Saturday, 22 December 2012
The UK is being battered by bad weather again. Much of England is suffering from torrential rain on already rain soaked earth resulting in yet more floods. In North East Scotland, Orkney and Shetland we have gales. In fact we have had gales since Thursday AND been without a ferry since then too! This is partly due to "staff sickness" of the crew and weather. It looks like this will continue till Monday when the wind abates.
However Famine was averted by the Harbour Pilot Boat, John Rae (pictured above, photo taken by Mick Braddock) which visited the island on Friday bringing supplies from the town. Phew! I was doing OK as I am reasonably well stocked up and can probably survive to March with what I have stashed!! But others had been planning on shopping for the Christmas festivities at the end of the week so supplies were welcome. We hadn't had post either as it couldn't be shipped over, so the pilot boat brought that too. Lots of Christmas cards and parcels to keep everyone happy.
As I say I keep my freezer well stocked. I freeze bread (and keep a supply of flour to make bread too); milk (low fat milk freezes OK), butter, meat, home cooked meals and vegetables. I have plenty of pasta, pulses and rice in the store cupboard and tins of food too. I even have a yogurt maker (using a powdered formula) to have fresh yogurt. Of course there is always the opportunity to make soup too which is always very comforting.
My old camping lantern failed last power cut so I have ordered a new one but that is yet to arrive. I've plenty of torches (I prefer these to candles though I have those too) and just hope the power lasts so I have heating and light!
I feel sorry for folk travelling to and from Orkney for the Christmas break. The main ferries to and from the Scottish Mainland are disrupted too. Shetland has one life-line ferry service and that has failed to sail since Wednesday so Tesco hired some Hercules aircraft and shipped a load of food into the supermarket there.
Meanwhile in Orkney the Churchill Barriers, which link the islands of Burray and South Ronaldsay are suffering from the high tides and are being shut at periods of extreme tide and wind. This means folk have been stranded either side as the Police have to shut the road access for safety.
All in all a difficult time for most folk. The wind is increasing as I type and is due to get up to about 60mph later on about midnight and continue into tomorrow. It's hoped it will drop after mid-day. I've been out and fed the hens with extra rations, and Charlie in the Barn too has had lots of food and now we just have to hope for the best.
Of course Button is trying to sleep through it all, though is getting a little bored - sigh.. She woke me at 6am today as I'd blocked off the cat flap for safety. She was desperate to go out and made a dash for the relative shelter of the garden. Of course I sat up till she was ready to come in.... I have a litter tray in the porch for her but she's too fussy to use that and will make a dash for it in most weathers. Um.... tonight could be interesting!
Here's the weather for today..... The dark red is over Orkney & Shetland!