Wow! What a week it's been! We seem to have moved to Scotland when the weather gods decided to really pack a punch this winter with what has been called "The Beast from the East"! Cold "The Beast" met up with wet "Storm Ella", to create the storm to beat all storms - Scotland was really hit hard! Basically, we had coooold 45+ MPH winds gusts from the East (Siberia), and a wet storm from the southwest, and BAM! ❄️💥, The Beast arrived! Three days of unrelenting snow and winds battered the UK, with a fourth that finally was winding down.
Our little village of North Berwick was, basically, isolated and shut off, with all roads closed down, in and out of town, as well as within town. The services just couldn't keep up. The community spirit was great, and everyone pulled together to help those in need. The farmers saved the day in many places, using their big farm equipment to help clear roads, and to get staff and supplies to many of the care homes and hospitals that were cut off. The local stores were running out of supplies because the delivery trucks weren't able to get here, but they kept smiling and did the best they could with limited staff and limited supplies.
We were so very lucky, in that we didn't need to go anywhere, and we were basically stocked up with enough supplies to see us through, with only a couple of on foot trips to the CoOp for the necessary items. Some people were doing panic buying of bread and milk, etc, but most people were sane about their needs. We were also very lucky in that we weren't out of town, where there were record high snow drifts, and people were really isolated and STUCK! And, unlike my old ranch in California, we had no power outages, which would mean not only no electricity or heat, but no water as well! We were able to stay comfy and warm while inside, and carry on with life.
Becca and I were particularly happy to NOT be at the ranch during "The Beast", as it would have meant doing what so many of my new friends here had to do - the horses still need to eat and be cleaned up after, and have their rugs (blankets in the states) kept on them when the winds want to take them off their backs. Becca remembers throwing hay into the mangers, only to have most of it blow back in her face! And the mud - yikes! It would pull your boots off if you weren't careful. And frozen pipes - don't even get me started! I've been thinking about all my horsey friends here in Scotland, and knowing what they have been coping with - my hat's off to you all! Such dedication and love for your animals.
Since I haven't been working due to the weather, I was able, with Becca and John, (and Dory, of course - she loved the snow) to get out a lot and take photos. There are a couple here, but the rest can be seen on my photo site. I've also added al little video. At least when I'm not working now, I don't still have to pay for feed, staff, repairs, etc etc. My bills are much more basic now - such a relief. I am looking forward to getting on a more regular teaching schedule once the winter lets up a little, but this has been quite the learning experience for me as far as how an equine business works the year round in Scotland. The locals are all saying that this has been a particularly cold and harsh winter, but next year will tell.