Crossing the flyover at Inveresk's Cowpits road, I glance down on the hurtling by-pass traffic and the nagging boards predicting "dangerous heavy rain". An incongruous prophecy illuminated by a balmy sun and an innocently clear sky heavy with humidity. They're not the only portenders; the weather bloggers are in gloating anticipation and have been for five days; the Met Office have been splashing colour coded warnings and spattering their maps with exclamation triangles. Some 'casters are predicting inches of precipitation. Meanwhile the 'press' are sticking to the today and now. It's that time when sub-editors reach for their "woohoo, what a scorcher" clichés, report on water fights that descend into blood and riots, when our politicians debate work-place temperatures (apparently I should desist from bicycle riding when the thermometer passes twenty-seven degrees....the chance would be a fine thing), and sane people go paddling in the North Sea.
That was yesterday. This is today.
|Four hours after sunrise!|
I rise, to find we've returned to yet another schizophrenic Scottish summer's day. Yesterday's fleecy jacket, today's suncream, tomorrow's non-weather day. No-wind; no-colour; no pyrotechnic storm. Just a light shower of rain sometime in the night. It would seem that the forecasters have miscalculated.
Now the dusk. The purple bruised sky develops an ominous green tinge. The flag that was hanging limp suddenly rips taut, straining at tethers, an empty bin rumbles driverless down the street, whilst traffic headlamps and the butcher's illuminated window only accentuate this gathering gloom. It's Dickensian. All the portends are there for an early autumnal evening, if it wasn't for the fact that it's a high-summer's morning rush hour.
Now...the hail. A staccato of explosions on our window, shot blasting moss from the roof, gouging the grout of weeds from paving slabs, sending them to flow away down spate gutters. Roof rhones are overwhelmed, petunia blossoms are shredded from hanging baskets.
Now...the rain. Globular dollops racing down windowpanes and a wisteria vine shiver-trembling under the onslaught. Hosta leaves growing beads of silvered mercury, underprepared shoppers scurrying for shelter, all to the accompaniment of rumbling thunders.
Now...the decision. How best to take advantage of this peculiar weather event. To blog, errand or procrastinate. I try all three.
Turn to social media, only to realise that what I had assumed was lightning flash was in part, more likely 'phone cameras. The sphere is awash with storm-pics, which only helps confirm my belief that we in Scotland live in a realm of benign weathers. True, it is an unusually spectacular storm, but only in local terms, one that would be considered unremarkable on the foreshores of the River Plate.
|Just another Uruguayeño Storm.|