Sunday, January 18, 2009

Not '68 then

We're still here. It didn't blow last night, and by midnight was more or less calm. I think the Met Office have been more careful to have us well alarmed since the 1968 storm, when I can remember we were given no hint of the terrifying night to come on the telly that Sunday evening. We were lucky - we lost a chimney pot, which crashed through the skylight but not the interior fanlight, and were kept awake all night by the trumpet-blasts of wind hitting the copper draught-excluder on our bedroom windows. (I remember my fury when I realised that my parents, whose room faced away from the wind, had slept all night.) But the morning showed the devastation all around us: tenements with half the gable-end walls pulled down as the chimney head fell; roofs with gaping holes which were subsequently left covered in tarpaulin for months - years, even - as Glasgow's builders struggled to deal with the damage. I walked to college (Jordanhill - and was I glad I wasn't on school placement after a sleepless night) marvelling at the lives laid bare for all to see - and realising that lives had also been lost.

But today is no longer red on the map, and it is merely miserable - dark, cold, sleety. A day, in fact, to waste a little time bamboozling your brain, or your eyes, or whatever combination of the two results in seeing your skin crawl after thirty seconds of staring at the computer screen. You can have a bash here, at eChalk optical illusions - I found the spiral pinwheel illusion the most disturbing, and I didn't try the gears one that threatens to make you feel sick - too easy, in my case.

As for me, I feel the need to revisit the game I played obsessively throughout my last year of teaching. It used to impress my S-grade boys when I asked for tips; my street-cred was sky-high. As too many of my readership are not 15 year old boys, however, and as the game itself is pretty old-hat nowadays, I will refrain from confessing any more. Guess away, kiddies!

Update: I've just found out that the storm in '68 fell on Sunday night, 15 January - so the equivalent of today, really. How satisfying.


  1. Chris, I had never heard of these windstorms...well, perhaps I did, but wasn't paying attention properly.

    The thought of living in the southern part of the US where hurricanes and tornadoes are active in the spring and summer just throws me over the edge...I just cannot stand the heat anyway, and living with such other elements seems unreasonable to me!

    I thought only the US was home to such atrocities as hurricanes, or hurricane-force storms.

    It is such a blessing that such wicked invasions can now be forecast. Although there is loss of property and life, at least the masses can prepare ahead and perhaps save their lives before the thing becomes a reality.

    Thank the Lord all was well last night, and the weather folks were a bit over zealous in their warnings, after all!

    Sleep well tonight, dear Chris!

  2. Anonymous8:21 AM

    Do you remember the mess the grounds at Jordanhill were in? I seem to remember tree debris everywhere and the old gyms were made unsafe and we had to wait until the new ones were built to continue with our dreaded PE.

  3. CHRIS! Oops. Sorry to yell, but in regards to your comment on my blog about needing is the Canadian company that made my new boots. I got the lovely Wellie competitors to show you. I especially like the Tartan model. (I LOVE the color blue!!!!)

  4. Wait a MINUTE!

    Gads...after I typed in my comment, my verification word was
    "ableu". Good grief!