Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful…Not

How my garden should look right now...
How my garden should look right now…

Usually this time of year, we have cold and wet. If not in the form of snow and sleet the wet usually shows up in the form of rain. So okay, it’s a bit “drizzly” outside and the ground is a bit soggy; but…

Temperature wise it’s about a few degrees short of tropical.

In England??

At Christmas??

It is not just today’s temperature that is pushing the mercury up either. It’s been like this for the past week.

How my garden really looks...
How my garden really looks…

*Oh and in case you were interested it’s just reached 52 degrees Fahrenheit outside in “real” temperature or 11 degrees Celsius in pretend temperature.*

Hell, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m on blood thinners, I’d be wearing shorts, flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt outside on my Metro Health Marches. Granted that at 52 it is about 4 or 5 degrees cooler than it has been for the last few days.

I know that you are all nodding sagely and murmuring about Global Warming, but, is that really what is going on? Am I the only one who thinks that maybe…just maybe, this is linked to the Mayan’s somehow? Was their real message about the climate change that we are experiencing? Perhaps those scholars missed the odd carving in the calendar and did not realise that 21/12/2012 was actually the date that the world’s average temperature was going to start rising.

Seriously though, this is a little bit freaky. I don’t remember southern California being this warm at Christmas!

Sure we had a few days of “overnight” snow that was gone by about 10 in the morning, but it has been steadily getting warmer. It’s actually kind of annoying. Just when I’ve decided that half of the world’s scientific community were talking through their…hats about global warming and the greenhouse effect, the weather starts acting all…global warming-ly.

I’ve got flowers budding on the anaemic bush in my front garden, which I am pretty sure, should only be budding in spring. But then you could take everything I know about plants and put in a match-box and still have room for an over abundance of matches. Mr Green Fingers I am not.

My "out-of-season" flowers...
My “out-of-season” flowers…

It is unusual to see so many folks not bundled up like they are going for a walk in Siberia. Of course all the “older” folks are still bundled up; they are most likely on similar blood thinning medication to myself, not to mention the fact that “older” circulation leaves a lot to be desired. So the OAP’s are still “feeling” the cold but no-one else appears to be suffering.

Does this mean that age old tradition of giving sweaters that could keep an entire third world country warm will no longer be a standard Christmas present? The same with gloves and Mukluks and Parkas will they become presents of the past? Will scratchy uncomfortable woollen clothing items that have been the nemesis of unhappy children everywhere no longer exist?

Perhaps this is what the Mayan’s were warning us about. With their advanced calendar skills, they must have foreseen that from the 21st of December 2012 on, that cold weather was going to be a thing of the past. The world was not ending just excessively cold weather!

Wow! What an epiphany! I just need to put together a thesis and present it to some governmental agency with more money than sense and get a funded research project going. Of course the first thing I’d need would be tickets to Mexico and accommodation for the extended period of time I’ll need to prove my thesis. I will be able to save some money on the project.

After all, how much can shorts, flip-flops, Hawaiian shirts and sunscreen really cost?

Of course I will also need an all important Sombrero to keep the sun out of my eyes… Adiós Amigos!

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Celebrate??

The fifth of June 2012 or next Tuesday in fact will be the day set aside to celebrate the Queen’s sixtieth anniversary of her ascension to the throne. Although the fifth is the “official” day set aside for these celebrations, British people will be having their own celebrations throughout the whole Bank Holiday weekend.

On my street for instance, a few families have got together to organise a “Street” party. Everyone in the street has been invited to attend. The party boasts a barbecue, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), although I think the general idea is for everyone to bring their own food and drink, and many other party-like activities. There will also be activities for those party goers too young to quite enjoy the grown-ups ideas of festivity.

I don’t begrudge the organisers asking for everyone who’s attending to BYOB and BYOF. After all, they have spent quite a bit of money renting a bouncy castle, and setting up other various activities for the little ones.

I do find it highly amusing that the government had boasted of an extra Bank Holiday in June which would  officially be the four day holiday for Jubilee celebrations. In actual fact, the June Bank Holiday is not extra at all. It is just the May Bank Holiday which usually falls on the last weekend in May moved forward to June.

If the British public are going to really celebrate Queen Elizabeth II and her sixtieth anniversary as the honorary head of the British Empire, wouldn’t it have been nicer and that bit more special if they had really put in an extra Bank Holiday?  In a time when it is increasingly difficult to get folks to show national pride, patriotism and support of the Royal Family, how hard would it have been to make the June Bank Holiday a real addition to the already existing Bank Holiday’s. Just a ‘one off’ would have been very nice. It will be another ten years before another “special” anniversary date comes up. And the Queen, as hale and hardy as she evidently is, may not be here for that one.

I am guessing though, that with the world in a recession (just scant millimetres from a depression) the government doesn’t feel we can afford to have that extra Bank Holiday. The earners of the country need to keep earning as much as possible. After all it is the earners who pay the government salary. Heaven forbid that they should not get the maximum tax benefits from the working populace.

I  will not actually be attending the street party. I cannot really afford it. On top of that it generally rains in this country on Bank Holidays and I don’t think that sneakily changing the Bank Holiday dates will prevent the weather from performing on cue.


Weather (Photo credit: Jen SFO-BCN)

I can get really frustrated at the weather in this country. I have lived in quite a few places in the world. I have also visited a lot more. I have experienced weather in them all. I can say, with very little reservation, that the weather is the most frustrating here.

It is a topic that everyone talks about. When bumping into friends and acquaintances the first or second subject that will crop up is the weather. We complain about, joke about, and worry about the weather. It seems to be so unpredictable that even the weathermen have difficulty in guessing it’s next move.

You can start out the day with glorious sunshine. It is warm and the outside looks so inviting. The early appearance of the sun galvanizes you. Energy flows though every vein of your body. Quick! Get the washing machine going. Get out the lawn mower and clippers. Get out the bucket for washing the windows and the car.

While scurrying about getting everything ready for your sun filled day, you also plan on what to do in the way of leisure. A walk or perhaps a visit to the seaside. And in the afternoon maybe we’ll drag the barbecue out of the shed and do some burgers.

Don’t bother.

Weather.. (Photo credit: Tim Patterson)

I can guarantee you that before the washing machine has finished it’s first cycle, the clouds will come. The temperature will drop. The wind will pick up, all the better to move more clouds in. The rain will start dripping and dropping in it’s build up to the sporadic rain that will fill the rest of the day.  Your energy level plummets back to normal. Only now you have to rush around and put away all the things that you got out in preparation for your glorious sun-filled day.

You now put the kettle on for a cup of coffee, or tea if you are a native of this country, and have a grumble about the ‘bloody weather’ while you re-plan your days activities. Of course the first thing you will need to do after having your meditative “cuppa”  is get out the airer. Clothes don’t get dry in the rain and the dryer is expensive to use.

The rest of the day is spent with the suspicion that you have been cheated. You feel as though everything else you are doing has a bitter aftertaste to it. In essence you are bummed.

Of course throughout the day, the sun can make the occasional appearance. The wind will drop. And the rain? Well here is the frustrating part, the rain can (and quite often does) keep right on raining. Or not. But rest assured, that no matter what  the weather is doing for the rest of the day, you will not be able to plan your activities around it.

Now the day is finishing. The light is fading and night starts creeping in. But wait! What’s this? The clouds are going away! The sky becomes clear and star filled. I generally start swearing when this happens.

Now I don’t mind too much that I can’t plan my day around the weather. I also realise that we will, hopefully, get some sunny days to enjoy. I do wish though, that if it has to  rain – and yes I do know that it is a necessity – that it could rain at night, not during the day. Still if wishes were horses beggars would ride. So I’ll just have to keep my umbrella at the ready and make sure I have a good pair of wellies.

weather (Photo credit: oldbilluk)
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