Gusts that blew me back to my schooldays

PUBLISHED: 11:28 13 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:58 13 November 2017

EDP writer Rex Hancy.

EDP writer Rex Hancy.

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In the countryside: A gusty day brought back happy memories for Rex Hancy

What excitement there is as the sound of the rising wind begins to rattle the windows! The anticipation of fun to come is almost too much to bear. I am stripping away the years and speaking as my eight-year-old self. Nowadays I fear the consequences and peer out of the window at my trees ominously lashing and swaying. All the same I do have happy memories of battling through the gusts on my way to school along the narrow lane where any form of motorised traffic was an intrusion. If the wind was in our faces we could compete in seeing how far we could lean forward at ever-sharper angles. With a following wind we opened coats and jackets, held them out like sails and felt we were being driven along like ships at sea. Were we running any faster? I doubt it but the illusion was fun.

After the recent troubles I counted myself fortunate in that here we were spared extreme conditions. Our most memorable event was the apocalyptic cloud approaching from the west which made me hurry out to retrieve a number of tools from the garden which would have been ruined by the supposed deluge in prospect. As it turned out we could almost have counted the number of raindrops. A happy medium between the few drops and a deluge would have been welcomed. Can I remember such a dry October? That, of course, was a bad situation on our already-dry soils. Tree roots are more easily shifted in such conditions.

From a major phenomenon to a ridiculously small one. After a previous blow I noticed what I thought was a brown piece of debris on the sill between our venetian blind and a double-glazed window. It turned out to be a mature grasshopper. A small window at the top of the bay is left slightly ajar to help ventilation. Any air passing through comes from the enclosed porch which itself is sealed off from the outside by further narrow slots. That grasshopper had taken a rather tortuous route to enter the lounge. Naturally our visitor had to be released in a more appropriate habitat where it could in theory have survived for several more weeks.

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