OldByreSkye

gallery, cafe & apartment

Another blow for The Byre

Well, although being the middle of May, we had the wettest day of the year yesterday, with just shy of 40mm of rain recorded at Dunvegan weather station, seven miles down the road, which is nearly twice the previous wettest day for 2012.  They also recorded gusts up to 40 miles an hour: I suspect that we easily topped that as when I went down to Dunvegan in the morning to get the Sunday paper, Dunvegan seemed positively balmy.  At one point while driving down the Jimny, which is an automatic and has the aerodynamics of a breezeblock, and also likes a few minutes to warm up if its cold or has been very damp, actually changed down a gear in response to the sudden headwind.  Still not extreme for Skye though…

The effect on the burn was quite dramatic. When I went out at 5 o’clock it was about 50 cm higher than usual and fairly gushing down like a wannabe waterfall. The picture below shows a comparison with a picture taken early in March when it hadn’t been exactly dry.

What a little rain can do...

What a little rain can do…

A half-decent storm with penetrating rain also shows up the weaknesses in a property.  We already knew that the Velux windows are past their best as they leak at the bottom right corners – now that I’ve seen it happening I’ll have to see  what I can do.  Water also gets under the front door if there’s a gale behind it, so I need to fit new  It’s a classic six-panelled door – what I didn’t expect was that it would leak around some of the panels!  It needs stripping back and repainting, with more paint layers than previously.

The burn trickles down across the front of The Old Byre

The burn trickles down across the front of The Old Byre

Still; everything is still standing which is the main thing and nothing blew away.  Every one still talks of ‘the big storm a few years ago’ even if no-one ever remembers exactly when it was.  The last story I heard was from the Outer Isles where a shed was blown away: with a dog in it.  It was found later on the beach, intact, and complete with unharmed dog!  Well, perhaps mentally scarred – it won’t go into sheds any more…

Currently listening to: World of Wonders – Bruce Cockburn

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4 thoughts on “Another blow for The Byre

  1. Malcolm on said:

    The big storm was on 11th Jan 2005. it was a long noisy and scary night spent in the kitchen counting the bits of roof sliding down into the yard. I’m definitely scarred.
    I like the blog. Hope you get your door fixed soon. See you both for cup of tea sometime.

    all the best Malcolm

    • Thanks Malcolm. Your telling us about your roof blowing off was one of the more memorable introductions to Skye! We’ll be up when I’ve dug out some more aquilegia for you.

  2. finniedog on said:

    I also remember that night well being too terrified to sleep and hearing bits flying off the house. We must also remember the family of 3 generations who all perished trying to flee their house on Uist. Also the lady in Waternish who went outside but the storm was so fierce she couldn’t get back to the house and died. A friend of ours died of a heart attack with the stress. None of us will forget the sight that greeted us at daylight and shock at what we saw over the coming weeks as we moved around the island. We were far too busy trying to clear up the damage and keep warm for the first few days. We had to get what we could done in the very short daylight hours as we had no electricity or water for 5 days.
    Best wishes Carole.

    • Thanks Carole. It is indeed important to remember these things. Looking back we sometimes blot out things or make light of them. Back in the ’80s I worked over in Ireland on one of the islands off Co Cork. In the August we caught the tail end of a hurricane blown across the Atlantic. It peeled back the roof of the covered riding area and took the roof off the dining room that had just been built. Goodness knows how the roof stayed on the accommodation block. I couldn’t stand up in the wind and remember crawling out to the point to look at the sea state, dodging behind walls. Looking back it all seems like a big adventure even though I nearly got stuck on one of the very small islands in the bay doing survey work as the wind blew in some hours earlier than forcast and I spent a worrying couple of hours waiting for the zodiac to pick me up.

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