Okay, okay. So it's midnight-thirty and I am not in the bed. But for good reason tonight. I've stayed up a little while longer so that I write this post.
All the world seems to be experiencing weird weather...severe weather. And the northwest of England was no exception.
My SIL, my niece and I headed out to Preston to do some shopping - they were getting outfits for a wedding and I wanted a Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker. Ridiculous, I know, but true.
Well, the wind last night was definitely what one would call "howling." You could hear it through any small crack in the house - through the windows, through the doors - it was awful. The shopping trip was planned for today (yesterday) and I was thinking of calling them to tell them that I didn't want to go. I was sure it wouldn't be much fun in that kind of weather.
When you're right, you're right.
We were only out for about 4 hours, and that includes travel time. It was horrific.
I talked my SIL into parking a bit closer today, thinking that fighting the wind would be un-amusing. When you're right...
We shopped in one store, where we were all unsuccessful in our endeavors, so we headed up the high (main) street to try our luck in some other shops. Big mistake. We three were windblown and disheveled before we got to the corner of the one block that we walked - our lips were chapped, our cheeks had the blush of the wind-worn; we were not cute. All the while, my niece and I were dreaming of Starbucks and warmth and Belgian chocolate brownies (as a reward for suffering through whinging and moaning as my SIL found nothing that she either liked or wanted in shop after freakin' shop. In point of fact, she probably wasn't moaning. The niece and I were just bitter and stinging from the fact that my SIL wouldn't let us be our own worst enemies and eat fudge- and caramel-filled donuts, even though we really, really wanted them).
As we walked back towards four-pump vanilla latte goodness, we noticed that there was a rather extensive and disturbing police presence along the high street. We thought, "Robbery" (there are a bunch of jewelry stores on that street), then we thought, "Heart attack" (there were a bunch of old people walking around in gale force winds being blown into the sides of buildings, so sue us), then we noticed that there was rubble in the street next to a brick building and we thought, "Shit! There's rubble from a brick building in the street." It was then that we noticed how all of the shops were shut and that police were waving us away from the doors in an effort to save us from potential falling tiles and flying Accrington brick. But they were also shooing me away from my beloved latte-brownie fix and my niece away from matte perfection. Not fair. It was so close. We could see it.
And so the bitching began. We couldn't go back into the store we wanted to go into, my SIL and niece couldn't get their make-up and I couldn't have caffeine - it wasn't going to be good for anybody.
We complained all the way back to the car. We complained all the way home in the car. We complained while we drank instant coffee in the kitchen after we got out of the car.
And then we saw the news.
Nine people died as the UK was pummeled by storms from one end of the country to the other. There were 78 MPH winds, ferry services were cancelled, train services were suspended and flights were indefinitely delayed in nearly every major airport (with flights already in the air being lucky to land at all). Trees were felled, piers and seacoasts were battered by walls of water and roads were covered in water, snow or sand.
I'm sorry, what were we complaining about again? I couldn't have a designer coffee? My niece and SIL couldn't have new Nars foundation? Seriously, what is wrong with us?!
My SIL's house escaped relatively unscathed (a few roof tiles missing) and our house went untouched - all roof tiles, windows and cats accounted for (though our front and back garden fences didn't fare quite as well, as there is one small section missing from each). The same couldn't be said for everyone.
I'll have to make a better check of the house and the garden tomorrow when it's light.
For now, the wind has died down and it's quiet outside.
Forecast for Friday: light rain and westerly winds of about 10 MPH. That's much better than it's been.
Still, poor little pup.