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I am a coward

15 February, 2014

This will not be news to those who have followed and read my blog for a while, but this time my cowardity takes a new form.

Britain, and specifically the south coast, has been suffering storm after storm for about two months now. Some have been worse than others, but as a result of issues with the Jet Stream I wont bore you with, we have had intense low pressure roughly every two to three days, which brings wind and rain. And every time the winds have got up over these last months, I have convinced myself the windows in my flat will blow in. They aren’t well built, they let the breeze through, and frankly I don’t trust them. So when my weather app told me yesterday, Friday, was the worst storm of the winter so far, I decided this would be the night they finally caved in.

Winds were forecast to blast in at 70mph or more, and they did, right on time. Except that gusts were measured at 80-90mph, more than the weather people had expected. I was at my sister’s house for dinner, my usual Friday night, and as the evening drew in and the winds grew stronger, I obsessively watched the wind speed increase on my app, the warnings grow more serious on the news, I became more and more worried. Her windows whistled, her roof tiles rattled, her chimney blew back into the room. My nephew came home from work telling of trees blown over. I hated every second of it, and knew that when I went home I would be worse. As the winds intensified towards their peak, I could take no more.

“Can I sleep in your spare room?” I asked, “I don’t fancy walking home in this wind.”

“Of course,” she said.

“Erm, and actually,” I said, deciding to share, to let it all out, “I don’t really want to be on my own tonight.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, I hate the wind.”

“Aww, are you scared?”

“Yes.”

And in that short exchange I did what I haven’t done for… I don’t know how long. I revealed a weakness to another person, I admitted a fear. For those seconds I was the little brother, looking to an older sister for support and reassurance – something I’m not sure I’ve ever done.

So I stayed there, the wind got stronger and louder, but I managed to the fractured sleep I knew I wouldn’t have found at home. During the frequent times I was awake, I imagined my flat falling to pieces, the windows blowing in, the rain pouring into the lounge, the telly catching fire and burning the building down… all great fun.

Come the morning, the wind was still strong, but had eased to 50mph. I walked home. The flat, the windows, the telly, were still there, undamaged. Of course. As the sensible, adult part of me knew they would be.

I realise the south west has suffered much worse than where I live, there have been people flooded since Christmas, houses and businesses damaged by the weather. My rational side knows I had nothing to worry about and have been very lucky. And as a nation we have not had the snow storms and extreme cold that the States has suffered this winter, nor have we seen the 200mph+ tornadoes that destroyed entire streets in More, Oklahoma last year. I know I am lucky, I know I should feel blessed, and I try to remember this.

The moral of this tale? I don’t know. But I know that the logical, scientific, give-me-empirical-evidence-and-i-will-believe part of my head now knows that 80mph wind is not strong enough to leave me homeless. So next time the winds come, as they will before spring arrives, I will tell myself this, and maybe I will be brave enough to sleep in my own home.

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From → Blogging, My Head

8 Comments
  1. Admitting that doesn’t make you a coward. You’re being too hard on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to hang out with your sister. That’s what family is for – comfort. : )

    • Thanks Jayne 🙂 the coward part was the fact I was scared of the wind. How childish of me, and how selfish – others have had it much worse

      • Wind sounds like screaming banshees sometimes. I say you were being smart. Really, after a dinner and drink and comfort of family…I was really thinking of a how much of a bummer it would have been to then go to your place and have to repair windows in the middle of the night with the wind still howling. I, myself, would have stayed at your sisters for that reason alone.

      • I think I made the right choice 🙂

  2. I don’t think you’re a coward to be scared of something. It’s nice to know you have someone there to lend support when you do admit fear.

    • Thanks Cara. My fear does feel irrational though and part of me knows that. It annoys me that my logical side can’t override my irrational side

  3. No to the coward, yes to the coolest person I know. that is all. xox

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