Monday, 11 June 2012

Rough winds do shake th’ Olympic flames of June

They might have known...
“Windy conditions put out two flames on lanterns at the Callanish stones monument, promping an emergency dash to collect a spare flame.” - BBC News UK, 11-6-12
An Ill Wind
“But nor satisfied ever, nor weary / Is ever the wind.”   [A.C. Swinburne, ‘By the North Sea’]
                One of the things about Lewis that visitors find not only disconcerting but even downright annoying is our habit of greeting each other with the words.  “It’s a bit breezy!” when in fact, we are gasping our way through a howling gale; it is annoying for many of them because the persistent high winds is the one aspect of our climate to which they find it most difficult to adjust themselves.
                Natives, like myself, usually accept as a matter of course, especially in the winter time, the necessity of almost perpetually leaning in one direction in order not to be blown in another.  But when one has to resort to such devices for a fortnight in the month of May, even the native begins to grumble, because by that time we are beginning to look for softer weather and some of the balm that gives us growth.
                Instead of that a cold grey wind has been blowing out of the west with wearisome and unabated persistence, keeping home fishing boats in harbour, sending strange craft for its land-locked shelter, chasing the grey seal (which appears to have adopted Stornoway) to some more sheltered nook of his own, blasting flowers, shrubs and trees, laying its mortifying hand on all tender growth, - until as I listen to “the moan that he borrows from darkness and depth of the night” I am left with “the sense that eternity never shall silence his voice.”
                - from another 'As I See It', “M.S.”, Stornoway Gazette, 22 & 25/05/1956

No comments:

Post a comment