A joint post by Robert and Finola
We looked back recently and counted the number of posts both of us have done on the subject of the weather, and decided not to do any more on pain of boring our readership to death. But this week Met Eireann issued a rare Code Red warning and their direst predictions came true. The Southwest of Ireland was pounded by hurricane force winds, the like of which many people had never experienced before. Storm Darwin wreaked havoc in our corner of the world.
We were lucky! Our power was off for several hours, but our house is set up so we can still stay warm, run water, and cook. We lost a few more trees, including two that fell over the road, blocking access. Our terrific landscaper, Thomas, chainsawed them off so that at least cars could get by. Trees that came down in our neighbour’s property severed our telephone cable and we have been told that it could be ten days before this is fixed – so we have no landline and no internet. We use our cell phones to connect whenever we can in cafes in town or in friends’ houses, but reception has been spotty all week due to storm damage.
Many of our neighbours have not been so fortunate and are still without power. For some this can also mean no water and no way to cook. The County Council has issued a warning to boil drinking water amid fears that water supplies have been contaminated. All over the countryside crews are out clearing away trees and restoring cables. Two young men were swept to their deaths by huge waves on the north side of the Sheep’s Head. Another man, part of a telephone repair crew, has died while working on the high wires. Roads and towns flooded although this time the storm surges did not coincide with high spring tides so the water damage was not as bad as it had been earlier in the year.
And what do we do in Ireland when the storm hits? We hunker down next to the fire in a warm dry pub, of course, and sing our hearts out! This week, an old friend of Robert’s arrived from Cornwall with his Lifeboat Choir – singers associated with lifeboat stations around Cornwall. The group has developed a long-term relationship with a similar group here in West Cork and this was their annual visit. So we found ourselves holed up in a hospitable establishment in the village of Ballinadee, with musicians and singers from both sides of the Irish Channel, singing and playing and hooting and cheering the night away, and then driving home beneath a clear brilliant moonlit sky that looked as if it had never held a drop of rain.
Life in West Cork is nothing if not variety!
This post has been brought to you courtesy of a friend’s internet. Lack of internet and a planned trip to Clare will disrupt the regular posting schedule over the next couple of weeks but normal service will resume as soon as possible.