MAUREEN ELLIS - On our crazy climate

THE locals on the beach at Stonehaven looked at me like I was a few chips short of a full fish supper as I filmed a video of the waves crashing into the harbour.

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I'd never seen the like of it – these huge swells that made seafront buildings look no bigger than plastic Monopoly houses.

That was back in September on the day of the high winds that caused the 'foamy beach' phenomenon, photos of which were transmitted around the world. Now that same town has been plagued with flooding yet again.

I can't imagine the heartache of seeing your worldly goods suspended in a two-feet-high dilute sewage solution just days before Christmas.

It's reassuring to see a community band together to help those affected, but it must be soul-destroying to know that these 'perfect storm' combinations are happening more frequently than ever before – and that little seems to be done to prevent such 'freak' weather from wreaking devastation again.

Forget the celebrity tax scandals, Scotland's much-debated EU accession, Gangnam dancing, Obama's re-election and the oldest Bond girl ever to jump out of a helicopter, the last 12 months for me have been all about the crazy weather.

One day after welcoming in the New Year I watched a corrugated metal roof whipping across the M8 as I listened to reports of trampolines and bins bouncing along roads.

It was like a motoring obstacle course – I've never been so glad to have arrived at work in my life.

And, of course, we had the summer that never was – no change there – only I didn't expect to need sunglasses when driving through for my death-by-turkey dinner on Christmas Day to shield my eyes from that blazing low orange orb.

Sun, I seem to remember it's called. Only once this winter has a brief cold snap made our back garden resemble an episode of Springwatch.

I'm no twitcher – normally! – but I felt like Bill Oddie checking off a robin, blue tit, starling, bullfinch and bad-tempered blackbird feeding in the garden at the same time. (Needless to say Google came to the rescue with the bullfinch.)

We were lucky when temperatures soared into double figures in mid summer, and yet it looks like a positively tropical end to 2012.

The only thing we can really bank on these days is unpredictability when it comes to our climate.

Good on the locals at Stonehaven for pledging to go ahead with their annual firewalk procession on Hogmanay. After a year of weather of near-biblical proportions, great balls of fire seem like a very fitting end.

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