Thursday, 9 January 2014

Talking about the weather

I joked during 2012 that not only could the UK be proud of the Olympics, Tour de France win, tennis, Jubilee and all the wonderful things that went with those, but we even had our favourite topic, truly awful weather.  I know that people outside the UK read this blog and yes, we do talk about the weather that much.  It is the prime topic at bus stops and in corner shops and always a starter with the neighbour before discussing any juicy gossip or whose cat has been digging up the garden.

Those of us in the UK will talk about the weather because while we have a temperate climate with few extremes, it is always changing.  Apparently the only county with comparable systems is Japan - a small island between a continental landmass and a large ocean.  I went on holiday in May once and during the same week we had snow and hot sun that gave me sunburn.  It is a very changeable situation, though usually without extremes.  I follow the weather forecasts and a few weather sites with interest, and try to insist that son lets me watch the evening weather forecast each night.

The last few weeks have been unusual.  Talking about the weather and wondering if it's worth putting out washing on a line is one thing.  The awful damage that has been done is another.  Peoples homes have been flooded, there has been disruption and damage to transport and some parts of the coast will never be the same again.  I remember seeing a picture of this rock and marvelling at erosion and the way nature makes her own sculptures.

I got this picture from the Independent.  I remember seeing the arch and thinking that bear's grandchildren would probably see it fall.  I didn't expect to see it fall so soon or so dramatically in one great storm.

Here is not so bad.  The beck is full, but not flooding.

There hasn't been much storm damage either, though I noticed a few branches and trees down in Roundhay Park over Christmas.  I feel very lucky.  I cannot imagine how soul destroying it must be cleaning up after a flood.  

And this is very small change compared to the icy conditions over in North America.  I don't know how anyone is managing, how the vulnerable and the homeless will survive and what effect it will be having on the livelihood of so many.  I have read that even Florida has been affected, and that shocked me.  

I feel very lucky and very grateful that I am not so affected.  I will be watching the weather even closer now.  

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