No silver lining to these clouds

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Rain, rain go away. After being spoiled with The Fantastic Summer it seems we have slipped into what passes for a Scottish winter nowadays – no snow, just gallons and gallons of rain turning the ground into acres of sloppy mud.

So rain, rain go away. How about all the way to Chihuahua? Not such a random thought as it might first appear. I was once in the company of a couple from Mexico, from that very region, out for the day around Loch Lomond. They were super-excited at the prospect of seeing lots and lots of water, because, they said, it just never rained in Chihuahua.

Average annual rainfall Scottish Highlands – 457cm; average annual rainfall Chihuahua – 39cm.

From the top of Craigie Fort, by Balmaha (steep climb, but worth it for the view, as annoying fit types scampering down the way always tell you, as you are puffing your way slowly up), they stood surveying the loch stretching below them in all its pear-shaped, plump glory, tapering away into the distance, wearing its chain of wee islands like a belt.

They stood, beaming like children, literally drinking in the sight of All That Water, in one place, all at the same time. Lovely water.

As we drove back through The Trossachs, they squealed with delight as the Heavens opened. Rain! Oh, the joy! Lovely rain! They took endless pictures as it bounced off the windscreen, the road, the vegetation.

How they giggled as huge puddles started to creep across the road.

The rain thundered on, now flattening the vegetation and running in rivers down the sides of the road which, in this country, especially in the Highlands, is Not Good News.

It can result in what’s under the Tarmac being washed away to leave those nibbled-away, step-like edges that flip you off the road if you drop a tyre over them.

One minute you’re gawking at the breathtaking scenery, the next you’re upside-down in a ditch.

My Mexican friends went a little quiet when we reached the Loch Katrine turn-off – and a police road block.

All was not well. Their lovely rain had washed the road away in places ahead and we were to divert to the cafe at Loch Katrine to await further instructions.

So a motley band of tourists representing Scotland, Germany, Mexico and England ended up sitting in a cafe after hours – no heat, no light and mobile phones slowly dying.

Ah, the lovely rain! not so lovely now.

Just as we were reconciling ourselves to a night sleeping (or rather, not sleeping) on the cafe tables, the Polis said we could go – the road was passable with caution if the multi-national convoy was led by someone who knew the road.

And so off we went, slowly and grim-faced, no longer laughing at the lovely rain.

I bet the baked fields and shimmering heat haze of Chihuahua never looked so good.