I grappled wildly with increasingly soggy fat-balls. When it suddenly crossed my mind that I have to be insane. Who in their right mind would be out there, in a howling gale accompanied by the afore mentioned torrential rain that was being hurled across the garden as if some giant was throwing a huge tantrum?
But the storm has passed, or so they say (for the moment) and you know what? I can’t sleep! It’s all quiet out there. All I can hear is a Tawny Owl somewhere in the glen and the rush of the burn at the side of our house, but I can’t flipping sleep! Last night, rain lashed against our windows, the roof creaked and groaned with the force of the wind and of course we were treated to the inevitable power failure during a window rattling, earth rumbling thunder storm. But mostly, I slept. After three nights of storms that kept me awake, the sound of all that weather became mildly soporific.
And another thing. I was walking through Glen Sligachan on Wednesday (the one sunny, dry day we’ve had all week). The path through the glen is easy to follow if a little wet and the dogs and I soon found ourselves half an hour in, when it suddenly dawned on me that so far this year, I had only seen frogspawn in one single place. Why this observation suddenly struck me I have no idea, a touch of de ja vous possibly, but anyhow, usually by now all the wet boggy bits (the ones that stay wet most of the year) are pretty much filled up with the stuff. So where is it?
Winter came late, not really hitting us until December and it does’t seem to want to depart any time soon either. So either the frogs are mostly still hibernating, have emigrated (coz it’s so flippin’ wet) or I’m missing something. But as we returned through the glen, I saw not one string of frogspawn. Not one single lumpy mound of it anywhere. Very strange – answers on a postcard please!!!