And back to winter
After the glimpse of spring in my last post, here's the other side of January in Scotland. When we left Speyside on 2 January to travel back to Edinburgh sleet was beginning to fall. Between Grantown on Spey and Aviemore the snow started - 'blin' drift' in Scots (translation: 'blizzarding snow, blown by strong winds so that it obscures your vision. 'Blin' pronounced as in 'pin'. I'm feeling rather Inuit-ish with my Scots snow terminology!) - and the road filled up very quickly. South of Newtonmore the traffic halted completely. We were comforted by the sight of a snowplough/gritter a few cars ahead of us, but all the same it was sobering to sit in a car rocked by a gale, on a desolate stretch of road, with only a food stock of left-over Christmas cake, mince pies and kettle chips. Plus the survival blankets which we always carry in the winter.
We eventually got moving without any digging out being required, and by the time we reached Perth there was no snow to be seen. Yesterday and today we're back to gales, so the year has got off to a turbulent start.
Among the pictures of this week's storm damage on the BBC Scotland website, I noted the irony of a house featured in the 'Grand Designs' programme which had lost its roof (it's the 7th photo along). On either side the stolid, very ungrandly designed houses appear unscathed.