Farming families are obsessed with the weather, but for those of us who have glasshouses and poly tunnels, storms are our enemy. I’ve been tracking the approach of Storm Eunice on the Met Office app and checking the neighbourhood WhatsApp group for news of disasters. Aesop wrote a story about a dispute between, the Sun or the Wind – who was stronger? The Sun won. I dispute that result. I’ve seen what the wind can do.
Ten years ago, I wrote this post.
Wind is the weather that frightens me most. I have cowered in a caravan while wind has rocked it like a demented mother. I have stood paralysed while a tornado blackened the sky and ripped its dark path though one greenhouse after another. I have held my breath in the after calm, shocked by the devastation, fearful of its return and grateful that things were not much, much worse.
Yesterday the sky blackened once more.
Beloved, knew it was coming. Winds had been forecast , and were already high, but he’d also had a phone call from Father-in-Law, who lives a couple of hours away, warning us a line squall had passed over his place and was heading our way.
I was working on the end-of-year report when it hit. My computer switched off. The power was out. In a heartbeat, the gusting wind outside changed to a tearing, rain-lashed storm force 10. Fence panels and gas canisters blew past my office window. My first thought was for the children.
Safe at school. Solid, brick-built, sturdy school.
But where was Beloved? I threw my coat on and battled outside. The rain was tidal, lashing in horizontal waves, the wind threatened to tip me over. I struggled to keep hold of the farm office door but he was there, and safe.
‘I’m scared.’ I said.
‘I know.’ He said.
We clambered through the fallen trees that blocked the track and pushed through the rain to check the greenhouse. Some of the guttering had been torn free but it hadn’t smashed into the glass. I ran on, turned the corner expecting to see upturned caravans, the farm camp looked intact. All seemed okay until we saw the tunnels on the back field. Plastic flapped like the wing of some huge, distressed bird. Metal was buckled and flattened. The wind billowed under remaining covers, sheering rope and threatening more damage. Beloved ran to the rope store. As rain washed our faces and wind tugged tearing rope burns into our hands, we lashed down the plastic and saved at least some of the metalwork.
The wind eased, the sky cleared.
We headed out to the road. Trees blocked it in both directions. So much devastation in such a short time.
‘I’ll get the chainsaw.’ Said Beloved.
Stay safe people, see you on the other side. I hope.