Taking Stock - January 23, 2012

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Living on the Fylde coast, we’re all accustomed to the occasional stiff breeze.

Along with the divebombing seagulls, summer hordes and the new shared space Prom, it’s just one of those little things which seem to have been sent to test our resolve.

But, I can’t help but think that this winter we’ve been treated to more than our fair share of wild weather.

Most inclement conditions I can handle.

Snow, however cantankerous one might claim to be, is exciting.

It’s fun too, for the first thirty seconds before you realise you should have invested in a better pair of gloves.

The Macbeth elements (that’s thunder, lightening and rain) I can handle.

In fact, I like a good storm, unlike The Old Folks’ dog, who runs for the nearest cupboard at the first rumble.

Wind – well, it’s almost invariably cold, slows progress, causes damage and turns driving from an unpleasant chore into a dangerous battle against the elements.

It’s the only weather I know in which The Munchkin wants to stay inside.

She’s in seventh heaven building snowmen and just loves to jump, Gene Kelly-like in puddles (appropriate footwear permitting).

Wind is miserable and, for the last few months, we’ve had rather a lot of it.

In fact, the weather forecast from October to December might as well have just consisted of the word ‘gales’, so relentless was the battering we appear to have taken.

And, despite the current lull, it’s really taken its toll.

For a start, most of the beach has been relocated to my yard.

Then there are the inevitable cost of replacing roof tiles, guttering and other fixtures and fittings dislodged by the force 10s which have been whipping off the Irish Sea.

It doesn’t help that we’re a messy bunch.

There really is nothing attractive about crisp packets, cigarette ends, newspapers and other rubbish blowing about in the streets – although I must admit I’ve added to the problem thanks to an improperly secured Fleetwood Town team sheet which flew off somewhere in the direction of Yorkshire.

A strong wind even makes it tough to get a good night’s sleep, rattling the windows and sending draughts whistling through every nook and cranny of the house.

I’ll not deny, there are some people who benefit from a brisk westerly.

It has been good news for the roofing trade, only none of them would go up a ladder until it had all died down and now it has it’s impossible to get anyone out until 2014.

Trans-Atlantic passengers spent most of December enjoying New York to London flights in under five hours.

As impressive as that might be, I’m not sure getting home earlier from a short break in the Big Apple is adequate recompense for the misery we’ve had to endure.

For the moment, at least, it seems we’ve been granted a reprieve.

Let’s hope it lasts a little longer before we see a return of those bitter winter winds.

December would be nice.