Saturday, 8 December 2007

less than peachy

How could I have forgotten? I have never actually spent a whole winter in Scotland! Past two winters I spent quite a few months with herself in/on (can one be in Long Island or should one be on...hmmm...would the EP know) Long Island.
The winter months are not warm in her part of the world but, the sun does occasionally shine. Scotland now is a whole other story! Take today, must be day fifteen of wet, cold,grey dampness. Yesterday, the sun did pop out, a small reminder that life continues elsewhere in the world. So...we had sunshine followed shortly by rain and then very small hail.

Well maybe in the UK this size of hail may not be considered small, but let us never forget, I hail from Africa, wild country, wild weather. In South Africa when the sky grows ominously dark and the clouds take on a greenish hue, expect hail. Glorious hail, the size of golf balls, on the rare occasion tennis balls, hard, jagged, scary hail which tears the leaves from the branches, brings profit to window repair companies and would render one slightly unconscious were one to venture out in it.

I must admit, yesterday was not exactly...well, peachy. Today however we have attained a whole new definition of the phrase foul weather. I think we may be experiencing sleet. I have no previous personal experience of this phenomena but I have heard others describe the slanting, icy rain...peppered with what looks like snowflakes, mostly rain, a few snow flakes! The cold is bitter, the central heating is attempting to maintain a comfortable temperature... without much success.

The sheep, bless 'em have moved down to our side of the hill, there must be less of a gale blowing this side! At least I have company while I smoke, outside, in the sleet! Set me to thinking...
'I wonder what it feels like to be a sheep, a very wet, actually sodden sheep. Does the wet penetrate right through that thick woolly coat, how heavy is a lambswool coat when it is holding gallons of rain water. Does a wet coat still keep you warm?'
They... the wet and woolly ones, appear unperturbed, they continue to munch their way through life and the green hills of Ayrshire. Now, if only I was a sheep whisperer we could all have a little chat, about the variety of grass available, the weather and how they feel about it. We might discuss the tendency of Scottish mud to seep between the walls of their hoof, where it hardens and causes pain and limping.They might even reveal whether they prefer their summer grass with a little slug added or if they prefer the clean, slug free grass of winter.

Unfortunately, I am not much of a sheep whisperer, so I stand, scrunched against the abysmal misery of this December day, wondering..."how much of a need to communicate do sheep have, they never stop chewing, communicating would probably interfere with their digestive process.'

This old world of ours is a grand place, never a day in my life goes by without a new question, a new answer, a new sense of wonder.

Then there is the constant burning question..."when are you going to give up smoking you yogurt top?"
Yep, that is always a question for another cold, wet day. I've tried answering that one before and I have come to a firm decision...some questions are best left unanswered.


Puddock said...

O happy memories of dreich Ayrshire days (that's the official Scots word for that kind of weather - dreich) where winter is month upon month of unglamorous, cold, damp days - how I miss it!

Some years ago I heard that the Inuit have many (some say 9, some say 18, some say 100) words for snow. Well, the Scots have dozens of words for rain and the act of raining. And now you know why!

Mike S said...

It tends to the cooler side here in winter as well. It's 2020 now and 12F\-11C and dropping for the night. We also get sleet, snow, hail, and all the rest. But it seems so much warmer than I remember Scottish winter. Maybe it's the snow. We have strong breezes constantly in this valley, but you can always find a tree to shelter you from it.
When I lived in Florida my pick-up and camper-cap were all dented from too many hail storms.
If you're wearing natural wool clothing and fall in icy water, you'll stay much warmer much longer than almost anything but a wet-suit because of the structure of the wool hairs and the oils.
You could always quit smoking and use the extra money to go south for winter. Just a thought:)

sandwriter said...

Thanks puddock, I love a new word and "dreich" is sheer descriptive genius!

sandwriter said...

Mike! -11c...oy! I know what you mean though, Scotland has a damp cold which seems to work it's way into ones bones. Especially when said bones are not as young as they used to be m;-)