because you never forget that funny smell

Category: weather (page 2 of 2)

Winter Blues

The Meteorological office is warning that heavy snow and freezing temperatures are expected to continue for at least another two weeks.

This follows Some of the heaviest snow fall in over 20 years. There has been heavy snow in the north-east of England and the Scottish borders, with reports of up to 30cm (12in) falling since early Tuesday. Parts of the northern Highlands saw just short of half a metre of snow.

There was also heavy snowfall in central and southern England and parts of the South West and south Wales. Counties affected included Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire Wiltshire, Dorset, Berkshire and parts of Gloucestershire, Buckinhamshire and Oxfordshire.


With the wide disruption to road and rail transport thousands of schools remained closed and hospitals cancelled out-patient appointments. It was estimated that 50% of the nations entire work-force stayed away from work.


Happy New Year 2010


So I’m standing here again watching the world go by and everywhere there are chants of Out with the Old, In with the New! And I find that I am in agreement with all of them.

2009 was a non-year and it gave us nothing new or special. It was the year of Natural mediocrity with bad weather, poor harvests, forest fires, drought and natural disaster.

2009 was a year of the doldrums. Like a broken record playing the same bit of music again and again and again it gave me nothing but dizziness and a mild headache. For too many people it was a question of running faster and faster to remain at the same spot.

Nothing stays forever and this notorious year is now coming to an end. Will there be lessons that we can take with us into 2010 to avoid a repeat of the year when nothing amounted to anything? Usain Bolt smashed the 100m world record and after 3 days it was like, “so what?”

I am reminded that the underlying cause of all this despondency is the global recession. With millions of people out of work and thousands more losing their jobs everyday perhaps there is little to cheer about. But how does that explain the poor report-cards that we have for our Politicians, the Police and even the Legal Sytem. Why do so many people from every walk of life complain that the standards of service from both the public and private sector have fallen to levels that would have been unacceptable 10 years ago?

Let us move forward into 2010 with a clear vision of what needs to be done.

Wishing you a Happy New Year

Every Sunday Has a Silver Cloud

Like many other people I felt that so many megabytes and too many inches of newsprint had been dedicated to the story of – and the reactions to – the recent London Wedding that there was nothing more to add.

But then I got a letter from my cousin Sui, a church pastor from a parish in the borough of Southwark, London. In the letter she covers much ground but her enduring theme is that of the silver lining in every cloud. Sui asks me to make public a small section of her letter here:

…………but just as I was coming to the end of my sermon the rain came down again. A heavy rain shower driven by wind gusts that were bending tall trees outside smashed against the windows of our small community hall. There was so much water that it over flowed the gutters above to come gushing down to the pavements with great force. I wondered how I was going to avoid getting wet. We had parked the car at the far end of the car-park so that we could make a quick get away avoiding the traffic-hold ups caused by early Sunday shoppers.

A flash of lightening streaked across the grey clouds above.

“So before we close today perhaps we could have a moment of silent prayer for the two young men who recently got married in London to wish them the best….”, I begun, but no sooner had I said that and there was a sudden commotion as people rushed to get out of the hall. Just a handfull of worshippers remained seated.

We concluded the service with the hymn ” How great Thou art” which seemed appropriate given the thunder and lightening going on outside.

When the last of the faithful had left my partner suggested that in her view perhaps I had been wrong to raise the issue of the “London Wedding” as this had clearly driven away a large section of my congregation. She feared that they would not return. The heavy downpour continued with no signs of abating.

As I contemplated what my partner was saying I noticed that in their haste some of the congregation had left their belongings behind. These included several umbrellas, handbags, a small briefcase, a lap-top, a video-recorder, a mobile phone with charger, an iPod and a baby’s cot.

“Always look on the bright side, dearest,” I said choosing two of the largest umbrellas, “At least you’re not going to get wet”.

We locked away the rest of the “lost property” and made our way to the car.

Wetwool, I hope that you can put this on your blog just incase any of your readers would like to claim an item of lost property perhaps they can get in touch with me on 01234 567890. Please ask Melissa to get in touch, next time you see her. Remind Baba Mbuye that the goats that he left at Uncle’s……..”

your cousin,

Pastor Sui

What Is Time, Sir

It has really been one of those summers. Rain, rain, sun, rain, and more rain. I now carry an umbrella as part of my essentials, along with my hay-fever medication, pain-killers, insect- repellant and joint lubricants. Imagine my surprise, basi last Thursday when the sun gave up being shy and came out from behind the clouds.

I had just finished my errands in town and was now waiting for my Number 4 bus back home on a bright and sunny afternoon. Ahead of me in the queue was some sort of University Professor. Adorned in tweed jacket with elbow pads, he scribbled away at some important looking notes in a pocket exercise book.

Just then a foreign exchange language student came up to the stop. He carefully examined the bus time-table and then looked up to the professor and said, “ Prease sir, excuse. What is time”?

The kindly professor looked upon the young student over the top of his round spectacles with some pity. He smiled and said to him “ Well, son, how long have you got”?

We then looked up to see the Number 4 bus rolling up to our stop. Once again I was denied the opportunity to understand the General Theory of Relativity and all that mumbo jumbo. I was gutted.

But why should I let it rest. I have always wanted to know more about the meaning of time. It is a concept that occupies my every waking moment. Why, for instance do we use two time settings in Kenya? Time given in English or Kiswahili differs by 12 hours. Why is this? You may say it doesn’t matter but suppose you write a document to someone and perhaps you specify time using numerals. What does 9.20 mean? Is it 9.20 am or is it 3.20? Why do we have this anomaly? Is there any other country that uses different times depending on the language that is spoken? Which time denotation is used in legal documentation and who determines it? Why do we have all this duplication?

You know, it is time I was out of here………

birds are not scared of heights

Like most normal people I have always held the opinion that if the Good Lord had wanted us to fly We’d all be like eagles.

Unfortunately as the world “grows smaller” people become more and more restless and they feel the urge to move across the continents and the seas for holidays or to pursue studies, trade, employment, love, romance, marriage, medical treatment, etc etc in far-away lands. But there is so little time…and so fly they must.

In this shot a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340 300 prepares to land at a misty Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi just after 07.00 am after an eight hour flight from London. No doubt some of the passengers and crew are taking a moment to reflect on this modern dilemma.

preparing for landing

Britain Battered By Severe Weather

Britain woke on Monday to find herself  battered by the heaviest winter storms in nearly 20 years. The meteorological department had accurately predicted the cold wintry showers arriving from Siberia but the heavy snow falls played havoc on the transport system in may parts of the UK with London and the South East being particularly badly hit.

The Freeze

Road, Rail and Underground services suffered severe disruptions all through the day. At one point all the red London buses in the capital, unable to cope with the snow drifts, were confined to their depots. Heathrow Airport closed one of its two runways and many flight departures were canceled. It was the same story for airports at Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. Commuters travelling to Europe for the start of their working week sat for hours at airports awaiting news of their flights only to learn that there would be no flights on the day.

Road transport organisations such as the AA and RAC as well as the Police had urged motorists to avoid making car journeys unless it was absolutely essential. With by the lack of public transport many motorists ventured out into the severe weather only to find themselves caught in the gridlock after cars and heavy vehicles lost control and slipped up in the horrendous road conditions. Drivers then abandoned their vehicles adding to the mayhem.

Many schools were closed for the day as pupils and teachers found it difficult to get in. There were scenes of youngsters playing in the snow up and down the country as they made the most of the unexpected day off.

Weather forecasts indicate that there is more snow to come in the next couple of days. Even more worrying is the prospect of a fall in temperatures. It is expected that this will freeze all the surface precipitation increasing the risk of serious accidents.

Orange is the colour

I lost my job last week and when Shabina kicked me out I was homeless once again. I am back here now broke and dejected in this hot and dusty village that we call home. This place is just pathetic. The village shops are just a couple of tied-together wood-and-paper affairs where tired and miserable traders offer miserable-looking dusty vegetables at ridiculous prices. Most people don’t buy. They stop and stare and then sit on the patchy grass by the roadside picking their teeth with stalks of grass. These folk are called the remainees. They remained in this village when everyone else including the rats left for the big cities. The remainees wear their caps low and never look you in the eye. A few of them are muggers. There are no trees from which one could slip a noose over one’s head and escape this existence so one just has to endure. You can still buy single cancer sticks at the yellow kiosk near the ditch so that is where I am headed.

The heat is unbearable and we wait for rain like Christmas. We’ve had rain-clouds coming round every day from just beyond the hills but every afternoon the wind turns direction and the clouds float right back to wherever they came from. You know, I never used to believe in all this climate change nonsense.

On the way to the shops I meet three kids all of school going age working hard at something. I idly wonder why these kids aren’t taking advantage of the “free primary education for all” that’s now on offer. The poor mites with their red hair are just bone and skin. Their dirty rags offer nothing in the way of decency or privacy. These kids normally scour the village looking for bits of charcoal to sell. School was never for them.

I stop to ask what they are making. They are working on this old wooden crate which they have placed on a platform. They are fixing some wheels onto the platform to make some kind of trolley. They tell me that Mama Kuni from down by the stream has some barrels of water that she needs moving and she has promised to pay them well if they do it. I stay and chat with them a while as they continue to work. In a little while they have made what looks like a decent cart. Then the tall boy fashions a small cardboard plate and places it at the back of the cart just about where the registration plate on a car would go. He picks up a bit of charcoal and writes the registration OD…M.

One Day…..Maybe

Maybe one day we will live in a true democracy with our leaders chosen not on the basis of their ethnicity but on their abilities and effectiveness at dealing with the issues. Maybe also life will one day return to so many of our forgotten villages and hamlets, isolated as they are now by unemployment and lack of opportunities and cut-off by superhighways, and lack of decent services.

The Future Is Bright. The Future is Orange

10th may 2007

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