Jonathan: Storm Barbara’s on her way! Since I predicted, a few days ago, a Christmas to Remember, the Met Office’s predictions have been constantly morphing. The path, extent, direction, speed, force and duration of the storm – everything about it. Just yesterday, and for just a few hours, the forecast for Christmas Day looked to be surprisingly peaceful – a brief lull as the centre of the gyrating storm passed right through our end of South Uist. Now, the worst day looks to be the Friday 23rd, with gusts up to 80mph, but with Storm to Severe Storm winds starting the day before and only subsiding late on Christmas Eve … and then powering up again for more of the same from early on Christmas Day right through to late on Boxing Day. Barbara’s on her way, and preparations must be made!
Barbara won’t stand for untidiness! Stuff lying around in a disorderly fashion is liable to flung about violently in a fit of temper! So, today – the last day of sunshine expected for more than a week, I’ve been touring the garden and croft doing whatever is necessary before Barbara arrives! This Autumn has been very mild and temperate, so it wasn’t until early November that I fitted all the protective boards to the greenhouses – around the time that I would, normally, add additional boarding to close the narrow gap between Greenhouse 2 and Greenhouse 3. That gap has remained open until now … for our own convenience. But in severe storms, this narrow gap becomes a wind-tunnel, and generates violent turbulence that could seriously damage or even destroy the two greenhouses. The hit-and-miss boarding – the same pattern as fitted to the greenhouses themselves – filters the wind, which is more effective and safer than a solid barrier. We can still get to the greenhouses (the doors face eachother across the gap) from the sheltered north side.