Last night, we watched the weather forecast and OH said ‘Good heavens! Look at that wind!!1‘ Tightly packed little arrows were sleeting viciously right across the UK chart and swirling across to Europe where presumably they intended to upset a whole lot more people.
And then, not being someone to whom the weather matters hugely, I forgot about it until this morning, when I woke to the merry sound of those little arrows, sleeting away like mad and producing all kinds of vicious windy noises, and incidentally bringing buckets of rain along with them which they were dropping carelessly all over the place.
The dogs didn’t get walked very early. That was just as well, because Sid got up around eight-thirty and pootled into the lounge to sink gratefully into his favourite bed, and Jeffie didn’t put in an appearance until nearly ten – only to do the same thing. I didn’t even have time to take his pyjamas off before he was asleep again by the radiator as if he’d been there all night.
Around 11.30am the rain stopped and the sun came out2. We quickly hustled the dogs to the door, where I put their collars and leads on, and a raincoat on over Jeffie’s pyjamas, and we took them for a very quick walk.
On the way back, OH said:
‘Is that a helicopter? I would have thought it was too dangerous to fly in this wind!’
I listened carefully, and couldn’t hear one. Then a car came out of the village towards us going ‘thrumthrumthrumthrumthrum’ and I turned to him and said:
‘No, not a helicopter. It’s the wind. It’s gusting so hard it’s snatching the sound away.
Not sure I’ve heard that happen before.
For the rest of the day, the dogs stayed close to the radiators, curled up in their beds. It’s true that Jeffie came and poked his nose outside once or twice, but when he felt those little arrows tearing around, he poked it right back inside again and went back to bed, sure that his bladder would hold out just a little bit longer 3.
At one point, the parasol over the fish pond broke clean in half, despite the fact that I’d ripped gashes in each section to let the wind through, and we had to go out and fight the wind to get it down safely and into the garage where it couldn’t break any windows or cause a traffic accident. OH then drove to the nearest garden centre for pond netting – without which we’d probably have woken up to a complete absence of fish4 – and we struggled and fought to put that over the water.
We walked the dogs during another lull in the rain. I got grit in my eye twice as we passed the place where they’re demolishing a bungalow (who does this kind of thing in a howling gale?) but we stayed dry. On the way back home, OH turned to me.
OH: ‘This is not very lamb-like! You said it would go out like a lamb!’
Me: ‘Well, these Old Wives Tales aren’t exactly 100% accurate, you know.’
OH: ‘But you promised!’
Me: ‘I’m sorry .. but you know, we have a few days yet. Let me see .. yesterday was the 28th, so … Tuesday. We have until Tuesday.’
OH: ‘But this is ferocious! You think this will calm down by Tuesday? We’re supposed to be getting a bad few days, you know!’
Me: ‘Well, you never know, it might! These are definitely March winds. Maybe we’ll get April showers next.’
Fast forward to the evening, when we were watching an hour of television and eating bacon sandwiches. The rain was lashing down so hard it was managing to go horizontal and bouncing off the windows.
OH: ‘That is NOT an April shower’.
Me: ‘No, that is a ‘Flood The Patio’ shower’.
OH: ‘April showers are supposed to come out of a clear blue sky. They are gentle things!’
We both stared glumly out of the window to where the wind and rain were joining forces in a kind of vendetta against mankind.
OH: ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb. That’s what you said.’
Well, all I can say is that March did indeed come in like a lion, but against all the old-wifely rules, it appears to be going out like one, too.
If it goes on like this, the April showers won’t be bringing us flowers to bloom in May, they’ll be beating those shrinking violets to death and shredding the primroses like confetti. But we do have until Tuesday…
1 This is not exactly what he said. He said a Rude Word. I didn’t want to sully your ears.
2 Those bloody little arrows were still at it, though. And there were millions of them.
3 And amazingly, it did. For an old guy with some issues, he did well. That Vivitonin4 is doing a great job!
4 A drug used for Canine Cognitive Disorder, or as we like to call it, ‘Dogszheimer’s’.
5 We live in the fens where the land is flat and criss-crossed by dykes. The dykes have small fish and frogs and toads and small grass snakes and so on that live in them and therefore it is a great place for herons. Unfortunately for those of us with pond fish, in the winter and early spring, the small fish in the dykes are all hard to find and there is a definite dearth of reptiles and amphibians of all kinds, so the herons like to visit us to take advantage of what they probably think of as an all-you-can-eat buffet.
We’d sunk an old, but extremely sturdy garden parasol deep in the earth by the pond to deter the herons, with air vents so it didn’t take off and it’s done well all bloody winter, right up to now.