Most of the UK has been hit by strong winds recently. Parts of Scotland have been without power for days now, and there are coastal flood warnings in place. Here in Norfolk, we have had a constant flow of strong gusts of wind. Last night, it was so windy I could hardly sleep, and have felt dopey all day as a result. I suppose the wind seems worse because there is no other noise to hear. Living in London, everything else was as noisy, so the wind made little difference. Here in Beetley, it is so quiet after dark, that the sound of wind in the trees, blowing leaves, and buffeting against the house, seems really bad.
I decided to make my weekly shopping trip earlier today. The evening forecast was bad, so I resolved to get out and about before my habitual dog-walking time of 2pm. By the time I returned and unpacked the goods, Ollie was running late for his walk, and we didn’t get out until 2.30. It wasn’t especially cold, but when the wind gusted, that was cold, and I felt it on my face. It also carried small drops of ice-cold rain, which made the walking less than pleasurable. It appeared that the inclement weather had also kept in most of his regular gang members, as few other dogs were around. I picked up the pace to keep warm, and after a few circuits, I spotted two rabbits, brazenly feeding on the grass near to the picnic benches. I hissed the word to Ollie, ‘Bunnies!’ He took off like a dog possessed, as he saw the two ahead of him. One of the rabbits made a quick escape into a warren. The other paused, seemingly confused, before plunging under the dry branches. Ollie was close on his fluffy heels, even following into the undergrowth. But of course, he wasn’t going to catch his prey, as it scuttled down a convenient hole.
At least the exercise was good. Ollie emerged, frothy-mouthed with excitement. He looked at me as if I could magically make the rabbits reappear, and we carried on walking. We bumped into Poppy the Lakeland terrier, and her genial owner. He commented on the weather, in particular the abundance of leaves so late in the season. Ollie ran around with Poppy for a while, but she was more interested in her tennis ball, than being chased by an older male dog. It started to get darker, and the rain became more persistent. I decided to head for home early, after less than ninety minutes out. On the way back, we spotted Bella, the grey Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She can be unhappy with some other dogs at times, so is kept on her lead. She likes Ollie though, and rushed over to see him. I exchanged pleasantries with her owner, and headed off through the exit for home.
By the time it got dark, the wind had brought torrential rain to the party. The gutters soon gave up trying to cope, and the side entrance is awash. I have been out to the shed twice, to check if it is flooding, and I am worried that our tall metal chimney may not endure the gales.
I really hate winter.