The last few days have seen a vast and all-encompassing threat descend upon the British Isles. I refer, of course, to the media frenzy regarding the 'weather bomb' storm that made landfall yesterday, beginning in the far north west.
As far as Orkney is concerned, strong winds are a way of life, with the consequent hazards, and their subsequent mitigation, just a necessary part of living at 59 degrees North.
For OTT, this has meant one foray out into the garden to remove a large sheet of soggy bale wrap from the barbed wire fence that separates us from the neighbouring farmer's field. I'm sure it is slightly easier when it's not blowing a severe gale, but it probably made amusing viewing for anyone fortunate enough to spot my attempts to extricate it as I didn't wish to risk the whole fence disappearing eastwards at a great rate of knots.
What has been unusual though, is the sheer quantity of thunder, lightning and hail that we've been experiencing. This began on Sunday afternoon and the squally showers haven't really stopped since. Our Lass and I watched one thunderstorm traverse the length of Hoy, then hop over Hoxa Sound to continue its journey down South Ronaldsay.
So here we are, five days later, and there appears to be no let up in the amount of hail that is scudding Orkneywards.
The only downside to this is our letter box. It appears to be under the mistaken belief that it is some sort of water transfer system, rather than a portal for mail. I had carried out some remedial work on it in late Summer, with a tube of silicone elastomer gunk, but the dryish Autumn obviously lulled me into a false sense of security, as this week has seen a veritable torrent pouring through the door. A torrent only partially matched by my dark and profane utterances at the damp situation.
Of course, until it actually stops raining water and ice from the sky, there's very little chance of successfully fixing the problem. And the weather forecast gives very little hope in that regard.
Last night, I cooked a sausage casserole, as the time seemed right for some Winter comfort food. Seasonally, I look forward to celebrating the return of the parsnip and the Brussel sprout. Nom, nom,nom.