Monday, 18 March 2013

Go forth and do baffle!

The weather in our part of the world have been fairly constant for the last few months; Variations on three central themes - cold, wet and windy. The days where it has been none of those three have been very rare and it's been wet enough that I don't think we'll have to worry about any hosepipe bans until at least April...

For a driver, those low temperatures, the rain and the high winds can be especially problematic. In fact, possibly the worst of the lot is the wind.
My own car is not a large car, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, as it means it catches a lot less of any strong gusts. The works van, on the other hand is a different prospect. It's not a large van by any stretch of the imagination, but there is a noticeable difference, one I definitely noticed when I one day moved from an enclosed banked stretch of road onto a very exposed bridge crossing an estuary. I was already overtaking a car when a side wind suddenly blasted from the left. I'm pretty sure I left dents in the steering wheel from the grip...

Yeesh. So very glad I'm not a truck driver by profession.

I was talking about this incident to Julie recently; I had been reminded of it by the very strong winds that were currently blasting through Eastbourne and the south of England in general. In fact, I wouldn't have been surprised if the bus company had suspended services along the coast road East of Brighton. It's a very exposed stretch of road with a sheer cliff dropping into the English Channel, so it's fair enough that the company doesn't really relish the idea of a busload of people being suddenly swept off by the wind to a watery doom.
Sat in the relative comfort of our front room, however, we had the heater on full blast, a mug each of nice, hot tea, and feeling very happy to be on that side of the window. I took a sip of Lapsang Suchong and grimaced as a fresh gust sent a wheeled dustbin skittering down the road.

It may have been a tad windy outside, but my mind had just been very effectively blown.
By the way, this is the Forth rail bridge - the Forth on the Firth of Forth...