Sunday, 29 April 2007

Not Rob McKenna

Rob McKenna is a character from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. He drives a lorry and keeps a diary of the ever-changing rain that permanently falls on him, 24 hours a day:
"And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him."

I suspect I am his evil (or better) twin brother. Wherever I go, the sun seems to permanently shine on me. Which, as I have three skins colours (white, freckle and sunburnt) is not always a good thing. I have now been sunburnt in 14 different countries, in as diverse places as Malibu in California, Finnish Lapland, Barbados (that was a bad one) and the Outer Hebrides.

Finland was sunny - Tampere almost unbearably so. "This is very unusual." said Olli, looking for a reason or excuse to eat another lemon. The capital Helsinki was sunny. "This is very unusual", said the stern woman who sold me a train ticket north when I enquired about the heatwave. And Rovaniemi was sunny, and even Lapland was sunny. "This is very unusual" said the bus driver when we were crossing the Arctic Circle.

I return to Berneray. Sunny. Blue skies. Two days since coming back to the Outer Hebrides and I've still to see my first cloud. And the weather forecast for the next five days indicates much of the same for here:


Sun, sun, sun, sun. Maybe Al Gore was right after all.

But if it continues like this, and England rapidly becomes sub-sahara desert and uninhabitable (remember it was +38C there last summer), will there be streams of people forced out of e.g. Guildford and Folkestone, heading north by any means possible? Will we need to set up refugee camps for them (complete with latte stands and wi-fi hotspots of course) on the machair? And will the Lobster Pot tea room cope with an influx of several thousand "climate migrants", all clamouring for a croissant and an expresso and somewhere they can get a mobile phone signal?

I think we need to find our Rob.


  1. Fear not, very few people in Guildford and Folkestone have heard of 'the north' and certainly not as far north as Berneray. Those that have know that it rains every single day and they would rather die with a suntan than become one of those pasty Northeners.

  2. Some accuracy about the weather at Silversprite25 August 2008 at 16:56

    [...] Twaddle. Why does this myth perpetuate? Everywhere in Scotland, the UK, Europe, it rains sometimes. And it is sunny sometimes. That includes here in the Outer Hebrides, where it is sunny a lot. [...]