Friday, October 19, 2007

Where Were You When the Big One Hit?

October 16, 1987? I was still in America. Those in England remember the devastation and deaths from the Hurricane that hit these isles unexpectedly in the early hours of the 16th. Not until now have I learned that a small collection of trees on top of the south downs, the Chanctonbury Ring, were mostly blown down. Historic trees knocked out for ever.

But how our memories can play tricks. We've been discussing details of the storm of 1987, in particular the Michael Fish gaff. (Google his name if you want to find out about what happened). However some memories have their origin in a later, and more devastating, event. From the Burns Night storm of 1990, which I remember, and survived. This time the weather forecast gave us good warning. All the same I was out driving to Newcastle Airport to pick up a monk flying in from the US. Branches were flying across the road and I remember thinking, This feels dangerous! It was, very.

This evening a chap at the Priory had his cell phone on. He was 'on call' for trees, that's trees blown down over roads which have to be removed what ever the time of day, or night. Thankfully there is not a puff of wind this evening.