Monday, May 09, 2005

Cold spring harbour

The weather has turned really nasty all of a sudden, and for the past four days we’ve had hail, snow and all kinds of meteorological mayhem.
This has wreaked havoc on the lambing, which happens later in Shetland than anywhere else in the UK. Baby sheep have been dying all over the place this weekend, and there’s little anyone can do. Native Shetland sheep – officially a rare breed everywhere else but here – are hardy beasts, capable of surviving entire winters with little or no shelter. But new born lambs are obviously very vulnerable.
I think it was sixteen years ago, we were living in Cromarty on the Black Isle, and came back to Shetland for the month of May. It was almost insanely hot, day after day, week after week. Sunstroke became endemic. The islands ran short of sunscreen. It was bliss.
And now, here we are, shivering with the central heating turned up full. Apparently it’s global warming to blame. Of course! I should've known...

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