Posts Tagged ‘Weather’
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 15, 2013
Disaster Bay (Photo credit: kerriemv)
Catastrophes happen all over the world. Unless you have been holidaying on another planet recently you can’t have escaped hearing the reports of the aftermath of the enormous typhoon which caused tremendous devastation in the islands of the Philippines. Many thousands of people lost their lives there and most of the buildings in some towns have been razed to the ground. People who survived the storm have been left homeless and have little or nothing to eat. In such conditions in a warm climate disease can spread so easily making an unbearable existence even more so. In some places around the world similar or smaller catastrophes happen on a regular basis, even annually and yet people insist in continuing to live there. It is easy to say that people should move away to somewhere safer of course but many things can prevent that, work, finances, family or simply a willingness to remain where one has roots. In the so-called ‘tornado alley’ of the mid-west USA many places are hit by storms every year yet people still live there. I was watching a television program recently called ‘The Raging Planet‘ which reported on a few such natural disasters and the devastation they caused and wondered why people pick up the pieces and start again in the same place knowing that at some point in the future the same thing will happen. New Orleans lies mostly below sea level and despite the attempts to hold back the regular flood waters of the Mississippi River the city is still bombarded from the sea and lies in the path of many hurricanes from that direction. Conditions are hardly likely to improve and in fact may get worse given that global warming is supposed to be a reality with the prospect of rising sea levels. Perhaps they should abandon the city and start again somewhere safer. Perhaps catastrophes and unnecessary loss of life can be avoided one day, if we’ve a mind to make it happen.
Posted in Disasters, Environment, Nature, Weather | Tagged: Current sea level rise, Global warming, Natural disaster, Nature, New Orleans, Philippines, Raging Planet, Sea level, Weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on September 26, 2013
Image via CrunchBase
Over the last week or so I had it in mind to mow the lawn as soon as I
had the chance. We have had rain lately and at this time of year the
weather turns damp overnight which leaves plenty of dew on the grass,
not ideal for mowing. However, on Saturday the weather was fine enough
but I didn’t really get the opportunity and hoped for a similarly nice
day on Sunday. The forecast looked very promising and indeed Sunday
turned out to be a really warm and pleasant day, great for mowing the
lawn in fact. I arose quite early but didn’t wish to start mowing before
10 o’clock thinking it might upset the neighbours so I didn’t start
until 10.30. E joined with me and whilst I was mowing the lawn she set
about tidying up in the greenhouses and sweeping the leaves that
cluttered the paths. She later swept up the grass cuttings that had
escaped the mower’s collection box. I don’t use the box when the weather
is warmer as the cuttings are drier and more easily removed with the
rotary sweeper. It meant that I had to empty the box regularly but even
so I finished the job with reasonable speed. Once the mower had been
stored away and the grass cuttings removed I decided to dig out the
potatoes that had grown in the raised bed between the greenhouses in
which we had planted strawberries. We didn’t plant the potatoes so they
must have grown from a few we had inadvertently left in the soil the
previous year. The harvest was about five pounds or two kilograms,
enough for a couple of meals, alright considering we hadn’t planted
them! I also took the opportunity to remove the half-dozen apples from the trees that I wasn’t able to reach the day before. On returning indoors we together swept and vacuumed the floor in one of the cellar rooms which we call the workshop as it has a bench and vice in there. There was dust on the floor from cutting some of the tiles with the ‘Abra’ file (which looks like a saw but is in fact a wire-shaped file in a saw frame), the majority were cut upstairs in the wet room using the tile cutter. We had lunch and then we peeled all the apples and cut them ready for cooking. We made two very large Apple Strudels, two large pies and what can only be described as an oversized apple-filled pasty! Two women working in a kitchen is usually a recipe for disaster, friction, argument and whatever else that might, dare I say it, upsets the apple cart! But no, we work very well together in the kitchen these days and we share in whatever tasks there are. I must say that we have been getting on well together in many ways over the last couple of months after a long spell of being not on speaking terms. I think E realizes now that she can be very nasty when she wants to be but it gets her nowhere. Life is far better and enjoyable when she is amiable, both for herself and for me too.
Posted in Cooking, Garden, Gardening, Relationships | Tagged: Apple, Cooking, Garden, Grass, Lawn, Mower, Relationship, Sunday, Weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 14, 2013
English: Indian Summer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We have enjoyed a few weeks of decent weather here in the UK but as I write this on Sunday morning it is windy outside, cool and overcast, much like it was the day before. We are approaching mid-August and it is obvious that the weather is beginning to turn much cooler and unsettled. In a few week’s time we will have arrived at the beginning of Autumn once more, my favourite time of year. People are returning home after their holidays in Europe and elsewhere looking healthy if not bronze! Showing off their suntan by wearing the ubiquitous white clothing and they will do so for as long as they can even though it is becoming much cooler. It’s funny how people act isn’t it? I’ve not been on holiday this year, in fact it has been four years now since E and I have left these shores for foreign places. I have a suntan though but not because I deliberately sit out in the sun, I don’t as a rule, no, I got my tan simply by being out and about in the sunshine for the most part. It used to be that we took a holiday every year outside of the UK but as time went by we seemed less inclined to do so. It is nice when the sun shines and the weather turns warmer but there is much to be said about cool weather too, at least for me. Many people I speak with complain about our climate and how little fine weather we often have to enjoy and I think that if they think that way then why don’t they move somewhere warmer? We may still get hot days ahead but with the passing of each day and week the likelihood of that happening grows shorter. You can tell we have had the best of the weather for this year and it can only get cooler and wetter from now on. Each year is different of course so it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that there will be some bright, warm and sunny days to come. Sometimes we can look forward to what we call a ‘Indian Summer’, Indian in the sense of the country of the same name. Late September can be warm and sunny. We’ll just have to wait and see. I can always tell when the season is about to change when I have to wear something more than a simple covering to feel comfortable, like a lightweight coat first thing in the morning if I have to go out and I have needed to do that lately. Autumn is decidedly on its way.
Posted in Weather | Tagged: August, Autumn, Earth Sciences, Indian Summer, September, Sunday, Temperature, Weather | 4 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 8, 2013
weather (Photo credit: oldbilluk)
It was only last week we saw the end of a two-week heat spell. It can get quite hot in the UK but long periods of hot weather are rare and do not happen every year, in fact the last prolonged period of hot weather we had here was seven years ago! Personally I do not like it continuously hot and that fact would stop me from living in a normally hot country. I don’t like it too cold either but cold weather doesn’t bother me in the same way as hot weather does. During the hot weather I was able to do a lot of work outside, the sort of work that requires it to be warm and dry. Once it begins to rain things change and only certain tasks can be carried outdoors. Mowing the lawn certainly isn’t one of them. The worst time of the year for mowing the lawn I think is early Spring when the weather is wetter and the temperature isn’t yet warm enough to dry out the grass. The grass begins to grow quite rapidly and before you know it has grown quite high. This, coupled with damp conditions makes mowing a real challenge but if the grass is left it becomes really difficult to cut with any ease. I was glad I only had to face that challenge once this year but it still took me more than twice the time it normally takes when the grass is dry. It was about two weeks ago now that I had to water the lawn twice a day for four days because it had dried out too much and was suffering. A day later we got the rain we had hoped for. Another week or so later and the grass needed cutting again. That was last Saturday. I could have left it another few days but the weather was about to change again with a couple of days of rain promised. It would be too long a time to leave off cutting the lawn. So on Saturday morning I set about mowing the lawn. Now the day was windy, warm and dry, ideal for hanging out the washing. I had bed linen and a few clothes in the washing machine whilst I was eating breakfast and doing a few other things and once they were washed I put them out on the line before I mowed the lawn. Now cutting the lawn takes around a half hour or so and by the time I had finished it the washing was completely dry! Usually the washing has to stay on the line longer but the humidity must have been so low allowing it to dry quickly. I knew it was dry because I felt comfortable. No stickiness, stuffiness or clothes clinging to wet skin. Yes the weather makes all the difference to what we do and whether we are comfortable doing it!
Posted in Garden, Gardening, House and Home, Weather | Tagged: Garden, Grass, Home, Lawn, Mower, Weather | 4 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on July 12, 2013
The jet stream (shown here in pink) is a well-known example of the thermal wind. It arises from the horizontal temperature gradient from the warm tropics to the cold polar regions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
All through the winter months people were bemoaning the fact that it was too cold. Come on it was Winter after all! What did they expect? Come Spring they were all looking forward to warmer times which didn’t seem to be happening except for the occasional burst now and then. The onset of Summer was very disappointing with cold spells totally foreign to the time of year and the temperature persistently refusing to climb. Suddenly the ‘Jet Stream’ changed position and we now have the weather we expect to have in Summer but it is so hot, at least for me. High temperatures leave me feeling drained of energy but when the humidity is high too I suffer even more, in fact everyone suffers when the humidity is high, unless you are a fish! High humidity prevents the body cooling down through evaporation of sweat. It has been said that the ideal temperature and humidity for human beings are 21 degrees Celsius and 50% relative humidity. I know this to be true from working in the past in the air conditioning field as part of my workload as an engineer. I am qualified as an electrical technician and electrician with much experience and training in air conditioning, heating and ventilation, refrigeration, plumbing, computer and other control systems and many other fields in the electrical business such as CCTV, alarms, alternative power supplies and UPS. I have even worked in electrical transmission systems up to 11 Kv. So I can safely say that I have acquired much information, knowledge and understanding of things that concern my environment in the 51 years I have been working, 51 years almost to the day without being unemployed too. There are very few things in my normal working day that I find difficult to understand or to resolve when things go wrong but I don’t always take on the work myself, I will employ others to do the work for me if it is easier for me to do that and if it is quicker to employ someone else too! Some things are best left to those who are occupied in the field continually every day and have instant access to parts which may be required. Sometimes though I just don’t want to do the work myself! I don’t much feel like doing anything when the weather is hot but I do. Getting back to the temperature, although it is nice having hot and sunny weather for me it is too hot. Some like it hot as the saying goes but not me. Ideally I would like the temperature to be around 18 degrees with a 40% humidity level but for the time being I will have to suffer the inconvenience.
Posted in Environment | Tagged: Air conditioning, Celsius, Environment, Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning, Humidity, Jet stream, Temperature, Weather | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on June 30, 2013
After a lovely Tuesday(and Wednesday) and a busy Wednesday, actually I was busy on both days, Thursday proved to be a bit of a let down. As rain was forecast, which turned out to be true, I was unable to do any outside work involving concrete or mortar I had hoped that the electrical job I was supposed to do would keep me active but alas it wasn’t to be. I turned up as promised but my client didn’t, instead she sent me a text message letting me know that someone else would be there. The idea was to assess the work and give an estimate, something I don’t do these days in person for I have been let down too many times in the past. I call to see the job and submit an estimate and then they get someone else to do the work! That bit I don’t mind but the travelling and the time wasted I do. I have sufficient knowledge to be able to assess a job and give a rough estimate over the phone after I have asked some relevant questions. As this particular job was only two miles away it didn’t matter too much and as I had already given the client an estimate over the phone (which turned out quite accurate) I expected to be told to go ahead and do the work but I was met at the door by the tenant. The client hadn’t informed me that she was the ‘landlady’ of the property and that it had been let out to a tenant who hadn’t a clue about what I’d been asked to do. I telephoned the client and explained what was involved and left her to decide if she wished for me to do it. The job was to install an electric cooker circuit so she could purchase an electric cooker to replace the existing gas cooker which had a faulty oven control. It would be far less expensive to simply buy a new gas appliance as she wanted to replace the cooker anyway rather than have the expense of an electric circuit to be installed as well. Just before I left the premises I received another call from a lady a further two miles down the road who wanted me to fit a replacement light in her kitchen which she had already purchased. When I arrived ten minutes later she decided she would like to defer the job until her daughter was at home later in the day though I have no idea why, it wasn’t for any logical reason that I could think of. So again I was let down and although she’d asked me if I could call back later I refused saying that I wouldn’t be available. I don’t like being messed about by people who cannot make up their minds what they want and when they want it, some of them think that all I have to do all day is run around to suit them. So I returned home and left it at that. E went out in the afternoon to do the weekly shopping with her mum and I was left at home with pretty much nothing to do. So what did I do? I made some scones! I did some housework and I indulged in some hobbies but all the time I wanted to do something different. It goes that way sometimes.
Posted in Activity, Life, Occupation, People | Tagged: Activity, Electrical work, Life, People, Weather | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on June 25, 2013
I usually take at least one day off at the weekend from my weekly labours but this past weekend I was forced to take two. The weather made a turn for the worst and it rained almost solidly for the two days. What made it even more uninviting was the high wind, especially on Sunday. I have been eager to do some more work on my little project but as it is all outside work the weather decides when I can do that. Most of the concrete mixing and laying has been done but some still remains, the footings for constructing the steps to the vegetable plot. The area is raised a couple of feet (say a half-metre) above the pathway leading to and from the garage where I have been constructing some concrete steps and is about at the same level as the adjacent patio. Hence the need for a couple of steps to reach it safely. I shall be using precast concrete paving slabs for the steps rather than mixing and laying concrete to make them, it is easier and quicker but there will be some brickwork required. If the weather remains fine, as it is now, I hope much of the heavier work will be completed this week but I can’t let it interfere with taking E out to lunch! As the weather was rather lousy over the weekend I decided to fill out my tax return for the Inland Revenue, something I usually put off doing until later. I hate, well no, that is too harsh a word, I dislike collating all the paperwork and accounts and filling in the form but it has to be done. I breathe a sigh of relief when I have finished. You would think I had mounds of information to collate but in fact the whole process takes me less than an hour! Well I am only a part-timer these days so there is little really to do. I just find it a chore. On Sunday morning I missed breakfast and spent a half-hour on the treadmill, went into the garden to cool off. I returned indoors, cooked a Bolognese sauce before bathing and getting dressed. The sun finally showed up in the afternoon and the weather turned less unsettled. So far it has remained that way.
Posted in Activity, General Chat, Recreation, Weather | Tagged: Activity, Concrete, Exercise, Inland Revenue, Precast concrete, Recreation, Weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on June 17, 2013
On occasion I am left at home alone. Whenever E has a meeting or goes out for the day with her competition partaking friends I sometimes find myself with only myself for company. That of course isn’t a problem as usually I have things to do and sometimes I am out at work part of the time anyway but when it is raining and I haven’t work either away from home or at home I find I am struggling for something to do and end up bored! This is what happened on Friday. E left the house around seven in the morning and I had a job to do away from home at nine. I was occupied for an hour or so before I left the house but I returned back from the job a mere half an hour or so later. The job was about a half-mile away, it was small and I am a fast worker! I wanted to continue laying concrete but decided against it because of the weather. It rained on and off throughout the day and would have made the task difficult and I’d have gotten soaked for my effort. As it happened I decided instead to demolish part of the wall I needed to do before I could re-route the overflow pipe from the water-butt into the drain as I explained in my previous post. I simply stopped working when it rained and resumed when it stopped and I managed to do what I needed to. Unfortunately the weather got worse during the afternoon and working outside was impossible. I abandoned the idea of doing any further work outside for the day. At times like this I would normally go for a walk or go to the pub for a couple of hours but I knew I would soon get bored doing that as there aren’t many people to chat with in the afternoons. Early in the afternoon and after lunch I set about making some scones. The remainder of the day was spent on the computers, playing guitar and later entertaining a temporary house resident in the evening. On Thursday evening our youngest son had telephoned and asked if we could help a friend of his by looking after his aged cat for a night. He brought the cat to our house on Friday evening. It is some time since we last had an animal at home. I like animals, especially dogs but although I like cats too I would rather they belonged to somebody else! Cats are destructive animals and I wouldn’t have one as a pet for that reason. I have been in many houses where there have been cats in residence and see scratched wallpaper and furniture everywhere. Not only that but cats tend to jump up onto things, beds, tables, worktops in the kitchen and most anywhere they please. No thank you, I don’t want one as a pet. Was I bored? Not really but I did find it a struggle at times finding something to do.
Posted in Animals, House and Home, Weather | Tagged: Cat, Friday, Home, Home and Garden, House, Pets, Rain, Rainwater tank, Recreation, Thursday, Weather, Youngest son | 6 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on June 9, 2013
A bit of a change? Well not really. On Wednesday evening someone called to ask if it was possible for me to do a small electrical job, in fact it was the second call that evening asking the same thing.
The Night Caller (1998 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first caller wanted to know how soon I could fit some new lights after she had bought them and I replied by saying probably the next day as I haven’t had much electrical work of late. That caller may call again but may not. In the meantime the second caller was eager for me to do their job and I obliged by doing it on Thursday morning. The job took most of the morning to do and I was back home for lunch. E went out mid-afternoon to do the weekly shopping with her mum as she usually does and I had no other plans for the day but as soon as she left the house I set about breaking some old concrete slabs that we had been using as a temporary step behind the old garage door. The picture can be seen in a recent post. I broke the slabs to form some hardcore before starting to lay a base of concrete over it. I got the cement mixer out and set about mixing some concrete. (We’d had a large delivery of sand, cement and gravel during Wednesday together with a half-dozen paving slabs we will be laying behind the new garage some time in the future). Two mixes later and the hardcore rubble had been covered over with concrete. Later on I will be laying more concrete to complete the ramp I intend to make there. After tidying up I thought I’d give the garden plants a good watering as it hasn’t rained for quite a few days. I went back indoors just before five and poured myself a drink in the kitchen. When I turned around E was standing there and she frightened the life out of me! I hadn’t heard her coming into the house though she must have been there for a good few minutes. I wish she’d make some sort of noise when returning home so that I wouldn’t be caught unaware. I think she enjoys taking me by surprise. It is such nice weather at the moment and it would be foolish not to take advantage of it when I have the opportunity, besides which I like working at home and this sort of work can only be done when it isn’t raining. Friday saw E and I mixing even more concrete and laying it over what I had laid the day before and also on the top step leading out of the other garage (we have yet to lay the concrete around the grid there to complete the set of new steps). We agreed to work only a half-day on Saturday to finish off the ramp behind the garage which we had been working on over the previous three days. The remainder of Saturday and the whole of Sunday will be spent relaxing either in the garden or inside the house, though I might go for a bike ride on Sunday. Whilst there is still much work to do on the projects in hand I have been giving some thought to another project or two which I would like to do later but we’ll have to see what develops. And here’s me wondering what I could be doing if I retire!
Posted in Activity, Electrical, House and Home, Work | Tagged: Electrical work, Home and Garden, Weather, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on May 18, 2013
Hyde Park in a heatwave The second week of August 2003 was the hottest ever recorded in London, with temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius. Not surprisingly many people flocked to the parks to cool off.
It is past the middle of May and still it is very cold. The warmer temperatures we have come to expect at this time of year have been somewhat lacking even though there have been warm sunny days. It appears that the ‘Jet Stream’, the high altitude wind pattern is favouring places like Moscow with the United Kingdom fairing less well as a result. Until the Jet Stream shifts in our favour I guess we can say goodbye to a warm Summer again this year. I watch the weather forecasts with interest but it is all bad news lately. I heard tell that the month of June won’t be much better either. Astronomically speaking Summer starts on or about the 21st day of June so there is still time left for an improvement I suppose. It may be that the later months of the season will prove me wrong. I do hope so. It can be rather depressing when all we get is poor weather when reasonably it should be better. We must however make the most of things for we have no control over matters. For many people summer is the two-week vacation they take each year in a foreign land though not everyone can afford such things. I have been fortunate in that respect having enjoyed many holidays in foreign places in the past. These days I am less bothered about travelling across the globe for the pleasure of enjoying the warm weather which is taken for granted in many countries. Quite often I have found that the living conditions in these beautiful places where the sun shines most of the year and the temperatures never fall below 20 degrees Celsius are very poor indeed. Having a warm or hot climate doesn’t guarantee perfect happiness unless you have plenty of money and money doesn’t even buy happiness! I am not giving up on Summer, things are not that bad really, it could be a lot worse, in fact it may well be a lot better! I am not sure just what I will be doing in the months ahead. Working? Most probably. Taking a vacation? Probably not but anything is possible. Enjoying myself? I will try my best. Summer will be great if I am still here to enjoy it won’t it?
Posted in Enjoyment, Happiness, Weather, Well-being | Tagged: Enjoyment, Happiness, June, Temperature, Weather, weather forecast, Well-being | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on May 2, 2013
Cover for Strange Weather Lately Volume Two graphic novel by metaphrog. Published in 1999.
Today, Monday, as I write this, it is very sunny and very windy. At this time of year we are used to enjoying the warmer days of mid-Spring but alas it is more like late Winter. Over the last few years, indeed over the last few decades, there has been a gradual change in our weather patterns. Many scientists and meteorological experts agree that the whole world is entering a warmer phase and attribute the temperature increase, small as it is at the moment, to increases in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. According to many this rise has come about by human activity caused by the burning of fossil fuels but is this the whole picture? The Earth has seen climate changes many times and it may surprise some to know that even during the last 1000 years there have been noticeable changes, changes which cannot be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels. There are indications that the temperature was higher during the 10th to the 14th centuries. It is believed that the temperatures during the last 4000 years have reached their warmest levels on several occasions. It is a well-known fact that however that there was a dramatic drop in temperatures during the 16th and 19th centuries, a period often called the mini Ice Age. We moan so much about the weather but conditions could be worse and have been in the past. For more information I suggest a visit to this site http://www.co2science.org/subject/other/clim_hist_1thousand.php I think you will find it rather fascinating and perhaps give you a better understanding about our topsy-turvy weather here in the UK.
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Climate change, Earth, Earth Sciences, Spring (season), Temperature, Weather, Winter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on March 15, 2013
Location of the Channel Islands
A couple of days ago I was sitting at home writing one of my posts and mentioning something about the brilliant sunshine we were enjoying in our part of the country. That same day, Monday, I heard what the weather was like in the Channel Islands where they almost never get snow. They were experiencing one of the worst snow blizzards they have ever had the misfortune to get, in fact much of northern France and south-east England were having the same experience yet here along the coast in west Lancashire it was sunny with no snow. Later that day though we began to see fine snow descending as the sky grew darker and darker with approaching clouds from the east. By nightfall we had what you might call a ‘dusting’ of snow but only about a couple of millimetres. However, because it was extremely cold it remained on the ground until morning. Tuesday started again with bright sunshine and clear blue skies and as the temperature rose the snow disappeared except in the very sheltered spots. The weather is getting better each day as Spring approaches. The main problem facing the country as far as the weather is concerned is the wind direction. Whilst it is blowing from the east we will continue with colder days. According to the forecast though the wind is beginning to veer from the north and gradually from the west, where we expect it to be coming from at this time of year. Most of my mornings are spent at home unless I have work to do and once it is afternoon I begin to think about going for bike rides or visiting the pub for a meal or going for a walk somewhere as by that time I don’t expect any calls on my phone requesting work that day. Most folk call me in the evenings unless it is something they think requires urgent attention. By mid afternoon I am not usually prepared to start work and always tend to defer jobs to be scheduled some other day and in the morning. Life is getting better for me as I begin to take things more easy and please myself. Now that the weather is seemingly improving I thought we might have gotten the chance to see something of the comet that paid the inner solar system a visit recently but alas I think we’ve missed it. Those in the southern hemisphere have enjoyed watching its progress as it swept toward the sun and we in the northern hemisphere should have still been able to see it after it had swung round the sun returning from whence it came. If it had been visible, it would have graced the western sky after sunset for a few more days. According to what I’ve read it would have been visible between 12th and 20th of this month. Later in the year however in November, we are informed that a much brighter comet will make an appearance and will be more prominent in the northern hemisphere for a change. We’ll see.
Posted in Astronomy, Weather | Tagged: Astronomy, Channel Islands, England, France, Snow, Solar System, South East England, Weather | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on February 15, 2013
Daydreams in Cold Weather
It hasn’t been a really bad winter where I live considering some of the appalling weather many have had so suffer elsewhere. I cannot complain really having only suffered a couple of days of negotiable snow and ice before it disappeared completely. Even now more snow is forecast for tomorrow (Wednesday) but I think we may avoid it here on the coast and I don’t think it will last very long where it does fall. We have reached that time of the year when things are beginning to improve, temperatures rising albeit slowly and with spells of cold still persisting but I see the snowdrops in my garden and the green stems of daffodils growing quite tall ready to open next month. There are already flowering plants hugging the ground which don’t seem to mind the cold weather but these are winter flowering plants that blossom for most of the year giving the borders a lot of colour. They are yellow, red and purple with large green foliage and really do brighten up the dull soil. Most other plants are still dormant apart from the evergreen shrubs we have. The sun is desperately trying to shine through the clouds and it lights up the house giving it that extra shot of heat too but then it disappears for the day and everywhere seems cold again. I wish the warmer weather would hurry. Even though I don’t mind the cold weather too much it isn’t the same. I long for Spring and it is only round the corner. The front of our house bears the full sunshine as it more or less faces SSW and if I am sitting in one of the two front lounges it is very much noticeable. At the moment I am being teased for the sun comes and goes during the day giving me a glimpse and promise of better days ahead.
- Your guide to the best snowdrops (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- waiting for spring (balconyberlin.wordpress.com)
- Snowdrops (charleymckelvy.wordpress.com)
- Long-Awaited Snowdrops (satnavandcider.wordpress.com)
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Flowering plant, Garden, spring, Weather | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on February 8, 2013
A weather map of an extratropical cyclone affecting Great Britain and Ireland. The “L” symbol denotes the center of the “low”, and the occluded, cold, and warm frontal boundaries are depicted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Don’t you just love the weather in the UK? For those who live beyond our shores let me tell what a wonderful weather system we have here (she says with tongue in cheek). Well you have to live here to understand what I am saying. If you have lived here or visited this lovely land you will appreciate what I am saying. It could be the reason you left couldn’t it? Living here means getting used to it but I think even those living near the North Pole would find it difficult living here, not because it gets cold but because it gets wet too, then it gets warm and finally it gets wet and sunny. It is all over the place at times and doesn’t know what to do. I am sitting at home on Monday afternoon having had no work scheduled and the day is windy, quite windy. Earlier it was sunny for an hour or so and it has rained a little too. A total difference to what the weather was like yesterday when it was warm and sunny, though there was a wind blowing but not as fast as it is today. I spent some time riding my bicycle in the warm sunshine yesterday but really don’t fancy doing the same today! Ah, but it is winter after all so we can expect this sort of weather. By the calendar we are half-way through Winter and heading for Spring when we hope to see a vast improvement, at least in temperature. We can hope for dry and warm weather but knowing our weather we are more likely to get rain. A national pastime here is moaning about the weather, we know it gets lousy at times but not all of the time and we know we could go and live somewhere else given the chance but we are used to the place and the good things about living here far outweigh the bad methinks. Why else would anyone want to come and settle here and we all know they do, even at this time of year! I have a small job tomorrow morning, fitting an outside light for somebody! Wouldn’t you just know it? If the weather is too bad I won’t do it but I know I’ll only be outside for a short time and can always pop back indoors in-between the showers!
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Atmospheric sciences, Earth Science, Meteorology, Monday, North Pole, spring, Weather, Winter | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on January 24, 2013
Gulf stream map
After a few days of miserable weather of snow, wind and rain the sun began to shine again at last (Tuesday) although it is still cold. What little snow we had it has almost all disappeared now but it could fall again at any time of course. Some snow still lies on pavements shaded from the sun and can only melt when the air temperature rises but at 2 degrees Celsius this could take some time, especially as the temperature drops below zero overnight. I am looking forward to the time I can get out on my bicycle again but it may be some time yet. The problem with the weather in the UK is that it is so unpredictable. This is due to the UK’s location on the Globe where warm and cold winds can be in conflict and where the Gulf Stream warms an otherwise cold sea. The position of the ‘Jetstream’ high in the atmosphere has a strong influence too, enabling cold air from the north or east to blow or allowing warmer winds from the west and south. My bicycle stands next to my van in the garage ready for action that at the moment isn’t going to happen. At least the sun is shining and is brightening up the lives of people during these cold days of winter. We all know it won’t last though but although we cannot make hay at this time of year we can be happy that the sun is shining can’t we? Just as well, more snow is forecast for Friday and they say it will be raining the day after with 6 C temperature! I did say the weather in the UK is unpredictable.
Posted in Cycling, Weather | Tagged: Celsius, Cycling, Gulf Stream, Jetstream, Snow, Temperature, Weather, Wind | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on January 16, 2013
Snow on the Wolds The weather can change pretty dramatically at this time of year!
I don’t know about you but I get sick of the way some news items and weather forecasts are dramatically presented. There seems to be a policy of exaggerating events and filling them with unnecessary drama, especially weather forecasts. Over the last couple of days we have been warned about impending cold temperatures, icy roads, snowfalls and windy conditions. They use coloured hazard warning triangles to show the severity of events. Come on, we know it’s Winter and we know we can expect inclement weather, we don’t need a song a dance presentation. It is sufficient to tell us to expect lots of snow and ice or whatever isn’t it? In fact we haven’t had any snow where I live but other parts of the country have been less fortunate. Which is better to say, ‘Tomorrow there will be heavy falls of snow causing problems and disruptions during the rush hour as people try to get to work’ or ‘Expect some heavy downpours of snow tomorrow which may cause disruptions to travellers’? I often wonder how other countries cope and if they make an issue of it? In places like Canada road users have a legal obligation to fit ‘winter’ tyres at the onset of Winter so they are ready and prepared for it and their snowfalls are measured in feet! We get a few inches and it causes havoc!
Sutton Road in winter Don’t expect to see snow here too often.
I find many people making too much of a fuss about certain things in their lives, things that most people just accept as life. There is a time to make a fuss I suppose but not for things we should expect to happen but maybe for the unusual.
This country has been quite unprepared in previous years for sudden changes in the weather, such as heavy snow by not having enough rock salt to spread on the roads or enough vehicles or personnel to do it. There is really no excuse for that, at this time of year we know conditions can change dramatically, especially in this country!
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Canada, Met Office, Snow, Weather, Winter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on December 28, 2012
English: St Gwynno Forest Part of the extensive forest with a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the last few days the weather here has been quite reasonable with no frost, no ice and for the most part quite dry. Today, Wednesday, as I write this the day started with sunshine but by afternoon it began to rain quite heavily. I have been going out for walks which is fine when it isn’t raining but less so when it is. December weather these days is quite mild and I remember a time when it wasn’t always so. Call it global warming or something to do with a low in the normal cycle of weather but whichever is right it just seems a bit odd to me. No doubt we will be in for some cold times in the near future so I think it best to enjoy the mild spell whist we are able. Looking out over the rear garden the grass is lush and some of the border plants are in flower. Seasonal vegetables are still growing but the deciduous trees look somewhat forlorn empty of their green foliage. This is one reason I like to see evergreen trees and shrubs in my garden to keep it looking alive and pleasant to look at. My bicycle stands waiting to be ridden again, I don’t use it when it is raining or if it is frosty, I use it only for pleasure and exercise. Most times I will go for a walk during days of poorer weather. It is nice to stay at home when the weather is poor but I am biting at the bit wanting to get out in the fresh air and hopefully there will be plenty of opportunity to do just that, even at this time of year. It is a time for the moment to rest from the working life and simply enjoy myself. I know there will be lots to do soon enough, the problem with that though is that I may feel a little reluctant to start the ball rolling again!
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Gardens, Global warming, National Weather Service, Rain, Temperature, Weather, Wednesday | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 30, 2012
English: Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. Sand dunes and the beach at Freshfield. Blackpool tower and the Big One rollercoaster could clearly be seen from the top of this high sand dune on this day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was such a beautiful day on Wednesday, completely blue sky after a few clouds early in the morning. It was a cold and frosty day though, the beginning of the onset of Winter. I had to drive about ten miles to carry out some work for someone, part of that work entailed being outdoors. It always seem the way that when it is cold people want jobs doing outdoors! I didn’t mind but wearing gloves whilst doing electrical jobs is a little tricky and I had to remove them to carry out the more delicate part of the installation. It might have been better had I been working on the south side of the house but no, it had to be the north side and in a slight northerly wind too! Fortunately I wasn’t out there too long and was able to do the other of the two jobs inside the house. The old guy gave me a drink of coffee and then I remembered it isn’t until you come in from the cold that you realise how cold you are! It took me a few minutes to get warmed up again. I was back home for lunch and was tempted to go for a walk in the afternoon but I was feeling a little tired and left it for another day. We have had a lot of rain lately and in some parts of the country they have suffered flooding because many rivers couldn’t cope with the volume of water and they overflowed causing much damage to buildings and people’s homes. They will be very grateful for the change in weather. Where I live there is no danger from flooding at all, I don’t live close to a river or in a valley or at the bottom of a hill. The land is fairly flat but a little undulating, probably because it is near the sea and the sand dunes. Probably the undulations are actually long-since covered over large dunes themselves. I know my house is built on highly compacted sand as are all the others in the area. There are some places around the town though where large holes suddenly appear in the roads and I am talking about vehicle-sized ones! I suppose these areas have underground rivulets for there are quite a number of those in certain places, none where my house is though fortunately. The house was built in 1877 and shows no signs of subsidence. I guess it will still be here in 2077! I know I won’t! That being the case I enjoy every day for they are all beautiful, are they not?
- Beauty in Winter (hoogator.wordpress.com)
- A frosty end to November. (scarboroughfairflorals.wordpress.com)
Posted in Life, Weather, Well-being, Work | Tagged: Dune, Earth Sciences, Life, Philosophy, Weather, Well-being | 4 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 29, 2012
Winter Solstice sunset_S02049 (Photo credit: Ennor)
In a little over three weeks it will be the beginning of Winter here in the northern hemisphere, that is the calendar version of Winter. On or about the 21st or 22nd of December marks the Winter Solstice when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky at midday after which it begins to rise further northward with each passing day. The days begin to get longer as they say. Actually of course it is only the daylight hours which increase, probably the only consolation at a time in the year when the weather begins to get worse! I was at home a couple of days ago and the sun was shining directly upon the wall which faces the window. In three weeks time, if the sun is shining it will be shining half-way up the wall. A sobering thought to know that it will be months before the sun is high enough in the sky to be able once more to feel warm when out-of-doors. If I had a month in the calendar that I disliked the most it might be December I think. Apart from the month marking the start of Winter there are the festivals of Christmas and New Year and everything leading up to them, which I hate. At this time of year I am most certainly looking forward to January when everything gets back to normality for me. My favourite time of year is almost over but I have to say the latter part of it I am not a lover of, once my birthday has passed the weather just gets colder and miserable. I try not to let the weather get me feeling miserable though, in fact I enjoy going for walks in the cold weather provided I am well wrapped-up. Returning to the warmth of home and a hot drink makes it all worthwhile. It isn’t the same though when it is cold and raining too. This time of year is great when it is dry but when it is cold, windy and wet it makes me feel as though I want to remain indoors all nice and cozy. I don’t mind the cold or even the rain as long as it isn’t lashing it down but the wind I don’t like very much at all. I was talking about the run-up to Christmas as being traditionally a busy time for me at work and as it is turning out that way again this year I am finding I’ve little time to spend just going for walks whether the weather is fine or not. If the weather is not so good I am better off at work!
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Christmas, January, New Year, Northern Hemisphere, Weather, Winter solstice | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 29, 2012
I went out to the pub on Friday evening, well late afternoon to be truthful. E dropped me off as she was about to visit her mum. The pub is in the opposite direction but only a half mile or thereabouts so it was nice of her to drop me off. I spent a while alone as there were not many people in the place just after four in the afternoon. Many go there for lunch and so the place gets rather packed at times but there is always somewhere to sit in the bar area. I sat in the bar area as I normally do however and just waited to see who might come in. During the first hour I saw the place begin to fill with people and one or two came over and chatted with me whilst others simply acknowledged my presence as it were. Before long the place was crowded and there was very few places left to sit down. More people came to chat with me and then they moved on. Sometimes it is like that and at other times I can spend my whole time there in the company of just a few people. I decided not to stay too long so I made my way home shortly after eight o’clock. I walked home. I didn’t do much for the rest of the evening except make myself a snack and watch a little television. Strangely enough I was feeling rather tired so I got to bed before midnight and slept right through until ten in the morning with just a couple of visits to the little girl’s room during the night. I wasn’t much hungry when I got up and it was such a lovely day on Saturday that I made up my mind to go for a bike ride. The weather forecast for Sunday wasn’t promising so I thought I would get out whilst it was still fine. Around eleven o’clock I was ready to go. I had several warm layers of clothing on and track suit leggings together with a pair of gloves and a hat. I needed them all, it wasn’t as warm as it looked outside. Oh yes, the sun was shining in a totally blue sky but the wind was blowing too, not too much but it was from the north and it was cold! I remembered that I had to go to the chemist (drug store) to collect my hormone prescription for the next twelve week’s supply so I made the detour to the village to collect it. I took my usual route along the seafront and found it almost devoid of other people except for those driving or sitting in their cars. The above picture shows part of the seafront walk looking south towards home. The cycle route is actually over the little parapet wall on the right of the picture. It is at the top of a slope leading down to the sandy beach. The ornately patterned walkway in the centre is reserved for pedestrians although cyclists may use it if they ride slowly. I rode down this section as there were no pedestrians on it! A few people were enjoying the fresh air down on the beach but they were well wrapped up for the occasion! The main road is at a lower level on the left of the picture between the pedestrian way and the building shown which happens to be a sports centre and gymnasium. The gymnasium is situated upstairs so that those using it can look out to sea whilst exercising on the treadmills or elliptical training equipment. There are a few amenities available in the same area behind the gymnasium, a large Travel Inn hotel, a cinema, a bowling alley, restaurants and a short distance away from the coastal road the ubiquitous McDonald’s and Pizza Hut together with a couple of stores. I continued on my way battling against the oncoming wind until I finally reached the point where I could turn back inland and make the return journey home. I rode back along The Promenade with its lakeside view and back southward to the roads around my house. The picture below shows part of the Promenade looking in the direction of home with the lake on the right-hand-side beyond which and out of sight to the right are some sand dunes with the seafront and coastal road beyond. In actual fact the beach is probably no more than a quarter mile away. Both these pictures were taken about eight years ago but the weather on Saturday was just the same as in the pictures. I put the bike away in the cellar so that it wouldn’t be in the way for the guys working on my garage door on Monday. Normally I keep the bike in the garage and indeed there are two other bikes stored in there but they are hanging out-of-the-way at the far end of the garage and there is no space for another bike alongside them. The floor area at the rear of the garage is filled with other items so parking the bike there is awkward. I got changed into my normal day clothes and prepared my lunch, E joining me a little later. I may be able to resume exercising on the treadmill soon, that is running on it. I have been doing a few miles of ‘speed walking‘ but no running until my head gets a lot better. After that fall some weeks ago I have been suffering dull headaches but they have almost disappeared now and I shall be able to take up my more strenuous exercise of running soon. In the meantime my bike rides have been most welcome.
Posted in Exercise | Tagged: Exercise, Health, Weather | 4 Comments »