Summer of 1938

From Emily Macdonald’s Twenty Years of Hebridean Memories (1939).

The summer of 1938 was one of the worst we had experienced in Lewis, though in spite of all, the peats and crops were eventually harvested in sufficiently good condition.

In June and July, it rained for some part of every day.  It didn’t seem to matter in which direction was the wind, rain came with it.  As a neighbouring keeper said, “What a weather!”  This seemed to us such a pithy description of the daily downpour that we immediately added it to our list of Lewisian expressions.

In August, we had a spell of real summer, almost too hot unless one was content to laze or do nothing but take a swim.  For this we paid with a severe thunderstorm, with a good deal more of electrical tension in the atmosphere that usual.  I came to the conclusion that I would rather have bad weather and no thunder, if given my choice, than a few glorious days and such an unpleasant experience to follow.  A woman in Uig was killed by lightning while standing at her door which she had just opened, and thereby probably saved a multiple tragedy, as there were others in the room and the lightning came down the chimney.  This cast a gloom over the whole community.