Since moving to Aberdeenshire, my mum and I tend to text each other daily with a local weather report. I have to be honest, most of the conversations go something like this:
Mum: What's your weather like today? Very windy here, and wet.
Me: Lovely here. No rain, and we never have wind!
Mum: I don't think I believe you. You still live in Scotland, don't you?
Me: Not sure. They claim it's Scotland, but feels like a million miles away ;)
And so goes our daily weather-related chat. But in the past week or so, the weather around Aberdeenshire has been wet. Exceptionally wet. We are very, very fortunate to live high up, close to Bennachie, but some folks in the nearby Inverurie and Kintore have had a really rough time, with flooded houses and businesses.
The road leading up to the cottage in which we're living had fast-flowing streams rushing down it. The water washed away the surface (small) stones, and most of it now is down to the hard rock. It's like the surface of the moon in parts!
Fortunately, the Builder was able to make drains and flow water away from the hotel. Yes, there was a lot of surface water in the surrounding area, but at least the buildings were safe.
I took this on the drive in to Inverurie, which is about five miles from where we are. This was Thursday, and the rain was still lashing down at this point. The water you see in these fields isn't a river or a loch - it's simply flooded fields! Thankfully, all the farmer's homes and their livestock were, as far as I could tell, safe from the flooding.
And this was when I was driving home. It was 3:10pm, but was dark enough to make it seem like early evening.
I know we get dark early here in the North of Scotland, but on that day last week, it really did feel like it stayed at early dawn light until it was time for dusk light.
BUT ... what a difference a day makes!
Katie and I nipped in to Inverurie on the following day. The waters were still high, but the sky was blue and there was hope that the waters would keep receding.
The River Don has burst its banks, hence this riverside bench looking rather lonely and forlorn. And wet.
Hopefully, it will not be too long until it's once again being used by sitters, enjoying the peace that comes from sitting by a gently flowing river.
On the other bank, I noticed this sign:
Not being familiar with this part of Inverurie, I asked a man standing alongside me if this was indeed a playing field. 'Yes', he answered. 'It's our football park!'
As I headed back to the car, in which sat the ever-patient Katie (ahem), I snapped this scene. It's funny how water draws us, even when the water is where it shouldn't be.
Thankfully, despite the rainfall and the flooding in places, there was no loss of life. That is the most important thing of all.
Just before I close this post, I'm going to show you a couple of photos of the estate, just so you can see the difference between 'us and them'. These photos were taken on the same day as the last ones (above).
It's so beautiful around here, and we seem to get the best of all the weather. Less rain than others. Definitely less flooding. Barely any wind. Snow, when no one else has it!
I'll tell y'all what: I'll make another blog post tomorrow, showing y'all some of the photos I took around the estate last Friday. Some things are too lovely to keep hidden, eh?