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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Blog 85. Scary Scotland!

Almost too tired to blog after last week’s house move, I find myself quaking with alarm surrounded by boxes and a ferocious unbelievable assault of all-encompassing noise.

It would be too far a stretch to suggest that the last few weeks were an adventure. Adventure to me suggests fun, anticipation, nervous excitement. I’ve moved houses a few times, possibly more than average. This has been the most harrowing, energy draining and sleep-depriving bar none.

Scotland (Edinburgh especially) is where I wanted to be and where I now am. I moved here for, among other things, new creative opportunities. That box seemed to be getting ticked when I was offered two performance opportunities before the removal guys had even dumped my stuff in the wrong rooms and spilt the pot plant. (Looking forward to doing a short set for 10 Red at The Persevere in Leith next Wed 4th June). And I already have myself entangled in a slam – a kind of a poetry blood sport I promised myself I would avoid – but hey – I also promised myself I would do the first 10 things I was offered up here, so that trumps the earlier decision.

Something however is amiss. Something is scary. Something is wrong.

I am not talking about a social political uncertainty created by the looming referendum (see blog 37). I am not referring to the unease we feel listening to the frankly, school playground pronouncements from both sides. And by the way, who or what is the ‘No’ side now that Alistair Darling is being sidelined and the No campaign have their hands full trying to keep at bay some elements they would rather not be associated with?
Nor – while we are on the subject – is my fear to do with the deeply depressing recent election results showing that parts of the UK have a taste for bigots in suits (see blog 82 Max Clifford, UKIP & all our yesterdays) – though that is unnerving. Unnerving that is unless you are an able bodied white bloke with a pint in one hand a fag in the other happy to be at the head of a bunch of chauvinist, homophobic, racist misogynists.

No. I am talking about the rain.

Good lord.

I went outdoors. I thought was going to be beaten to death by RAIN.

I am no stranger to torrential rain. I am not unfamiliar with the biblical deluge; I lived in the north of the North of England for heaven’s sake. I am no stranger to a fearsome downpour, even one that goes on and on. There is some rain that seems far too heavy to just go on and on and on but it does, then it rains some more.

Also, I have experienced Edinburgh rain – usually during the fringe in the height of what is laughably referred to as summer (see blog 2 Edinburgh). I have performed at the Edinburgh fringe with just my poetry between me and rain Armageddon. I have walked through the streets of this great city with the rain so heavy that as it hit the pavement it ricocheted up my trouser leg so that if felt as if it were raining from below as well as above.

But today I saw/felt/heard rain that would have made Noah weep – even Noah as played by Russell Crow.
For the record and in case it is brilliant sunshine this Tuesday 27th May, I am typing this on Sunday 25th May. It is impossible to hear the keyboard because the rain is battering the windows, guttering and the back boiler behind the gas fire. It is like being inside an amplified drum and I half expect a whale to go cruising by any minute.

On the streets cars and buses threw water 8 foot into the air as they slushed through the gutter water. Sometimes a driver would attempt a pointless hand wave that, I presume, was meant as a feeble apology. More often they just pretended they hadn’t noticed because wherever they were going in their car was far too important to slow down to prevent  a mere pedestrian getting soaked by the puddle tsunami. And anyway THEY are dry so WTF.

Surely the frail and elderly are warned about this phenomena? I hope so. I think there should be some sort of siren, like you would get if a nuclear device had been launched and you had to get to a shelter to die neatly rather than sprawled in the street or blasted to oblivion.

Folk often talk about a baptism of fire when they come into a new and challenging experience. This was simply a baptism.

This week’s recommended blog from the archive;

Blog 50 Ed Miliband – Political Semolina


  1. Ha ha Welcome to the land of horizontal rain :)

  2. Now Amanda don't tell me you've never been in the 'west'. Mull Weather and indeed Ballymena weather are something to be reckoned with -- where it rains on one side of the street but not the other until you cross the road and then LOOKOUT! Maybe we could 'baptise' a few politicians? You know -- total emersion for longer than strictly required by the Lord?

  3. least you don't have to unpack your stuff for the new house outside!