Posted 07:14, 22 March 2013
- As we suffer through yet another few days of pouring rain and galeforce winds, and the forecast for parts of the UK is now for another dumping of snow, I think it’s about time to let off a bit steam about the weather. Yes, we’re English, and yes, we obsess about the weather, but wouldn’t you if you had the quite frankly &^$**&£$?@## [*!!£$^&<> weather that we have ? Holy cow it’s as if we are never going to be rid of winter’s endless and depressing shackles……….
- Where I live here in south east Cornwall was actually quite magical for the first three days this week, in that I actually saw the sun most of the time, the light was at times quite glorious, and at times you could actually feel a bit of warmth. I even got all overexcited and convinced myself that this “warm” weather was surely pushing bass in to our coastline and sneaked out for a few hours on Monday morning. Nope, not a sniff, but just to be out with the sun on my face and nobody else around but Storm and I was pretty wonderful. I’m English and of course I cannot help but hope that yes, this is it, this is spring really coming through and taking over from that perfectly miserable winter.
- But no. We live in the UK, and by yesterday morning it was once again almost reassuringly time to don full waterproofs just to take Storm for her morning walk. It’s as if a few days of sunshine on the face could actually be really bad for us and the weather has decided that no, it’s time to subject us once again to a pile of poo. It rained all day yesterday, I wake up this morning and it’s still lamping it down and it is meant to do so all day long. And some of you up-country are meant to be getting a load of snow. Just frigging marvellous. Don’t you love it ?
- I love living here in south east Cornwall, I really do. I love the UK, albeit I would move over to Ireland tomorrow in a different life. Compared to much of the world we have a pretty good standard of living here in the UK, recession and rising living costs aside. As an island we may well have far too many people living on it, but we do still have quieter parts where one can live a life away from the rat race. Even if you don’t like the current government at least we don’t have quite the rampant corruption so rife is so many other parts of the world, and for the most part the UK seems to work and stumble along ok.But we do have the weather.
- I love reading stories about how in certain parts of the Sierra Nevada in the west of the US they get around 300 days of sunshine a year. I love how some old family friends of ours tell us about the roughly 200 days of sunshine they get each year down in south west France I think it is. It warms my heart, it really does. I shrug it off when a few South African friends gleefully refer to our country as a “mud island”. It makes me feel so good when an angler from Durban who helped us out with a TV programme once told me that if he had to wear trousers more than one day a year there was something wrong with the weather. Warms the cockles of my heart it does. I feel so much for people who say that the weather for example in Los Angeles is just too predictable because the sun shines so much. My heart bleeds.
- Holy cow the other day I don’t think we actually saw the sun for a whole week. I was starting to feel like a vampire who might burst into flames as the first rays of a new day came over the horizon. We are living with the eternal optimism that this year we will once again get a spring. Is it then too much to ask that we might actually get a summer that does not revolve around having to wear waterproofs most times you take the dog out for a walk ? Is it greedy to then wish for at least a handful of days where as a family we might go to the beach and actually be warm for the whole day and be bathed in glorious sunshine ? At least I suppose I am saving money because the suncream I bought last year is still in date for this year, but that saving is hardly going to pay for the man hours I put into chopping and storing wood that we are still burning in our stove to keep warm – and it’s nearly the end of March.
- We live in the UK and for eternity we will moan about the weather. It’s perhaps a part of what supposedly makes us great, but if we really are so great then why can’t the weather cut us some frigging slack and be a bit better ? Bring on global warming and the hotter summers we should end up getting, although I am pretty sure we have had six pants summers in a row now, and last year we didn’t even get a spring like the year before that to be fair was glorious. Does a rant like this achieve one single thing ? Nope, but it makes me feel a bit better. You all have a good weekend. Wrap up warm, enjoy building snowmen when it should really be sandcastles, and think thoughts of emigrating away from all this to somewhere else where the sun shines, the fish are more plentiful, grow bigger and fight like demons. Me ? Once more I will put full waterproofs on and manfully stride out across the fields with Storm and face the weather like the man I really am – when I’m not moaning about the weather of course…………
Posted 06:32, 25 January 2013
- OK, so I was only delayed by a day coming home from my photography trip this week, but surely it can not have passed you by once again how seemingly inept we are as a country at dealing with the different weather we get here in the UK. Honestly, for a country as obsessed with the weather as we collectively are you would think we could cope with things a bit better…………………
- But obviously not. I expected to see snow piled up in great big drifts when we touched down at Heathrow on Tuesday morning, but all I saw was what could only be described as a sprinkling of the white stuff, yet still there has been massive disruption once again at one of the busiest airports in the world. Is that three times in the last four years that our airports have been on their knees with the snow ?
- Watch the news and you’d think we were in the grips of some seriously “extreme” weather, but let’s get some perspective and think about say parts of Canada or the USA manage to keep on flying with levels of snow we can only dream about here in the UK. On my drive back to Cornwall on Tuesday it snowed a bit and I did consider pulling over to buy a snow shovel, hunker down in a hotel, call the emergency services and perhaps even fear for my very existence. Seriously, come on, let’s get a bit of perspective here.
- Fairly early on last year the talk on the news was of impending droughts for the UK – and so it then proceeded to rain for the rest of the year. Yes, like you I can’t help but blame the press for the dire weather last year because they mentioned the word drought way before summer had even started, but seriously, should the UK have ended up being that crippled by the recent flooding ?
- In no way am I belittling the effects of the flooding on people, rather questioning why here in the UK we seem to come to a complete standstill when we get this kind of weather thrown at us – and I am reluctant to refer to it as “extreme” when you hear about other parts of the world and what they can get when compared to us. How many of you are aware for example of the serious drought conditions throughout much of Texas in the USA ? And our powers that be start talking about hosepipe bans etc. Let’s put a hammer through our TVs if we hear the word drought this year.
- I enjoy sitting on a crowded, overpriced train about as much as I enjoy reading the garbage that spews forth from fishing experts’ mouths, but surely such a vital transport infrastructure should better be able to deal with floods, leaves and snow ? Any of you who commute on the trains for your work have my respect for what you have to put up with from time to time, and deep down we know it ain’t remotely right. But of course we are British, and we take it with a stiff upper lip because we have always done so. Shhh, somebody might be listening, so we’d better not complain. Oh, and let’s pay more for the privilege while we’re at it.
- And then when we get this “extreme” weather, let’s all continue to behave like idiots. Let’s drive up each other’s backsides in icy conditions. Let’s see a flooded bit of road and drive at it like we’re in a racing car and then wonder why our cars conk out. Let’s slip over on an icy pavement and try to blame somebody else because we couldn’t find our brains and exercise a bit more care. And while we’re at it, let’s have a moan about the weather and how we (don’t) deal with it !! Who, me ?
Posted 12:07, 14 December 2012
- Not quite sure why it’s been so long since I last had a good rant on here, but seeing as it’s nearly Xmas and ‘tis the season of goodwill, I thought it might be time for one – and having just driven back from upcountry and seen countless instances of it, how could I not let off some steam about it ? How mad does it drive you when you see these utter idiots cruising along below 70mph on the motorway in the middle lane when there is hardly a car in sight, or how about some tit bumbling along well below the speed limit in the outside of a dual carriageway when once again there is not a car in sight ? Well it drives me loopy, hence the rant………
- I am pretty sure I’m right in believing that the middle lane on a motorway is not for cruising along in when there are no cars or lorries in the slow lane that you need to overtake, or am I wrong ? So there’s me coming along in my Ford Focus estate (withhold your jealousy now !!) at around the speed limit of course, and there’s some car bumbling along in the middle lane with not a care in the world. Inevitably they’re doing about 60mph while to their left and right are empty lanes. Now I will admit that a couple of times I have perhaps flashed my lights to try and alert them to the fact that there is a lovely empty slow lane to their left that is sitting there wanting to be driven along, but usually I just overtake them and then pull across the three lanes when I have passed so that I am now driving in the slow lane as I should be in this situation. How many times do you pass a driver like this and they are sitting so close and hunched up to the steering wheel that they couldn’t even see their rear-view mirror if it jumped down off the windscreen and slapped them in the face – so flashing my lights does no good anyway because they can’t see it. But don’t you love the look of surprise when you pass them in the fast lane and smile knowingly ? It’s as if these people don’t realise that other drivers apart from themselves use the motorway.
- So I then pull across the lanes into the slow lane when I have passed the person and still they don’t get the hint, and along they go in the middle lane causing countless other drivers like me to overtake them when in fact it should not be required – which then surely helps free the fast lane up for drivers who are going fast. I’ll tell you what I really want to do when you come across a driver like this – one side of me would like to smack them in the rear-end with the front of my car just to see their reaction. “Oh, there’s another car on this motorway, crumbs”, might be their thought as I crushed their bumper to smithereens, and even better if the car was a brand new Chelsea tractor that has never, ever seen the countryside. The other side of me would love to be able to call in an air strike on the car and see them taken out completely !! How good would that be ? “Charlie Foxtrot calling Alpha Bravo, middle lane bumbler in front of me, GPS coordinates blah, blah, please deliver the package ASAP with extreme prejudice”. My kind of deal. OK, so I jest with my reactions a little bit and now that I am a grown-up I am hardly going to go ramming these drivers up the backside, but one can dream. So what does one do on a dual-carriageway when you can’t overtake in the fast lane because the bumbler is sitting in it ? A cruise missile strike, or is that too good for them ? Have a good weekend all of you and I will be back next week with some Gear of the Year stuff. If you have Sky Sports then please have a look at Tight Lines at 6pm tonight and tell me what you think. I can take it…………