I thought I had left the winter winds behind in Iowa. In fact, it may have been on a similar date in a recent year that I woke up to face bitter cold temperatures, whipping winds, and twenty minutes of ice-scraping and curse-mumbling. There would be several mornings in conducting class in which I would stumble my way through a Handel anthem or a Copland motet with frozen fingers. But, despite harsh North American winters, I never remember an instance in which the wind literally stopped me in my tracks.
Yesterday the "Great Gale" of Northern Europe killed dozens of people, caused cancelled flights, kept trains from running, and caused general mayhem and confusion. My own experience was only mildly irritating: a couple of tiny leaks in my ceiling and a few perilous moments in which my bike was nearly blown off the sidewalk at street crossings. As I biked I was actually stopped--going downhill--on my way to the gym. The benefits? That same hill going home was a dream! I didn't even need to peddle. And I experienced a whole new dimension in hair body:
Now, this isn't me, but it does give you an idea of what kind of day it was.