Scotland was visited by severe winds yesterday and for once Biggles’ bottom had nothing to do with it. We’d prepared for the storm the night before by tying down all light stuff in the garden, but living in a rural area – as we do – there’s no shortage of tree branches and fence posts that could be turned into missiles in a gale. For that reason Susan curtailed Beanie & Biggles’ first walk the following morning. As the day wore on TV & radio brought stories of closed schools, bridges and roads, overturned lorries and falling masonry, but our local area seemed to be getting off very lightly. Eventually curiosity got the better of me and I ventured out to the beaches in Irvine and Troon to see the state of play for myself. I took the camera with me, but not the pups. Even if the debris had mostly stopped flying, those big flapping ears could be a liability; one strong gust of wind could have left me struggling to hold on to two airborne Beagles. Biggles might be named after a pilot but I didn’t want to put his flying skills to the test!
As I arrived at Irvine Harbor the gale seemed pretty tame, until I tried to get out of the car that is. I almost had to use my legs against the door to push it open against the wind, and once I’d fully extracted myself, forward progress was very slow. I watched as a series of people parked up alongside me and took the slow, deliberate 45 degree walk towards the sea. They’d each get out to the furthest point along the harbor wall and use their mobile phones to take a picture, only to return with a chunk of dead technology in their hands as the rain and sea spray did their worst.
A few seagulls seemed equally determined to brave the elements. The ones that tried to fly into the wind soon tired, lost ground and when they turned back towards the land they returned with the speed of jets! As I looked around it became clear that the storm had been even stronger earlier in the day, as the grassy bank above the harbor wall was littered with debris from the sea.
As I left the tide was on its way out and the harbor was enjoying a brief respite from the wind and rain.
Back at home, it was immediately obvious that we had two very bored Beagles. The mail had been shredded, there was a strong smell of fart and feet in the air, and there was much tugging of tails and biting of ears going on.
Since our normal running club session had been cancelled that evening I decided that the best solution all round was to harness up Beanie & Biggles and take them out for a short run. The gale had now subsided to the point where there was no longer any danger, but it was still very windy, cold and wet. I hated it; within the first five minutes I’d lost all feeling from the skin on my legs, face and hands, but the dynamic duo loved it. I don’t know why, but both of them always get really excited when they’re out on windy days, and as I kept my head down to shield my eyes from the lashing rain they merrily led me through all the puddles and piles of horse dung they could find. The run did the trick though – burning off all their excess energy – and while they settled down on the sofa for the evening, I lapsed into a coma in a hot bath.