The Weather

OK, I realise that you can not have a blog in any way related to Scotland without addressing the weather. 
Scenes from My Daily Commute in Big Sky Country

Here is the deal, in truth – it is not that bad.   Scots seem to take their less than stellar weather very personally and I think that it is both unnecessary and  unjustified.  The problem is not really the cold winters, which except for this past year, are neither as freezing or long as say New York,  Boston or anywhere above.  Folks here don’t seem to be aware that much of the worlds exists with even colder, stormier and slushier weather than their own (and we are on the same latitude as Moscow for heaven’s sake).

Except for this past winter, the cars don't need much shovelling out in winter.

And on the eastern side of the country, it is not actually that wet or rainy either.  Unless it is actually raining on your head (which can on occasion reach car wash intensity) it is usually just very dry and windy.  The relative humidity of the Northeastern US is always brought  home when in high summer you can hang a damp beach towel on a line/ fence overnight, and there is a very good chance it will not be fully dry for your next day’s dip in the ocean. 

Some these bad boys (whirligigs) can hold upwards or 3-4 LOADS of wash at a time.

Here in the Kingdom of Fife people hang their washing out on the line ALL YEAR ROUND in an impressive display of determination.  If you are lucky, you can get 2-3 full loads up on the line and dry in about 2 hours.  If you are not, you and the majority of folks at the bus stop roll their eyes heavenward to bemoan the weather – not for the weather itself, but rather they had, “just put a wash out”.

Average walk to the shops in Fife

The problem is this –  the grey.  The fact that there is often not huge difference between October’s, March’s or July’s weather can wear on you after a while.  But here is the total upside of Scotland’s weather; it is very easy on your wardrobe budget (particularly for growing kids) and you can have your relatively monochrome world EXPLODE into the most brilliant sun shining day (or hour) which can make you feel like this on a regular basis:

Sunshine through the clouds

Every year people optimistically buy new garden furniture, open-toed sandals and sundresses.  Those same things may see little to no action in the months deemed to be” summer”.   As a new transplant I would often scoff (to myself mind you) at the  pre-marinated chicken on skewers all frozen and BBQ ready. (please read the “cook from frozen” stamp on the front packaging)

Pre-marinaded chicken skewers?

I thought , “really – is it so hard to invite some friends over, pop to the shops and grill up a bit of chicken?”.  Now I understand.  In the 45 minutes it would take to form the thought and complete the action you could totally miss the window and pass into a different season.  So when it is sunny, still and warm you better be prepared to jump!

Really, the weather is not so bad if you have the right clothes are willing to be prepared for any eventuality.  It is just when Scots (and everybody else) compares the indigenous summertime weather to that of Spain, Greece, South Africa or of course Disneyland Florida that it doesn’t seem so great.

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  1. Heather Gross says:

    As far as you know is just how they want it to look.
    And btw, we’ve got a big sky in Southern Arizona too, Montana doesn’t own it.

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