24 hours ago I was just sitting down with a glass of mulled wine in a slight state of shock.
We're used to bad weather here, we're in a valley on the edge of the Welsh Mountains. As the weather fronts roll in off the Irish Channel, ours are the first hills they hit, we get high winds, and rain, and it's just part of life. Yesterday however was like nothing I have ever experienced before.
To start off with I jokingly tweeted about the intermitent electricity, at one point it was flickering on and off again nearly constantly, then the winds really picked up.
I quickly snapped this picture with my iPad, then Mum realised the chicken shed was about to take off. It had been fastened down to the ground, with the winds we get we would be insane not to, and it's stood up fine to the heavy wonds we've already had this winter. However the gusts were so strong they had ripped 3 inch screws clean out.
Just as we were trying to tie it down a monster gust hit. The pressure change actually made my ears hurt, like they do when you loose or gain heigh rapidly on a plane. We watched in horror as the barn behnd our house lost it's sheet roof, luckily it landed before it hit Dad's workshop and my dyeing caravan.
The tree meanwhile carried on loosing branches, turns out that picture I'd taken earlier was just the appetiser.
Here's the collection of branches that came off, taken this morning when the sun came out and we could survey the damage.
This one is particularly scary, it flew around 15 metres, and I struggled to pick it up.
Looking at the tree this morning you can't even see where the branches came from. Thankfully branches are all it lost. One of the trees in a nearby field lost it's top completely and blocked the main road, as did many others in our area, some were completey uprooted. Our council workers were out in force yesterday and they cleared the tree almost immediately, they must have put in a lot of over time in the last day.
The asbestos sheets from the lean to had been splintering and flying off for most of the late afternoon.
This however was the scary moment. The whole roof section on the floor in the photo was thrown up in the air and landed with a crash. There are 3 beams holding it together, in order to move the panel it had to be dismantled. The roof itself came from the back of the barn in the picture above, so was probably blown up at least 10 metres in height.
Here's the remains of the back of the barn, just a tangled mess of metal and wood.
By the sounds of it we got off pretty lightly. The barn is only used twice a year when they collect in the sheep, and we fastened the chicken shed down just in time. Our house roof has lost a few tiles, but the damage could have been so much worse.
What was most odd was the amount of salt spray in the air. We live over 20 miles from te sea, but we came inside yesterday and realised that our faces were as salty as when you walk along the sea front in high winds. As for my windows... you can barely see our of them they're so salt encrusted.