scribbles tagged ‘weather’

Over dramatic

Monday, May 4th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Freak hailstormOne minute everything is sunshine and light, the local dogs on the balcony are checking me out

Within the hour there are swirling winds, rain and dramatic hail.  Beating the coating off my hare and giving my guests cause to whip out their iPhones.

Wisely the guests hold on to their beers to prove my camera isn’t set on monochrome…


1 wonderful musing »

the scary balcony

Saturday, March 28th, 2015 | tags: , , , ,  |

Shadows from evening sunshineDog park in distanceExchanging the Wendy House staircase of doom for the Wendy Loft scary balcony, is a novelty. As the weather warms I’m sending myself as a scouting party onto the balcony to discover it’s virtues:

To the east in the morning an active dog park & neighbours’ BBQ’d balconies of similar scariest quotients

To the North in the evening dramatic shadow cast through the legs of a local state route ramp


The grass is yellow from months of snow-covered sun starvation. Now we’re in a ‘drought’. It hasn’t rained since I moved here in November. The local’s tell me the snowfall has been very light. It seems to come 3-6 inches in a couple of hours, but only for a couple of hours and not frequently. During the winter months snow falls and stays, gradually accumulating then spring temperatures above freezing melt it away.

1 wonderful musing »

Thermostatic calibration in progress

Thursday, February 19th, 2015 | tags: , , , ,  |

1FAt 1°F the temperature is actually very close to “Goodness this is a bit too cold to be walking anywhere” or “F**k” in the old English vernacular. This is without a wind chill factor, it’ll take a lot more research to really grasp the frostbite inducing winds. Currently I’m avoiding all winds at temperatures below 32°F (freezing). I’m building a list of real descriptions of the new temperatures I’m experiencing. This will help me understand how to dress and talk to the locals.

Goodness this is a bit too cold to be walking anywhere

Preliminary scope suggested as from  5°F down to 0°F This range needs to be confirmed. Behavioural implications include:

  • Hat that covers ears & gloves required
  • Talking about cold is acceptable
  • The mucus in your nose freezes about 30seconds after you go outside
  • A heated steering wheel would definitely be a plus for a car that’s been parked outside in this weather. Darn, it’s not included for my car. Driving gloves essential…   I keep 2 pairs of gloves in the car lest I haven’t anticipated a drop in temperatures. One thick insulated pair for leaving the car and one leather set for covering that period whole the car warms up.
  • For short walks (from car to office, store, specific building) thin soled shoes are passable, but your feet will feel the cold quickly. Thick soles, such as Dr. Martens airware are advisable

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white out, walked in

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Salt stains on bar floor Another polished concrete floor. This one isn’t in my apartment.

Under the stool in a bar where the floor is probably washed on a daily basis.

This is salt, walked in by customers crossing the car park. Wow! My car is now half white. I wonder what effect this has on the local water table, so much salt spread everywhere…

The carpets at the entranceway at work are thick with the white-out. My Dr. Martens carried the salt across several hundred yards to sit under my desk which looks a mess. My apartment has become a slippers-only place in the winter.


2 bits of fabulous banter »

Minutes till frostbite

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 | tags: , ,  |

minus 2fSnow is predicted in “Inches per hour”.  I know inches, this means something to me.

Wind-chill is translated to the “number of minutes before frostbite” All I know is that Frostbite is bad. I think it kills the parts of the body that it effects and they drop off. This is like the weather people saying don’t stay outside this long, even if you’re wrapped up well it’s just a really silly idea.

Schools are closed based on wind chill levels. Different schools have different policies.  Looks like a wind chill advisory of -35F is likely to close schools. That is 15 mins to frostbite…

I made a mistake at the weekend. Walking 50ft from the car to a building, I didn’t bother to put my gloves on or button my jacket. It’s not a mistake I’ll make again. My temperate climate habits don’t fit here.


what do you think of that »

No coat hangers

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Most of the time it’s below freezing. Today’s been an exception, I’ve walked out with my coat undone, no hat, no gloves and my scarf hanging limp in the sunshine. Yet the restaurants don’t offer to take your coat when you arrive.

Cloakrooms are definitely not ‘de rigour’. They exist. If you ask, you are offered a coat hanging solution, but this offer is not naturally forthcoming. Odd, given the weather and dress of the locals.

I’ve been in Minneapolis for a week, eaten out once per day. My oversized WW2 style flight jacket is heavy, when placed on the back of a restaurant chair, the chair surrenders. It falls backwards to the floor. I’ve now sent the jacket to the dry cleaners because it’s hugged way too many local restaurant floors.

1 wonderful musing »

you make me wanna SHOUT!

Sunday, July 20th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

It’s HOT

People open their windows & doors to catch any breeze that might wander by

It’s HOT

Official warnings of a ‘heat wave’ and health concerns because Britons are not familiar with how to behave safely, healthily in hot weather

It’s HOT

Tempers and temperatures are rising

From my open doors and windows I can hear the family frictions of neighbours in the surrounding streets, beyond my immediate neighbours. When they shout I can hear what they say. Shouts blown in the breeze to me.

Living alone, I have no-one to shout at.

Living alone, I have nothing I want to shout at anyone about. I don’t recall ever shouting at people that I lived with. But it must have happened and I’ve conveniently forgotten it in the peace of my own home. No-one wants to invite shouting into their home, it must just happen somehow.

In the heat Sampo and I lounge around in the shade. She tells me about it, but doesn’t shout.

Windows and doors are closed when the thunder and lightening hit. As if the world is objecting to all the shouting and demonstrating this by shouting right back with a stormy temper beyond that of any mortal. Unlike Sampo, I love the thunder and lightening storms. The sound of rain pounding on the roof and the way they whipe the slate, garden and street clean.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

foggy days

Sunday, April 6th, 2014 | tags: , , , , ,  |

tree before smogWhy I love England #22: foggy days

Seeing the winter tree skeletons defined against a soft canvas of white.  Hearing the laughter and chatter of children as the emerge, ghostly forms made real, from the fog. I love the mystery of the fog

I’m not so keen on the smog

My wood burning stove uses special filters to reduce the pollution possible from wood smoke. I took this photograph thinking it was fog. Later published pollution levels imply this picture is actually of pollution. People were warned to stay indoors, mot exercise…    …so sad…


1 wonderful musing »

Laundry ship set to sail

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  |

Laundry ShipAnother stormy weekend chez Wendy House.

A temporary break in the flood production system. No rain this morning.

Laundry to be washed and dried. No modern tumble-drier accessories. My laundry its catching some rare sun rays in the Wendy House wind-swept garden.

Extra ballast had been added to the ‘airer’ to prevent it attempting a take-off garden tour. Bricks.

The ships that carried lumber from Seattle to San Francisco, to build the beautiful houses there, carried stone back to Seattle as ballast to weight the ships appropriately on the return journey. The stone was used to build many of the Historic buildings in the Pioneer square area of Seattle. Awesome.

Sampo stretchSampo is staying in.

The RSPCA has warned that cats are likely to take-off in these strong winds. Despite her own substantial personal ballast, Sampo’s a cautious cat.

Sampo’s not risking any unplanned flights.


7 bits of fabulous banter »

sudden storms with high winds and flooding

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Lamp and Wing Mirror on Bridge in rainy traffic jamAfter 6 weeks

Sometimes I don’t cry on short car journeys.

The real crying has started, home alone, listening to music while cleaning the house. The sort of crying that splatters the inside of  your spectacles, a thunderous downpour without windscreen wipers inside of my spectacles. Needing a big hanky to clean the streams of mess. Temporary disabled in a sudden storm. It feels like some form of progress.

6 bits of fabulous banter »

heat wave level 3

Friday, July 19th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

The UK ‘Met office’ has announced that we’re having  a ‘Level 3’ heat wave, with associated Health warnings. Roads are melting and railway tracks are buckling. The next warning level is a national emergency. Gosh. Whatever the temperature, Britain is quite a humid place, 88 today. It reminds me of my trip to North Carolina in June 2006 when I was advised to only fuel the car in the evening and not to ‘paint’ anything.

I’m indulging in lashings of ginger beer. Yummy.

The Blue Nile capture the mood beautifully

1 wonderful musing »

dying breed

Friday, February 8th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

Smoking ladiesTwo ladies with well-coiffed silver hair at the table next to me would leave their table, wine, handbags (under table) in-between each course. They walked out of the restaurant, across the pavement and stood in the gutter smoking cigarettes together.

A gale-force wind hampered their conversation and smoking while they huddled in the gutter. Their camaraderie seemed to make these obstacles melt into the background.

Go girls!

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broken wing

Sunday, January 27th, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

broken wingAs the snow recedes it reveals the debris of an unseen drama.

A perfectly formed wing, depaired from it’s partner.

Did the wearer ‘fall’ or were they pushed?


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rear view mirror

Friday, January 25th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

rear view mirrorThe driver of the car behind me in this traffic jam hadn’t bothered to remove the 4 inches of snow from the roof, bonnet, lights and even most of the windscreen of their car – before driving it.

I had to fight the urge to get out of my car and clean their windscreen for them.  I pity the car behind them – when chunks of snow come flying off the roof, heading like iced snowballs at their windscreen.

It’s all fun and games on the British roads after a freak snow fall.

5 bits of fabulous banter »

snowed under

Saturday, January 19th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

Snow-covered glass roof Iced tea and Tennessee Bourbon on the menu today at the wendy house. We don’t often get snow so this is a bit of treat.

iced tea in the garden?There was an impromptu party in my local convenience store. Groups of young folk were discussing what essential supplies they wanted in case food deliveries are blocked by snow. I wandered around slowly, enjoying the cheerful young folk and sensibly dressed adult impersonators. Alcohol, tea, bread and milk were selling fast.

Snow on the roof of the wendy house orangerie is keeping the heat in without blocking the light. It’s my own little igloo-style roof. Meanwhile Sampo snores with unabashed contentment in prime position by the woodburning stove

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Today is a day for going belly-up

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

Sampo goes belly-upA month’s worth of rain falls overnight, 96 flood warnings in the UK. Sampo’s gone bellly-up. We’re expecting Trouble, and that starts with T which rhymes with P and that stands for Pool, which is bigger than a Puddle which rhymes with Trouble.

I suspect Sampo will float if the Thames decides to rise up to the Wendy House garden.

2 bits of fabulous banter »


Friday, June 8th, 2012 | tags: ,  |

field sky clouds farmhouseNo clouds were harmed in the production of this post


1 wonderful musing »

the cloud

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 | tags: ,  |

UK is partly cloudy?!Somewhere in the UK is almost always partly cloudy

When my phone announced that the UK was partly cloudy I was baffled by it’s desire to share the obvious

Luckily the weather announcers here in the UK have developed creative ways of describing these clouds, to keep us entertained on many an overcast day.  How can anyone fail to find many ways of describing and falling in love with skies like these:
the cloud

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what does humid mean in the UK?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 | tags:  |

another scorcher” (high of 29 celcius, USA = 84 F)

hot and humid”

thundery downpours”

This morning’s weather forcast is using language normally reserved for a tempestuous relationship.  A refreshing change.

The UK met office doesn’t publish humidity levels. Weatherforce UK provide a humity map for the whole of the UK that is impossible to read, tiny white text on a yellow background.

Hot and Humid.  A bit icky by my reckoning

In the NW USA 28% meant humid

Floppy cat on the cool-kitchen tiles meant humid

What does humid mean in the UK? It’s still a mystery to me…

3 bits of fabulous banter »

inundated with water

Thursday, January 6th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

BBC radio 4 reported that many houses were inundated with water in the Queensland floods. The reporter went on to explain that the water contained snakes and crocodiles, but that the local residents were taking this in their stride. The image of Australians pragmatically striding through crocodile infested water was an entertaining image of a devastating event.

PS this post has 56 words before the PS

1 wonderful musing »

tree stump avoidance

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

walking up the hillHalfway up the Thames Valley’s infamous Streatly Bobsliegh run the Reading team stop to discuss

how best to use their cardboard sled

advanced tree-stump avoidance tactics

healthcare provision

1 wonderful musing »

tooth proof

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

biting cold in Reading town January 2010Recently the BBC reported that Reading town would be the victim of a

biting northeasterly wind


Unlike the Newcastle locals, the Reading town locals can be seen shivering at the Bus stops wearing tooth-proof clothing.

1 wonderful musing »

smells like rain

Friday, August 13th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

wendy: smells like rain

my colleage looks outside the window at the blue sky, looks back at me, raises a single eyebrow slowly then  the edges of her mouth swing out while her lips furl from her teeth revealing the cheekiest of grins.

wendy: I know, it sounds a bit bonkers, but this room just does smell like rain to me, can you smell it?

colleague: no (laughs, then, about a minute later)  OH MY GOD. WENDY! Look out the window, its raining!

A cloud above the building that we couldn’t see was dumnping its load with avengance, rain against blue skys. To me the smell was overwhelming and kinda sexy.  Apparantly the other people in the room couldn’t smell the rain through the building walls.

On planet wendy we not only smell the future coming we often hear then trip-over it too.

10 bits of fabulous banter »

hearts and noses

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

the snow is cold and fresh, lets go out on the downs and make love, I really want to make love outdoors, please…

I knew the pull of making love in freshly fallen snow.

But not with him. We weren’t even friends, let alone lovers. Once I would have considered that all part of the fun.  I’d learned the hard way that strangers with a sense of vitality, of living life to the full, seemed to come in a package that perversely included a need to possess, control.  To own you in a way that breaks legal and moral boundaries, that breaks skin, bone, hearts and noses.  I’m more cautious now.

Masturbate or find another partner, I’m not interested

2 bits of fabulous banter »

snow crash

Monday, February 22nd, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

During the recent snow, cars moved very, very slowly and often moved into unintended places with slow, steady momentum.

It’s difficult to forget the world while shivering.  Its worth a try.  Getting a good wood burning stove is also worth a try

snow patrol sang chasing cars

3 bits of fabulous banter »

a little rash last night

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

walking from the bus stop to workLast night I decided to go into work today.

A week after Thomas got snowed into the drive,   finally I planned on taking him out for a spin and some slip sliding…

This morning 3 inches of new snow fall, still coming, quickly scuppered that rash  little plan.

5 bits of fabulous banter »

weather warning

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

pathwaw to the house

affecting  all of the UK

 Normally the weather only affects a bit of the UK while the rest of the UK remains weatherless.

Weatherlessness?   No wind, no fog, no rain, no thunderstorms, no snow, no blue skies… …a silent, still, greyness lingering oppressively

2 bits of fabulous banter »

kitty litter cover-up

Monday, January 11th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

There is a national shortage of kitty litter.

The National press are conspiring to supress this story.  Some regional press are sneaking out reports. The Burton press managed  this excerpt:

Tesco, on St Peter’s Bridge, sold out of cat litter on Thursday as customers grabbed supplies to use as a handy and effective substitute for gritting salt. Sales have rocketed by 70 per cent in a week.

The East anglia times noted panic purchase of pussy essentials

Customers at Tesco stores in Kesgrave and Martlesham are reporting a shortage of eggs, bread and milk, while there was also word of rapidly emptying shelves at Sainsbury’s in Warren Heath.   Anti-freeze products, boots and thermal underwear have also proved popular, alongside a surprise best-seller – cat litter.

Local councils are running out of grit for the roads so private citizens are stepping-up to fill the void left by the hording and abusing of  the litter of the cat.   This reduces supplies for normal cat toilet abilities.   There could be unanticipated consequences.

Your eyewitness, on the spot, roving reporter  [ME!]  is out and about interviewing the kitties that matter, those  suffering from this very shortage.

In this revealing interview footage we listen to

  • a vey frustrated, unlittered cat
  • icicles melting
  • the police sirens as they chase people deliberately over-purchasing kitty litter for elicit purposes

sinkingMatrix has difficulty walking on the snow and fails to find an acceptable toilet.     Her experience is similar to that of many of the UKs mainly outdoor kitties.

What will happen next?

How can I improvise when my stocks run out and my indoor kitties refuse to conduct their ablutions in the snow. OH!

5 bits of fabulous banter »

i cycle

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

dawnFor your own safety, please avoid walking under the permanently affixed  luminance apparatus  on the Wendy House frontage

Sorry for the inconvenience

This message is bought to you courtesy of wendy, the fluffballs, January snow…

…the cup of T

and the number 3

5 bits of fabulous banter »

burst mains

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

A trickle of water from the cold water tap.

Less that a trickle from the hot water tap,

Not enough flow to ignite the combi-bolier heating.   Brrrr…

I made a cup of tea,   inspecting all visible pipes in the house and the stop-cock that supplies water to the house.

All were well.

Watermains Burst

Thames Water website show a daily list of major water mains leaks and areas they affect.   There is a leak nearby, but it shouldn’t be affecting my home.   There is a note that they are having difficulty getting to burst water mains  and that the phones are very busy.   I should be  patient.

I coat, boot and glove-up.   Then carry  my spade through the ice and snow covered garden.

Viburnum Tinus wieghed downThe garden water tap is frozen. I can’t turn it. No sign of a leak.   I get to the roadside and dig out my water valve and check the meter.   It’s not ticking over.   No water coming onto my property.   Phew, no leak on my property means I dont have to call out a plumber on my expense.   Inconvenience rather than inconvenience and financial burden.   Phew.

The neighbors have no water at all.    I offer them use of my trickle to fill their kettle for tea.   We watch as a child hikes by with 4 large bottles of water.   A man walks by and asks if we have water,   we tell him no and he is pleased.   He’s just visited his lonely frightened mother, he goes back to reasure her that its the water mains.

Plenty of white snow around for creating untreated water.  I’m not going to die of thirst in the near future or run out of Tea

I wonder if snow is full of chemicals or fresh enough to drink as it once was.  Luckily I haven’t had to find out – yet.

The trickle from my tap filled some bottles for tea and the bath to flush the toilet.

6 bits of fabulous banter »