In Falkirk you learn to weather the storm

All this wind, rain and snow is nothing new to us.

By Kate Livingstone
Friday, 14th February 2020, 11:24 am

The newsreaders speak of the weather in hushed tones normally reserved for the worst serial killers or disasters, natural or otherwise.

Meteorologists even give these storms names so we can humanize weather phenomena and fear them even more – like the boogeyman coming to our door.

“Look out Boaby is just off the coast.”

“Senga is going to hit the town hard tonight.”

“Better not go to yoga hen, Storm Shug is scheduled to descend upon us later this afternoon.”

The thing is, weather in Scotland is just that – weather.

Whether weather is good or whether weather is bad – which it more often than not is – we just get on with it and deal with things as they happen.

Anyone who has lived or even visited Inverness will laugh when weathermen like Sean “he drives me” Batty warn us to take care due to “strong winds” and “80 to 100mph gales”.

Do you mean the default setting for Inverness?

I once leaned into the wind in Inverness and found the elements could, in fact, completely support my considerable weight.

You don’t need expensive make-up products to get yourself a pair of healthy, rosy cheeks – just take your balaclava off and stand outside anywhere north of Fort William and the wind will soon etch some ruddiness into your very soul.

In other words, what people from the southern regions of the UK refer to as extreme weather, we just call weather in Scotland.

Another day another rain shower.

Sometimes we have a natural occurring miracle in Scotland that few other parts of the UK enjoy – the four seasons in one day experience, or even, as I once witnessed at the Falkirk Wheel a few years ago, the four seasons in quarter of and hour.

I was sitting relaxing in the bright sunshine one minute only for the sky to turn dark as a coalman’s nasal passages before it unleashed the hell of hailstones upon us and the once warm, calm day became cold, windy and wet for several minutes.

Just when I was about to go back to my car to see if I had been wise enough to bring an overcoat to put over my t-shirt, the dark skies became brighter than a politician’s smile on polling day, the wind, rain and hail disappeared and the sun and heat returned.

It was as if someone had flicked a switch on and off.

I’ll admit that was a wee bit extreme – but it happens so often that you just get used to it.

I think the only thing that tends to shock the Scots when it comes to climate is if we have a run of good weather – I’m talking about a week or two of really bright sunshine, blues skies and high temperatures.

Then we really start to panic.

Those red cheeks of the folk from up north become less noticeable as the rest of their faces become sunburned.

So the heat is hard for us, but don’t come around talking about wind, rain or snow.

To paraphrase my old pal Shania Twain, that just doesn’t impress us much.