Day 8 of Project 31 – a Buttons Blog for every day of December.
It started to become obvious late last night that this was no ordinary spell of windy weather. At about 11.15pm the imposing red breaking news banner flashed intermittently at the bottom of the screen as Chris Eakin from the BBC’s News Channel reported that the Scottish Government had sent out an advisory notice to the majority of Scotland’s boroughs not to open their schools today. The advice was delivered by Chris in his usual calm, reassuring yet mono-chromatic style. (The world could be coming to an end and Chris Eakin’s voice would barely register an inflection). He is wonderfully, sarcastically dry. And it was laudable but more than a little amusing to watch him try to reel off the names of all the counties affected by the Scottish Government’s advice. You wouldn’t think areas such as South Ayrshire, Strathclyde or East Renfrewshire would give him that much difficulty. English is his first language after all. But he’s obviously happier pronouncing the names of the Syrian Cabinet than he is getting his head round Scottish boroughs.
I do love the BBC News Channel. Some of the presenters have wonderful personalities. It must be difficult to insert a little bit of spontaneity when you’re rigidly institutionalised by autocues and split-second timing while a producer screams into your ear. At time of writing, police have advised people in Central Scotland “not to travel” with various trunk roads and bridges closed as the numbers of the population without power continues to grow. The storm is now important enough for the BBC to have its roaming Scottish reporter attempt to conduct a outside broadcast from Helensburgh. She’ll have definitely earned her pennies by the end of the day. So too will the engineers along with the emergency services, as they grapple with as severe a storm as Scotland usually gets.
For my part, I’m currently snug as a bug in a rug, although the tumult raging around me outside is pretty darn wild. I had a short walk out in it earlier and I can tell you, it’s one of those damaging, dominant winds that leaves you feeling as though you’ve fought for every step. To be honest, the winds haven’t let up for days now. Low pressure systems have raced across the part of the world where I live all week and they just keep on coming. Hopefully this particular storm, although by far the strongest, will be the one that blows it all away and leaves us with a window of peaceful winter weather, for a change? So far, in central, southern Scotland, December has been a wild, wet and windy place to live.
If you’re reading this and are living anywhere within the central belt, south to Dumfries and Kelso, don’t travel, don’t go out unless you have to, and stay safe.