Virtues of the Wind

Weather: Bright with a fresh breeze, later becoming gale force with intermittent hail, sleet and rain showers.

Today the wind is blowing strongly from a south westerly direction. It is time to embrace it, and to consider its virtues, at least within the context of this residency.

Wind speeds are approaching 70 miles per hour and are likely to cause considerable damage. They are accompanied by the occasional hail storm, which stings the face if it is exposed to it. It is nominally around 6 degrees centigrade but feels more like minus 50.

It does however have some virtues:

  • If the washing can be persuaded to stay on the line, it dries very quickly.
  • What to wear is not much of a problem – how many clothes do you have? (Wear them all).
  • When it is not accompanied by more water, it dries out the rain that has recently fallen, this one is a a little behind schedule at present. It also melts the snow.
  • It shifts one’s perception of reality – standing still is like riding a motorcycle at the legal speed limit with only a woolly hat on and no leathers. Quite exciting really for an armchair racer.
  • It is great for generating electricity.
  • It saves on time spent on one’s hairstyle, i.e. you do not have a hairstyle, only a tightly-fitting hat.
  • Cleaning is irrelevant as the ashes from the stove are democratically blown over everything as soon as it is attempted. It saves on logs, as burning them makes no difference to the temperature.
  • It prevents one from giving anything up as it is so traumatising whilst maximum comfort is needed, which can be a relief.
  • It can affect the landscape in a dramatic way i.e. wind on water, trees moving, grasses and flowers dancing in the wind etc.
  • Looks great on video art works.

Henry David Thoreau said that “The virtues of a superior man are like the wind; the virtues of a common man are like the grass; the grass, when the wind passes over it, it bends”.

Well – that is a little unfair to the common man as flexibility is a great virtue. Edward Gibbon in ‘The history of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has a much better attitude and has written;

“The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators”

Tir A’Mhurain is Gaelic for ‘The Land of Bent Grass’ and the title of Paul Strands book of Hebridean photographs.

It is also important to consider some problems:

  • Casting a fly is very difficult, and can be dangerous in a strong wind.
  • The ferries do not run.
  • The lights go out.
  • The internet goes off
  • The phones do not work.
  • Going outside is challenging .


It doesn’t last forever.. and I did see a rainbow.

Cats confined to quarters.


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