High winds always make me a bit nervous and if I’ve been kept awake at night by a storm raging outside, in the morning I go through a mental checklist:
Chickens? Check, coop still where it was last night.
Fence? Check, upright (but looking a bit rocky).
Roof? Check, or at least no tiles on the ground (this also involves a quick look at our cars parked on the drive as, previously, we have had a very narrow miss with a ridge tile).
Eventually, I have to bite the bullet and step outside to see if it’s safe to take the dog out as most of our usual routes takes us under or past trees. A clever animal, she has once or twice made the decision for us and disappeared back in the door before I can close it behind us.
Autumn is, of course, the traditional time for gales and ever since I can remember we’ve caught the tail end of hurricanes that have rushed across the Atlantic from the Caribbean.
And this year has been no different, with Hurricane Gonzalo this week causing varying amounts of damage across this country having wrought havoc in Bermuda.
Whenever we get weather warnings about gales, my mind takes me back to The Great Storm of 1987, when Michael Fish was famously over-optimistic with his forecast (not that anything he could have said would have prevented the terrible damage inflicted that night).
Embarrassingly, I slept very soundly that night and was blissfully unaware of what was going on outside.
I didn’t get any real sense of the storm’s impact until my wife returned home several hours after leaving me – comfortably in bed on a day off – to say she’d been trying to get to work but found herself driving around in ever-decreasing circles finding roads closed by fallen trees.
Those days are long gone. Not only do I not get a lie-in on my days off, but nowadays there’s no way of avoiding doom-laden weather warnings which create a frenzy in the press (with apologies to my colleagues).