Brace yourself, Storm Brian is on its way.
If there is anything less threatening or likely to cause alarm, it’s surely a storm called Brian.
Accountants are called Brian. Retired GPs who take up birdwatching are called Brian. Nice people. Harmless chaps in general.
Storms need proper names. Like Thor, Tyrone, Hercules.
Storms can bring chaos, destruction, and debris on a devastating scale. A Brian’s idea of chaos is to spill his bowl of paperclips and not pick them up.
To be honest, this whole naming of storms is getting daft.
Hurricanes, I get.
I was once once trapped in Hurricane Hugo as it careered straight towards the airport in the Dominican Republic – the very one I was heading towards.
Ended up having to spend a few extra days in a hotel while Hugo came right at us. The hotel staff stuck masking tape on the windows, chopped down the coconuts – you don’t want to be thumped by one of them in a 100-mph wind – and then basically fled, leaving us with a barman, a pool and a 24-hour weather TV station in the heart of Santa Domingo.
I swear it is probably windier down the High Street this week than it was in the Caribbean all those years ago.
But hurricanes are life-changing and powerful, so I get the naming convention.
Storms? This is Scotland. The phrase ‘’it’s a bit blowy’’ covers everything from a chill round the nether regions to wind so powerful it whips the hood of your parka clean over your head.
If we named every storm that ever hit these shores we’d have had to come up with names more bewildering than parents who choose to call their offspring Kymbrly or Leeeza with an extra ’e’ or two. Basically, people who can’t spell. Or think.
I get that the Met Office has good reason to use names – “a single authoritative system should aid the communication of approaching severe weather through media partners and other government agencies’’ to use their own life-sapping description – but the media’s decision to embrace it is getting a tad silly.
We’ve already had Storm Aileen. I think that might have been that “bit windy Wednesday’’ we had the other week, and, assuming we aren’t all blown into the Forth by Brian – don’t worry, he’ll have a clipboard with all our names, health and safety being important to Brians – we can look forward to Eleanor, Fionn, Georgina, Hector, Iona … and so on.
And that brings me to my second beef.
If we are going to name storms, let’s give them some Scottish authenticity.
Let the officials use their names, but give us an alternative that has some meaning and makes us laugh.
True, we will probably never top ‘Hurricane Bawbag’ as a handle – but we should try. How about Storm Deek, Storm Jakey-Boy! or Storm Dobber.
If it lands in Fife, it has to be Storm Neebs, or, in Kirkcaldy, Storm Ken.
And, if it hits Morningside then Storm You’ll Have Had Your Tea.
Now that sounds better ...