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Moreen Simpson: There was no hope for my garden fence when Storm Arwen arrived

Moreen hasn't had much luck with her garden fence over the years (Illustration: Helen Hepburn)
Moreen hasn't had much luck with her garden fence over the years (Illustration: Helen Hepburn)

Michty, that was an unca brute o’ a storm last Friday.

My heart goes out to the tens of thoosands left without heating and light for so long. Nightmare. I’ve a fear of wind – inside and oot. For some reason, my garden is a magnet for gales; every time they blow in, something ootside is demolished.

While others have garden fences which have withstood decades of the worst storms, mine is mair doon than up. OK, it was “economical” when I had it built about 15 years go. But, buy cheap… It’s cost me a fortune in repairs, replacement panels, not to mention affa hairy moments.

Like the night I woke to a huge crashing near my bedroom window. It was 5am, storm still at its peak. Into the darkness I crept to find this huge panel, one half fixed, the other free and belting back and forth like an enormous sail. Every time I thought I’d fixed it, it burst free again.

Afeart the neighbours would be up in arms at the affa noise, I spent nearly an hour ootside in my goonie just huddin’ it doon until into the wind died. Spik aboot needin’ a man aboot the place for emergency jobbies. Another time, during a summer gale which near demolished my parasol and the glass table into which it was fixed, when I went to try to lift it oot, the huge green thingie whacked back on to the bridge of my schnozzle. Wowser, fit’s up wi’ her? Two black eyes and a scabby nose.

The north-east’s answer to Dorothy in Kansas

So, when I heard warnings about Storm Arwen last week, it was nippy-bum time. Battened doon whatever hatches I could, sticking the garden chairs tight under the table. As the wind screamed, I turned my telly up even louder than usual, lest I heard the sound of destruction. Next morning, I hardly dared open my curtains. Sure enough, wreckage galore.

Two fence panels kaput, others holed and looking like they’d been in a scary fight. Holly tree at a jaunty angle. Huge chunks of concrete on the ground instead of the roof. Toots’ swing-and-chute set denuded of the slide bittie, traced to the other end of the garden.

Storm Arwen caused power outages across the north and north-east of Scotland (Photo: SSEN)

My trusty father and son gardeners arrived to survey the damage on Tuesday. They could do a patch up on the fence but reckoned, which I knew, I’d deffo need a whole new one. My knees wobbled as my lugs rattled: kerching, kerching.

Having fixed previous gale damage, Keith declared: “I suspect your garden might be at the end of a wind tunnel.” Oh, mummy, daddy helpmasquall! That’s all I need to know.

Like Dorothy in Kansas, a sitting duck to be whipped awa’ on a major gust at ony moment. The guys live in the wilds of Kincardineshire. Had they ony damage? No – but neither had they heating, lighting nor water (electric pump for well) since Friday. So, I shut my moanin’.


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