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How's the sunshine in your neck of the woods?

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      21.03.2013 19:19
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      Positive or negative? You decide

      Being British I can't help but start conversations about the weather. Take yesterday for example, I had a meeting but my colleague was late, so what did i talk about with the other people we were meeting with to fill the time while we waited for him? The weather!

      The good thing about starting conversations about the weather is, it doesn't matter what age of person you are talking to, you can still talk to them about the weather. "Hey nan how about that weather? I guess your flowers won't need watering now" or "Oh ohs 5 year old niece, I guess we can't play on the trampoline now it's chucking it down, wanna jump in puddles instead?".

      Positive aspects of the weather:

      - Snow days- on those days that you just can't be bothered to do anything. "Oh it's snowing I guess I better cancel all meetings and stay warm in bed"
      -Sunny days - when you can't think of anything better to do than relax in the sun "hey it's sunny, beer garden?"
      -Rainy stormy days- When there's nowhere to go and all there is to do is cuddle up to your loved one. "eep a storm, cuddles?"
      -Windy days - helping you with your gardening DIY since forever "I never liked that fence anyway"

      Negative aspects of the weather:

      -Snow Days - on those days you have far much to do but get stuck in because of the snow "I guess that important meeting isn't happening then, damn you snow"
      -Sunny days - When you're stuck inside working until forever o clock "I want to go out and play :("
      - Rainy stormy days - When your car breaks down and you have to walk to the bus stop "If one more car splashes me as they pass I think I might cry"
      - Windy days - want to watch something great on tv? mother nature disagrees, bye bye TV Ariel "Thank god for online tv, oh the internet is down too"

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        15.01.2011 16:28
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        This is when your personality really reflects the weather

        Writting this I'm sat on the sofa looking out of the window and it is so dark it feels more like after 6.30pm and not 3.30pm. Everyone walking past is wrapped up in thick coats, woolly hats and scarfs and many people are struggling with umbrellas. All the people have got their heads down and look down right unhappy.

        I find this weather really depressing as everybody's mood seems to reflect it. Even when you look outside at your garden that too is in sympathy with the rain and cold as everything is so stark and grey and really lacking in colour

        In the house I've had to switch the lights on as it is so dark, so my energy company will be loving this as I'm having to switch lights on earlier and earlier and put the heating on.

        I really hate it when it's raining as it means I don't always get to take the dog for a walk. As he is a miniture Dachshund he gets very, very wet as he is so close to the ground. He does have a jacket for this weather but it does not protect him 100%. Also this weather is no good for football as many pitches get water logged, so the game gets cancelled and I get bored.

        Hopefully when spring is sprung the colour will return to our gardens and parks and lift everybody's mood and, fingers crossed, not too much rain.

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        07.01.2010 15:49
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        Whatever the weather, make the most of it

        Writing this in early January, the Christmas holiday season is becoming but a memory, and Britain like much of the Northern Hemisphere is currently suffering in the grip of freezing cold temperatures, snow and icy conditions.

        With all the disruption to travel, worries about rising fuel costs etc. it's understandably hard to see a brighter side right now.

        ~~~~A winter's playground~~~~

        What always helps me is to try and see things with that original same sense of wonder we all had as children. I remember that surge of excitement as we sat in the classrooms watching the first flakes of snow fluttering down outside.

        Building projects a plenty. Not just your standard snow man, but the biggest one my little hands could roll; not just a garden den, but a proper igloo; not just an icy slide, but the ultimate downhill skid track. But there was one tradition looking down above all of them - the noble art of sledging.

        ~~~~A very special gift~~~~

        Nowadays there are all kinds of variations on a toboggan you can buy - moulded plastic, carbon fibre, aluminium. If I'm honest back in the day, we were so excited we would make do with anything we could lay our hands on. Simply by stuffing big plastic or 'placcy' bags full of snow, jumping aboard and clinging on for dear life, there was always plenty of high octane fun to be had.

        Sadly long before I had any memories of him, my older brother tragically passed away aged just 6 years old as a result of a malignant brain tumour. When he was four or five, (I was only 1 year old) my Dad bought him a traditional wooden sledge back from Germany and he loved it.

        In the winter of 1979, after some fairly mild winters the heavy snow returned. Dad was determined to make the time to be there for my first chance to try proper downhill sledging. So off we went to the top of the run (which by now was like a bob sleigh track), he hopped on the back and off we went.

        As he was a hefty 17 stone or more, you can imagine we fair flew down the hill, and his enthusiastic cheering and yelling got a bit too much for me at the end. As we finally skidded to a halt, perilously close to a barbed wire fence, I momentarily burst into tears. Seconds later, I came to my senses and shouted - Again, Again! "This time you can do it on your own son" he beamed with pride.

        ~~~~One last wish~~~~

        A few years after the untimely death of my Mum, my Dad remarried, adopted a daughter and became a father again in 1999. Tragically he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in the summer of 2002 and given only a few months to live. A couple of weeks before the Christmas holidays. Dad asked my very practically gifted brother-in-law if he might be able to build a proper wooden sledge as a Christmas gift for his new little ones.

        His chemo-therapy had weakened him, and he was rushed into hospital with pneumonia just a week before Christmas. In all his discomfort and pain, when my sister told him that the sledge was finished he managed a broad smile and whispered his thanks. He lost his fight later that day.

        The most poignant part of all came the very day after his funeral. Nothing much had been forecast, but almost as if he'd had a word with the angels we woke up the next morning to a deep blanket of fresh snow. My little brother, seeing snow for the very first time was absolutely overwhelmed with delight. Those pictures stand proud on the family mantelpiece, and whenever I look at them I can't help but smile.

        ~~~~A new generation~~~~

        My own son was born some 3 years later, so sadly he never got to meet his Grandpa. My wife's mother has just moved into her new house in the village, and digging through the old stuff in the attic, she managed to find her old wooden sledge.

        So yesterday, when we picked him up from Nursery, we took it along to surprise him. No we're not going back in the car today, we've brought a sledge. His eyes lit up like a flashbulb to all those magical moments.

        Just imagine the thrill for father and son, as he sat proudly on board and I towed him along the icy pavements for the very first time.

        ~~~~Final Thoughts~~~~

        Whatever the forecast, we all need to find a way to see beyond the immediate stresses and strains of a hard winter's season. Right now, I'm working from home, and on a cold, clear sunny morning, I get to take my little sunshine to school in style. I'm savouring every moment, and I truly believe, there really is snow time like the present!

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          06.01.2010 14:28
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          .

          We're having my favourite type of snow in South Gloucestershire at the moment. Powdery and able to cover your shoes, yet easy to stamp off if you need to go indoors. Plus that lovely squeaky noise it makes as you walk in it. The thing is, down here in S.Glos we don't get snow, so it's a bit of a novelty really. Last February saw snow all over the UK but we got a measly amount that never even settled! The park next to our house is peppered with people using the slight hills to sledge down and because of the fields being covered there's quite a few snowmen being built. Yes, snow is my favourite of weather types but then I don't drive and everywhere I need to go is in walking distance.

          Naturally it's going to cause problems for a lot of people and I know full well that in places it can be quite dangerous. Only this morning on our local radio the newsreader announced that 3 people had been killed after a car had skidded off the road. Not all of the roads get gritted as I am sure you are well aware of but the one outside of our house is what is known as the maybe. It gets quite a few vehicles driving up and down it whilst also leading out onto the High Street. However not quite enough for the council to make up their minds as to whether it should be gritted or not. This could easily resort in many accidents because as the snow melts it gets slushy. And soon the ice will come. Making it even more difficult to travel. Something which is necessary for any of the rescue services.

          Then you have the hundreds of schools which will be closed because of it. The continual grumblings of older people around me who talk of past winters when they were younger and the weather conditions were somewhat worse. How back then they'd still have to go in for their education, the only reason not to being the pipes had frozen. It's probably more down to the fact that the staff don't live locally more than anything else. Not that many school goers are complaining.

          The cold weather means it can bring a lot of people together. There are a few elderly people who live on our street who go out to places. Neighbours who you wouldn't usually talk to are seen getting out the spades and clearing pavements together for them. The salting of driveways with table salt to try and make do with the slipperiness. Then you have the snowball fights and snowmen building going on at the park between younger people.

          Of course this cold weather for us is bringing in more talk of global warming and how just because we are actually getting snow more than usual doesn't count against the earths temperature rising. Some people will doubtless look out of their windows and discredit the talk of it in the long run but there isn't much you can do about that.

          And as for the met office only declaring that a white Christmas is one where a single snowflake falls on the actual day, we have (sort of) had one. If you go along with the fact that today is the 12th day of Christmas when you think back to the song. So snow can look lovely and make things picturesque but it can also bring chaos to some places and can drive things to a complete standstill. Whatever way you look at it as long as you treat the conditions with a bit of sense it can be enjoyed for a bit.

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            26.04.2009 11:38
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            sun???.... don't hold your breath!

            The weather - always a problem in Britain! I heard recently that the reason why most people leave Britain or go to live in another country is because of the weather! Not sure how true that it is!

            British weathers great isn't it? Or not? I think its so unpredictable, like when it snows in April, then rains constantly through June and july, but then its hot in October (well hot to us?)

            And why is it that when theres a tiny bit of sun we all seem to get our bikinis, suncream and sunglasses on and go sunbath, just because it 17 degrees outside?

            Its actually quite nice at the moment, the last few days have been 'hot' in our terms, probably similar to the Australian winter! But it seems that whenever we get a bit of sun its gone again in a few days! When was the last time we had a really hot summer? I don't think we have at least not for the past 2 years!

            Everyones desperate for a bit of sun and to get a tan, but it just doesn't happen here! I think its safe to say that if it really bothers you, and you really want good weather, then go live in another country! or at least go on holiday as often as you can!

            It sunny outside now, although I haven't been out yet so not sure how warm it is. Yesterday was lovely, really warm but a bit windy. So as I'm walking to my friends to go for a BBQ, all of a sudden it starts raining and I think 'typical' and by the time I get there I'm soaked. And then it stops - great!

            So overall - English weather = miserable 90% of the time. Or something like that!

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              26.04.2009 10:46
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              Good fun for all the family.

              Is it just me who is fascinated by the weather? I think it started when I was younger. Looking out for the snow to arrive in the winter or long hot summer days in July and August. Back then it was a lot more difficult. It was the radio/tv and the newspapers. Nowadays with the internet it is a lot more exciting.

              I remember listening to a weather forecast on the BBC back in July 2003 when the presenter was showing some excitement in records potentially being broken. I checked out a few sites and the weather forums and they were all saying the same. So I banged on £100 at 8/1. with William Hill. Over the days to come temperatures reached 97 and 98 degrees and then one day on Sunday 10th August temperatures soared to 38.1C (100.6F) in Gravesend, Kent. I was in work at the time and I remember dancing with glee as I bagged £900.

              I love extremes in weather. So I like it really hot, really snowy, really windy - but not really rainy!! I love walking in the park when the winds hit 80 mph. I love walking in the snow and often dream it will snow for weeks and weeks. I love the temperatures reaching -10 degrees. I love hearing the thunder and watching the lightening. Why? Well I don't really know. Maybe it offers an excitement of some kind. Maybe I like trying to predict the weather for days to come.

              For those who like looking at past records pop along to the metoffice website. It really has some great educational resources on there.

              It really is an interesting past time. I recommend to children to set up their own weather station at home. I haven't actually got one myself but it is great for learning. One thing for sure in this ever changing world. We will always need weather forecasters!!

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                02.02.2009 13:15
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                The white stuff that can cause chaos

                Well we have snow - not a lot - maybe 4 inches but you would think the end of the world had arrived!

                Last weekend the shops were running out of milk, bread and all sorts of other goods because...................... we were expecting snow! and yes - we have snow and all the schools are closed, traffic is at a standstill and the emergency services are stretched to breaking point.

                Is there anything good about snow? Well you can make a snowman or two, you can sledge, have snowball fights and admire the fresh newness of the day. You can also get stuck in a snow drift - well in Scotland maybe, - fall over and break a leg, although that tends to be on ice not snow.

                The thing is in England we are just not used to snow. I don't include Scotland or Wales as they are far more used to snow than us Englanders. (sorry - I don't know about the snow situation in Northern Ireland, so haven't included you for that reason.)

                I'm not at work today because of the snow - the village that I work in is off the main roads and which ever direction you approach it from there is a big hill up and down until you reach it. The council don't grit these roads so unless you have a 4x4 you stand no chance of getting in or out. The main road is slushy at the moment but as the temperature drops it will freeze into an ice rink, so the chances are I will be at home tomorrow as well.

                I actually work in a school - so yes - you've guessed - the school is closed as only 3 staff actually live in the village that the school is in. Just about every school in the county is closed for the same reason. My daughters school - a comprehensive - can be seen from our house, but is closed because a) most of the staff live outside the area and b) most of the children do as well and the bus companies won't run the buses!

                Now this also happens where my sister lives - for the record its outside Washington DC in the USA. But they are used to dealing with snow, in fact last week they had 2 foot fall overnight. The schools just started two hours later the following day - although having said that the roads had all been cleared by snow ploughs by then, including the cul-de-sacs and minor roads. No chance of that happening here!!

                Why do we let it frighten us so much - is it the un-predictability of it, the thought that we might starve to death if we don't stock the cupboard to overflowing because we can;t get to the shops for a few days.?

                I can remember the snow from my childhood but I can't remember the country coming to a standstill. Maybe its because I lived in a town until I was 10 so the buses and trains did still run, people lived locally to where they worked so shops and schools could open and did stay open.

                Now we all live away from our work and families and the local shops have been replaced with charity shops, so when the weather closes in it is harder to get to work as everyone is frightened of the coniditons.

                We shiver and stay inside when the temperature is at -1, instead we should wrap up warmly and go for a walk.

                Walking in the snow is wonderful, the crisp footprints behind you glinting in the sunlight. Its a good way to keep fit as its hard walking through snow!

                So what ever you're weather today - whether its a centimetre or a metre of snow - enjoy it. It doesn't happen very often and provided you treat the conditions sensibly it can be enjoyed!

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                  23.10.2008 20:59
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                  I love the weather

                  I live in the North of Scotland (40 miles North of Inverness) and people are not always right when they say it only rains in Scotland. Our weather is probably the most unpredictable weather in the whole of the UK and it has been known quite often to have all seasons in one day. But if the weather up here really bothered us that much, would we not move!??

                  It does rain a lot, but we also get the sun in the summer which is nice too but why is it no matter what weather we have people always complain about it e.g 'it always rains why can't ever be nice' so the next day the sun comes out and then all you hear is 'I wish the sun would go away it's too hot and way too bright' I think people just enjoy complaining and the weather is the easiest target.

                  My favourite Scottish weather is the snow. The type snow that is soft and fluffy and is to deep to get your car out for work 'Snowed In' so a day in front of the tv with the fire roaring and the snow silently dropping on the ground. my idea of heaven!!

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                    19.10.2008 00:32
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                    are we ever satisfied with the weather no matter where we are?

                    it always seem to be raining where i live :( wettest part of the country i think (cumbria!), it seems to be quite warm here though, i havent lived here that long im from the north east originally and comparing cumbria to the north east i would say its wetter but warmer. But when it is sunny here, i appreciate it more which is a good thing and a rare thing! haha
                    isn't it funny how the weather affects our moods and lives so much!?! it affects what you can do eg. cant do washing, walking or go out anywhere when its raining without getting soaked through! it have you noticed how much happier everyone is on a sunny day. sayin that though how many of us are really satisfied with the weather ever? when its raining we grumble its too wet/miserable, when its dry we grumble its not sunny enough and when its sunny we grumble its too hot/bright! haha

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                      03.10.2008 18:09
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                      Not an easy article to write, but all to do with subjectivism and weather

                      Weather! Well, it's one thing in life we can do nothing about. For me, along with (and often combined with) music, weather is the most soulful, atmospheric thing there is. I have tried to analyse why I find all different sorts of weather take me to so very many inner parts of myself, and can only conclude that whatever the weather may be doing at any given point in time, it's probably touching on various long-past events within my memory bank - some of which I may not any more be consciously aware, but can still get powerful feelings from when the outside edges of them are stimulated.

                      I can make little, vague and misty connections inside of my memory when the weather is doing certain things; a brief for instance, is that when the weather is like it is today, which is grey, chilly, windy and very autumnal, I am reminded of a book I had once as a small child. So, for some reason that I can't put my finger on, I can possibly make the assumption that I may have been looking at this book on a day when the weather was how it is today, way back in my past.

                      I do feel that to have such a powerful association and to hold onto such an apparently meaningless piece of recall, something important or intense could have also been happening at the time to create this image that I today have in my mind - but I have no memory of what it may have been. All I get is a strong and very subjective feeling of the two things combined, today's weather and that little children's book, which I cannot find words to describe. That is only one very badly worded weather association, and there are zillions more.

                      Many years ago when I was relatively normal, in the days before the menopause truly messed up not only my brain, but my inner thermostat too, my favourite kind of weather was hot, hot, hot, blue skies and piercing sunshine. I used to eagerly count the days through cold and dark winters towards summertime, in the hope that each next summer would be a real scorcher. Sometimes I'd be disappointed, and sometimes not.

                      On any long, roasting hot summer's day, I would feel a kind of a delicious sense of freedom tinged with a lazy sort of exhiliaration and euphoria. Though it didn't matter if I was indoors or outdoors on one of these gloriously hot days as the experience of that kind of weather was more about mood and subjective impression than feeling it physically, I did used to appreciate the sensation of the sun warming my skin, so would try and be outside as much as I could.

                      I have learned though that as we age, things that we once loved can turn into at best irritations, and at worst, things we can grow to hate, and avoid like the plague. That's how I now feel about those roasting hot summer days, as I just can't take the heat any more - these days they make me feel very uncomfortable - almost ill. What was once a source of joy for me has now become a source of misery....feeling hot, sweaty and irritable.

                      Another thing I nowadays hate about summer is having to listen to so very much raucous noise coming through my opened windows, from people no doubt enjoying what to me sounds an unnecessarily riotous outdoor life. I also these days dread two other things which are very characteristic of summer...wasps and thunderstorms. For some reason, I don't seem able to handle those two phobias as well as I could when younger.

                      My favourite kind of weather now, is what my hero Van Morrison refers to in a couple of his songs as "a golden autumn day". I can't say that it lifts my mood exactly, but it does do that subjective thing whereby experiencing such kind of weather will gently, and rather wistfully, touch on so very many things inside of my subconscious that I can't quite bring to the fore, or accurately place a finger upon.

                      A golden autumn day is one of those days where the sunshine is bright and carries a pleasant warmth but not hot, with a moderate through to strong breeze and a definite hint of autumn proper in the air. These kinds of days seem to sparkle somehow, flooding everywhere with a yellow light, and when the sun sinks down into the west as the early evening closes in, there is a deliciously pleasant, yet indefinable wistful atmosphere very strongly present.

                      At this point, in my middle years of life, I delight in those quite rare golden autumn days, and am pleased that in the area of the UK where I live, there has been a handful of them this year. Now we are in October, the likelihood of there being more decreases day by day, but I am hoping this is one of those years when I can experience at least one more of them to enjoy before winter sets in. They are most common in mid to late September, but it is possible to have a warm-ish, golden autumn day in October.

                      To sidetrack a bit and just to wind down, with something not entirely connected to the above - it's more about how accurate or inaccurate my memory for weather is - I just wonder why (on the weather section of the BBC website which contains historic facts and figures of past British weather) 1981 is given as one of the coolest summers, when within my own and I believe reasonably accurate memory, it was a scorcher? Somehow I feel they meant 1980, which was a total washout.

                      Well thanks for reading....I don't think this is my best DooYoo article, but hopefully it isn't my worst. Though on starting to type this article I had a clear idea of what I wanted to say, I realised my ideas to be largely in the form of images and subjective impressions, which I discovered has been almost impossible to put into words.

                      I hope it hasn't been too tedious to read.

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                        29.08.2008 21:57
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                        I'm going to try to remember that.

                        Whether the weather be cold,
                        or whether the weather be hot,
                        we'll weather the weather whatever the weather,
                        we'll weather what weather we've got.

                        It fascinates me that every year I forget how very cold it can get,
                        or how the wind can find it's way through my jumpers and jackets.
                        I forget what it's like to have my feet so cold it feels as though I'm standing on marbles.

                        I forget how beautiful naked trees are against a winter skyline.
                        I forget how short the days can be and how long the nights.
                        Then Winter rolls around again and I am reminded.
                        sometimes gently and with real joy.
                        Sometimes harshly and with pain.

                        Every year we are suprised and dismayed by the 'bad weather.'

                        Us British are a nation of amnesiacs,
                        every day we check our perception of the weather with each other.
                        Every greeting is a comment or a question about it.
                        With every newstime comes an attempt to prophesy it's changes.

                        But kids, wrap up with a wisdom that parents deny themselves,
                        they don't need to talk, or ask, or prophesy,
                        they just go out and embrace whatever it's doing.
                        Wrapping and warming themselves in the excitement of now!
                        Not what it should be like, or was like, or might be like in the future.

                        My Dad used to say "There's no such thing as bad weather,just the wrong clothing, physically and mentally."

                        I reckon he was right.

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                          29.08.2008 14:58
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                          Roll on autumn and winter!

                          My gripe with the weather is usually different to most peoples. I hate the sun. It's not that I've got a vendetta against sunshine and I go out of my way to moan about it, it's that I've got an allergy to the sun. Direct sun on my skin equals raised itchy, burning painful little blisters wherever it touches so I'm not likely to be a sun fan! If we brits get a summer where the sun shines mercilessly for a few days I have to wear factor 50 sun lotion and long sleeves and generally just overheat until the weather returns to cloudy or rain. I am, as you'd expect, as white as a goth!

                          Now I understand that sun makes us feel happier and is necessary for plant growth and vitamin D for my cats but it does me no favours at all. If it's hot I can't sleep, I hate being too hot, and all the creepy crawlies that accompany summer freak me out.

                          This year, although sun worshippers would say there hasn't been much sun, we've had a couple of weeks where it's been non-stop and I watched the weather each evening praying for a day of rain or gloom where I could go outside without all the allergy trappings I usually have to wear. This week it seems my prayers have been answered regarding the sun but it's still sticky and humid our way which isn't as bad but not my favourite kind of weather.

                          Every year when we reach late August I start examining the trees for leaves changing colour, once they start I know we're getting to my time of year.

                          Autumn is much better for me, all those red, gold, brown leaves on the trees, the nip in the air that lets you know winter's on its way and I can start to look forward to being able to go outside without planning ahead for an hour and taking a bag load of factor 50 with me. Bliss!

                          When it rains it makes me happy, I love rain and don't mind being outside in it either. The cold pleases me, kills the creepy crawlies and lends itself to cosy nights in with a real fire. Dark nights don't phase me, I can take the rubbish out in my pyjamas without being seen and if we're lucky to get snow I'm the first one in my wellies!

                          So no sun is great for me, I appreciate the sunless summers we have here. Roll on autumn!

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                            21.08.2008 15:04
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                            Get your mac on!

                            This year has definitely been the most depressing year of my life when it comes to the weather. This has easily been the worst summer that I can ever remember, and my gut feeling is that this is what our summers are going to be like from now on. I mean we've always had rain every summer, but we've also had a few weeks here and there of glorious sunshine, or maybe even a full month now and again where the sun has shone, giving us a chance to get out and enjoy. But not this summer. This summer has been so bad that even an overcast day can be classed as a nice day, and is worth a trip to the beach .. just because you know it's going to rain the next!

                            Despite all the horrific weather, each month still seems to be the warmest since records began?? How so? Surely not? But it's true, due to global warming, the average daily temperature is rising year after year, but what's happening is that the climate is getting warmer, not hotter. What's also happening is that rainfall is also on the rise, so it's no surprise to learn that this year is on course to become the wettest since records began. This is a trend that has also been seen across the world, in places like Australia, India and even Greece. We've all seen the effects of extreme weather occurences over the last few years, which has been put down to global warming, but now general daily weather is also being effected. Surely evidence enough to suggest that global warming is upon us, and it's not something that we can put down to being just a one off bad summer.

                            One thing that probably annoys me even more than the weather itself, are the weather forecasters. Why don't they ever come out and just say " erm .. we're not really sure what the forecast is", instead of making stuff up? The BBC website is a perfect example of this. On numerous occasions I have been on the site to see the outlook for the weekend looking reasonable, only to log on the following morning to find that the forecast has completely changed to flat out rain. On tv, it's often "there's a 50% chance of rain" .. surely that's a cop out? And the number of times I've seen a weather icon containing a cloud, rain & sunshine dotted across the country is just not funny.

                            From a personal point of view, I've been extremely disapointed this year because my little boy was born last October, and so I was hoping that we would be able to go out and enjoy this summer, and take him places. But it feels like most weekends this summer have been spent indoors .. which is a shame. My patio furniture was bought out around April time, and has spent more time under the covers than not. My lawn is currently about 6 inches high, because I haven't had a dry period to cut it within the last month. And to make matters worse, I think my roof is leaking!

                            Even getting away from the weather is proving to be difficult this year. Holiday prices are on the rise, not just down to the increasing number of holidaymakers wanting to go abroad for some sun, but also the petrol prices have also had an effect on flight costs. So many people are finding going overseas just too expensive this year, leaving them no choice but to see out the summer in the pissing rain.

                            The weather seems to be the number 1 topic everywhere these days, whether it's in work with colleagues, or at home with family and friends. If there's one mention of a nice day coming up, in work everyone starts rushing to fill out a holiday form like there's no tomorrow .. it's just crazy! Anyway that's enough about my weather gripe, guess I'll just have to grin and bear it!

                            Oh by the way, we're supposed to have a heatwave this weekend .. no genuine! :)

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                              04.07.2007 18:51
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                              Do One Thing. And Save The World...

                              Sing a Song of Sunshine

                              It's raining again. I'm sure there's a song which starts with that line, and it's been stuck on a loop in my brain for weeks.

                              Today on the bus home the driver could barely see out of the front window for the amount of rain that was battering the front of the bus, the roads were swimming in water and yet five minutes away from the centre of town, where I was due to get off, the pavements were dry as a bone. The driver laughed and said he was glad to be away home for his tea, and I thought to myself, yes, we're lucky. We can go home to our fishfinger, cucumber and mayonnaise sandwiches (don't say a word - I'm pregnant, it's allowed!) without having to aquire a rowing boat and a pair of fisherman's waders. Very lucky indeed.

                              So why all this rain. Well we all know the answer, and we all know the cause, and most of us know the answer. Global weather change, or global warming, or climate change, or whatever name you're comfortable with, it's real, it's not going anywhere and we have to stand ot account for it. Because no matter what Mr Bush says, about there being doubts as to whether the extreme weather we're experiencing these days is due to humans, us sane people know it is, know that we made the problem, and we have to fix it. Or at least fry trying....

                              I know that sometimes we don't mind a bit of extreme weather. A heatwave in August is always pretty groovy, expecially if you happen to be on holiday from work at the time, or it happens to fall over the bank holiday weekend... and really, all this rain isn't such a bad thing for my little garden - I have apples the size of pingpong balls already, and the rasps are swelling up fast and furiously with all the water they've had. I haven't had trail out every night to spend half an hour with the hose watering my courgettes, my onions, my brocolli, as the ehavens have done it for me. So that's quite nice. For my garden.

                              But standing looking at the buckets and water butts full of rainwater in my garden, sending praise to the heavens that I live on a hill and that we've got good drains, I can't help but think of all those people, who don't live on the other side of the world, or even on the other side of the Channel Tunnel, but who live hours from my back door, who can't go home tonight because their home is full of water and other people's sh*t.

                              We have to remember that we have choices. Just because George Bush and China don't want to play the Save The World game, doesn't mean the world can't stand up and blow a raspberry in their faces by doing their bit to make a difference. We really do have choices. And all choices have consequences. If we keep on burning fossil fuels, if we refuse to invest in wind and water power, if we send all our rubbish to a big hole in the ground to leak nasties into the air, if we let our tomatoes be flown in from the other side of the world instead of buying them from the farmer who grows them 10 miles away and sells them practically on our doorstep, if we collect a hundred carrier bags from a hundred shops instead of using a cloth one over and over again, what can we expect? The planet is changed by our actions, it responds to them the way we would, and if we poison it, and rape it's core and stamp all over it in a This is My World I'll do What I Like with It, type way, we're going to see more floods. More heatwaves. More hurricanes. More of everything that destroys and challenges our lovely way of life.

                              And we'll all be DOOMED!!!! :o) Or maybe not....

                              Think of things that we can do to help climate change.

                              Buy a cloth bag, or make one from that pair of jeans you can't get into anymore. And if the lady in Tesco's tries to give you a plackie bag anyway, be bold. Say "no thankyou. I have my own. See, it's pink, with flowers."

                              Change your electricity supplier to one that uses renewable sources. Ecotricity is mine, they charge me the same as if I was still with Npower, and for every unit of electricity I use, they put that same unit of electricity onto the national grid. Except they use wind power to do it. And the more people who sign up, the more money they have to invest in more offshore windfarms, and the less need there will be for the government to invest our money in nuclear and fossil burning options. If you're interested in Ecotricity, I've written a review here about it, take a look and send me a message if you have questions.

                              Recycle your waste - if you have a local recycling box from your council, use it! And if you have space get a compost bin for veg scraps, loo rolls, shredded bills and garden waste. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes to the volume of waste you send to landfill.

                              Try cloth nappies if you have wee ones - better for their bums and better for their future - try www.babykind.co.uk for information. It's also very much cheaper than disposables, so let your wallet do the talking!

                              Ladies, buy a mooncup - you won't know yourself for that particular week every month. There are reviews here on dooyoo or you can go to their website for information - www.mooncup.co.uk

                              Walk more. Leave the car at home. Maybe get a bike, and cycle places instead. And if you're sitting outside your mums, waiting for her to come out for her lift to the shops, turn the engine off. You know she's going to be at least five minutes, and that's five minutes less gunk going up into the atmospher. It's a little thing, but all the little things add up...

                              Buy your fruit and veg locally. Infact, buy as much as you can locally. Not only are you putting money back into the local economy, supporting your local traders and sticking the proverbial finger up to the big supermarket men, but you're helping to reduce the miles that food has travelled to get to you. And that's important too.

                              Look at alternatives to that dodgy bottle of Domestos that sits at the back of the loo, looking blue and omminous. Try Ecover, or soda crystals. There are other ways....

                              Grow something. Even if all you do is put the three potatoes you found in the bottom of the veg tray that seem to have grown strange white roots into a bucket of soil in the garden, just do it. there's nothing better than eating food you've grown yourself, that hasn't been sprayed with all manner of weird chemical concoctions, and which hasn't been flown halfway around the world to get to you.

                              There are so many things you can do, some of them big, like changing your electricity supplier, and some of them small, like changing your lightbulbs to energy efficient ones. But they all count. They all add up. And they can make a difference. I like rain. I think rain is good. In moderation. When the rain falls like it's been falling this last few weeks, it's not just a freak occurance. It's not just "weather". It's a huge, sky high, bright and shiny sign that we have to do something. And we have to do it now. Looking at it one way, we get to save the world. And that's going to be a pretty cool story to tell the grandkids...!

                              Good luck in your quest! strength to your elbow, as my mum often says!

                              Thank you for reading, Kate x

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                                13.06.2007 21:24
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                                Woodpecker Grid

                                As people we have to communicate with each other. Sometime it is difficult to start a conversation so what do you talk about. Why not talk about the weather. People use weather as a filler to pass time or to make small talk. In the past I have heard stories of adversity caused by storms and severe weather, Russian weather conspiracy theory, moans about lack of snow at Christmas. Sometimes it gets so much that you want to tell the person to shut up but that is not civilised. Have I ever complained about weather? Yes we all do don’t we my dear reader? There have been more than one perfect days ruined by rain or worse. Last time my Barbie was sabotaged by rain.

                                If we all thought about it logically, without the weather we won’t exist, no rain will cause draught which will destroy crops. Rain is as essential as sunshine. I am not sure about the fog and frost, actually we could do without these two F’s, anyway back to the weather, rain, snow or dry it is all part of the weather system and we should all be happy with it because unless you believe in the Russian theory you can’t control the weather.

                                I want to introduce a new angel to this section: “THE WOODPECKER GRID”. Google it and you will be amazed, Are Russians using technology to manipulate weather? Some conspiracy theory anoraks think so; last two hurricanes are connected to Russians and according to one site Chernobyl disaster was result of the Woodpecker.

                                See weather is one of the most popular way to engage in a conversation and obviously it is meaningless thing to talk about as is this category but I had to fit the Woodpecker somewhere.

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