Nature’s revenge

Sitting in the airport on Friday night, waiting for my flight home, I have to admit I was struggling to come up with ideas for my blog this week. I’ve related most of the historical fun and games I’ve had with building the barn, so now you pretty much get to read it ‘live action’ (if you get my drift.) Which means if I don’t feel like doing anything, there’s nothing much to write about!

And having just had the week from hell at work, I wasn’t really feeling all that inclined to don the overalls and start grouting/plumbing/woodworking ….. Donning my PJ’s and spending a weekend on the sofa with a bottle of wine is much more where my head was. But that wouldn’t make for a great blog, would it?

Then I picked up a text from my neighbour: “Hi. Just to let you know, part of the big tree between us came down this morning….”

So, the revenge of  Mother Nature is the blog this week. Because OK, I admit, I’ve been bit smug about the fact that in spite of the ocean of rain that has fallen on Scotland in the last month or so, I am safe in the knowledge that I will never be flooded. Because I’m about 650 feet above sea-level on the side of a hill.

Unfortunately being stuck up a hill also means I’m a bit more exposed to the gale force winds that are becoming a regular part of the Scottish weather, and I’ve spent a fair few nights lying awake over the years, listening to the wind howling and wondering whether I’ll still have a roof in the morning. And it’s not groundless fears: My pump house shed did once audition for a part as the farmhouse on the Wizard of Oz, landing at the bottom of the next field – if 250kg of shed can just fly through the air with the greatest of ease, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a tree will come down one day.

So when I get a text like the one above, cue the panic. I instantly had a vision of a 60ft ash tree crashing through my roof. If I’d read the rest of the text before being distracted by my lurid imagination, I’d have discovered things weren’t quite so dramatic.

Remember that storm that buried most of the US under several feet of snow last week? Well by the time it got to Scotland it had turned into 100mph winds and yet more rain. (Like we haven’t had enough of that to last a lifetime already.) And it brought down part of the tree.


It didn’t come down through my living room roof – but that’s just the way the wind was blowing!

It meant I had to give up on the idea of being a couch potato all weekend. Since there’s more gales forecast for next week, I thought I’d better take a walk around the grounds to see if anything else at risk…

Well everything looks to be OK. The pump house shed is still in situ. There’s a couple of trees in the woods behind the house that look a bit the worse for wear, but I think they’ve just grown that way.


In any case, how would I actually know if a tree was likely to come down – it’s not like they hang a sign on their branches “I’m gonna fall soon”…

I’ll be honest, I’ve always been very nervous about the trees in my neighbour’s garden. Once upon a time there were four, but one of them was taken down several years ago when it was deemed unsafe.

Happily my neighbour has now decided the remaining three are also to come down. It’s a shame, as I do like having trees around, but I admit I’ll feel safer when these ones are gone. And there’s a silver lining in all this – those solar panels I’ve been planning will be much more effective if they’re no longer partially shaded…..

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