Usually a travel month. For me, and everyone else.

Not this year. It’s turning into a real anticlimax.

Partly that’s a consequence of the weather here in Dreichland. In the first half of the month we did go 9 consecutive days without sun. I’m told Edinburgh only had 2 hours of sun in the first 12 days of the month. Tiree – stuck out into the Atlantic, and reliably wet and windy – had 50 in the same period.

Looking back at previous Julys (being confined to the house after abandoning attempts at gardening as a result of the weather), a couple of times I’ve disappeared off to the north of England to see some rugby league and horse racing. A chance to visit York (see photo, below) and Salford, Bradford and Wigan. Sightseeing and sport. A change of scene. Somewhere different. Somewhere I might not visit otherwise (Bradford is definitely in that box).

Sun. Warmth.

No chance this year. They’ve had bad flooding in those parts, and I don’t want to travel 200 miles just to find the event has been cancelled.

In 2010 I had a few days in Orkney. Lovely place. A long drive (6 hours) from here, plus an hour on the ferry. But worth it.


This time last year I was heading into the Scottish hills. Ben Vorlich on a lovely warm summer day.  No chance this year. I’m not going to drive 2 hours to get to the hills unless the weather forecast is reasonably optimistic. Maybe in August.

When I look at this shot from my jaunt up Ben Lawers in early summer, I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not hallucinating.


Plenty good news just over the horizon, fortunately. One of my regular trips to Bavaria in a couple of days, and the forecast is for 24°c the day I arrive. It’s 13°c in Dreichland today.

Summer holidays next month. Bavaria again, plus a week somewhere sunny. Greece or Croatia, most likely.


Then in September I’ll be at a seminar in Trier. Should be harvest time for the grapes. My last visit was September 1970, although I have been to the Luxembourg side of the Moselle more recently.

© iain taylor 2012

Editor’s note:- “dreich” is Scottishspeak for grey, dark & damp weather

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