Phew! When you read this it will be September and probably considerably cooler than it is just now on this day 26th July. Is it a case of global warming or just a weather cycle? Throughout the world at this time there are vast forest fires in the US and severe flooding in China and in Central Europe.
The experts keep telling us the winters will become milder and windier, the summers drier and warmer. Living in Scotland we are fairly lucky we don’t have extremes of weather because of our temperate climate controlled by the Gulf Stream and it is quite nice to get a bit of a summer where we can plan a BBQ more than a day ahead.
For centuries here in Scotland we have had some extreme highs and lows in the weather. Yes the hottest temperature ever in Scotland was this year, 33.2 Celsius. That was in Motherwell and that equals the high in 1976. A weather cycle?
The highest recorded water level above normal on the Tay was on the 12th February 1814 at 7 metres. The next highest was in 1993 at 6.48 metres. Global warming?
For the coldest we have to go back to 11th February 1895 at Braemar minus 27.2 Celsius, although the same temperature was recorded in Braemar on 10th January 1982 and at Altnaharra on 30th December 1995. The windiest day at low levels was in1989 at Fraserburgh when 142mph was recorded. The unofficial highest wind speed recorded in the UK was at Shetland on 1st January 1992 when a gust of 197 mph was recorded. It is thought that higher windspeeds did occur in that storm but the recording equipment had been destroyed.
So I will leave it to you to decide whether it is global warming or a normal weather cycle. Give us your thoughts on the matter. I am off to get the sand bags ready as we will get a thunderstorm at some point because of this prolonged spell of warm weather.
FROM THE CHAIR
As I write it is still summer, as you read it will be autumn and I expect the trees will be beginning to change colour. This year the foliage seems to be thicker than usual, the different shades of green more outstanding. Whether this is due to climate change or a cleaner atmosphere or maybe because of the very unusual circumstances under which we have had to live over the last eighteen months or so we are looking and observing things in a different light.
One thing, with the amazing weather we have had in July, it has made us realise what a privilege it is to live in such a beautiful country.
I hope everyone has been able to enjoy and make the most of the greater freedom we now have and cautiously move towards normality whatever the new normality will be.
Changes, as usual, have taken place in the Parish since the last issue which you will read about as you go through the Crier.
Sadly we have two obituaries in this edition, two people who have led long and busy lives and contributed much to Abernethy They are much missed by those who knew them.
There are quite a number of articles looking at the past from different aspects, Irene Hallyburton's research in the archives, Jimmy Swan's discoveries in the graveyard and the little article about the tearoom now the Silver Lining Hair Studio. I remember when Pitblae Cottage was transformed from a derelict building to a tearoom by Mr and Mrs Coburn who lived in Pitblae at the time. The exact date I can't remember but it would certainly be some time in the eighties. When the Coburns moved away from the village it was taken over by Kenny and Heather McVean and became the Culdees Tearoom.
Another interesting life story appears in this edition, that of Nan Campbell. Nan, still very active, has not wasted a minute over the last 90 years!
In the past we have featured an article on "Old Abernethians". We have decided now to move on and feature "New Abernethians". It will be interesting to read their thoughts and impressions of this historic village and why they came to live in it.
After a great deal of discussion it was decided we would have to raise the price for advertising. The income from the adverts plus the odd donation is the only income and pays for the printing and putting together of the Crier, the cost of which has risen over the last year or two. Everything else connected to the Crier is voluntary and we hope to be able to continue to deliver to every household in the parish free of charge.
Our thanks again go to all our contributors and deliverers. You are the people who keep it going.