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Hotter than Riyadh

You guys! Seriously! I have never known a run of weather like this here. Granted, my sample size is less than ten years, but still…

Every day, it’s been about 80°, not a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky. The 80° is astonishing for May, but the cloudless and windless is unheard of at any time. It’s windy here. And cloudy. Usually.

Of course, EVERY SINGLE THING I had lined up for my holiday was an indoor thing (more or less evenly divided between arting and computing), but that all went out the window. I have spent a week in the garden draped over a deck chair reading trash.

It’s been glorious. Not what I planned, but glorious.

And now I’m back.

May 7, 2018 — 8:50 pm
Comments: 8

She found herself a little patch of sun…

They predicted rain all weekend long, and they were wrong. For a few hours, gloriously wrong. Sun, lambs, chickens…it’s here at last.

Of course, they predicted dry and cloudy today and it pissed all over me on the way home, so bad forecast giveth and bad forecast taketh away.

In this country, you’re better off just looking out the window.

April 9, 2018 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 12

…and that should be the end of it…

last

It snew pretty much all day today, but that’s it. That’s the end of it. It’s a good ten degrees warmer and we’re expecting rain overnight. By Monday, it should be a distant memory.

I hope. That got tiresome after the first couple of days. The wind was from an unusual quarter, so my toasty little workroom wasn’t. I didn’t really have any warm options other than bed and a book. Which is excellent…for a while.

I’ve seen this much snow here before — no more than four inches at any one time, I reckon — but I’ve not seen weather this cold, snowy and windy for the best part of a week before.

Between you and me, one of my biggest fears is that we’re headed for another little ice age. This isn’t how I picture my twilight years.

Good weekend and stay warm, everyone!

March 2, 2018 — 10:18 pm
Comments: 19

Day 3: Uncle B is starting to look pretty tasty

dinner

We haven’t been out in three days.

It was supposed to snow heavily today. It didn’t. We were supposed to have high winds. We have. And still having. So the issue today is blown snow. The roads seem clear, for the most part. The sidewalks, not so much.

Despite central heating, despite a roaring fire in the evening, it is effing freezing in here (it got down to 48° in the kitchen last night, and that’s with us cooking). Thank heavens for electric blankets.

Tonight the winds die down, but tomorrow more snow. So they say. Slightly warmer over the weekend and rain on Sunday, so this is a last gasp. I can’t remember the last time we were stuck inside for a week, though.

We gots the cabin fever.

March 1, 2018 — 7:55 pm
Comments: 19

Robin on the chicken house

robin

The robin here is a European robin (Erithacus rubecula). There are lots of other birds called robin redbreast in the world. Our own American one is a very different beastie, actually a breed of thrush with the charming designation Turdus migratorius.

Brits love they robins. It’s one of the few birds that stick around for the whole Winter. Hence they frequently feature on Christmas cards, which puzzled me mightily at first.

They’re cheeky little peckerheads, shaped like chickadees. Red breasted tennis balls. The classic picture is a robin on a spade handle, because they follow gardeners turning earth, looking for worms. I always know where Jack is in the garden, because our robing follows him around and yells at him.

We’re probably on our thirtieth robin by now, but we always have one and they all look the same to me when I chase them off the chickens’ food.

They are not shy. They’re fiercely territorial; they’ll fight to the death with other robins and take on much bigger birds. In fact, I strongly suspect if we could understand and speak robin, we’d find them the most horrible little assholes in the bird kingdom. But awwwwwww, aren’t they cute?

Uncle B took this picture in the garden today. It’s not his usual razor sharp focus because the little bastard was hopping around and wouldn’t pose.

Another day off work today. In fact, I doubt I’ll get in for the rest of the week. Tonight is the last night in the twenties, but it’s not much warmer tomorrow and the wind is going to double into the 40 mph range. Then Friday the wind dies down and heavy snow is forecast.

It’s the wind that’s the problem for us. It’s blowing hard from an unusual quarter, right across an enormous sheep field, picking up snow and landing it in our garden. Our central heating can’t handle it, so I’ve had to pile up in bed under the electric blanket.

I’m trying real hard to look sad about that..

February 28, 2018 — 8:27 pm
Comments: 15

No, in fact, I did NOT go to work today

storm

Indeed, it snew. I reckon we got about three inches, but bitterly cold so it’s icing over fast. More on the way. The roads are clear, but I doubt the bike path is. Luckily, I’m not due back until Thursday.

I’ve had to replace the chicken’s water twice today. I will allow, it’s stupidly funny watching a chicken try to drink ice (that look of puzzlement!), but none of my chickens set foot outside the house today. Cold, plus three of them have never seen that white stuff before. They want no part of this nonsense.

Charlotte snuck out when Uncle B went to stock up on coal and wood and he snapped this picture of her walking in his footsteps. Charlotte is the elderly cat, you may remember, who was horribly mauled by…something back in the Spring. I was sure we would lose her.

Gosh, I wish people aged like cats. Here she is old, scarred, krunky…and looking exactly the same as she did when she was young and strong and padding around in the snow in Rhode Island.

February 27, 2018 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 10

Comes the beast…!

weatherx

They’re calling it the Beast from the East. It’s a storm roaring up from Portugal that’ll hit tonight. Or Friday night. Really, they’ve been awfully confusing about it.

This one is aimed squarely at the Southeast. The high wind and low temperatures are here already. They’ve been here a few days and it’s been miserable.

Scotland is laughing their sporrans off because we have traffic chaos and the first flakes haven’t fallen yet. But, honestly, it ain’t the weather you’ve got, it’s the weather you usually get and we here in the sunny South are woefully unprepared for this kind of thing.

If I wake up in the morning and I have to go to work, I’m going to be pissed.

February 26, 2018 — 8:16 pm
Comments: 20

Oh, Monday!

thundersnow

Well, my day started with thundersnow and went downhill from there. First snow of the year, and it came down like a bastard for about two hours. Then the sun came up and the temps rose and it all melted away. It was pretty while it lasted, but no fun on a bike.

Oh, and a badger crossed my path. An actual one. He ran up the driveway and disappeared in a bush. This was pretty cool to see, but not great news if you keep cats and chickens.

I’d like to point out that I have now seen a badger and a weasel out my front door. That sounds like the start of a really odd English blues song.

Then I had two meetings today. Two. I moved to Olde Englande to get away from this piffle.

How was your day?

February 5, 2018 — 9:49 pm
Comments: 10

It snew!

snew

I biked in in the snow. That was fun. And then home. That was funner. And then genius here says, “hey, why don’t we do our weekly grocery shopping?”

See, where we are, it had all burned off by then. Where we were going, not so much. Who knew? It was slushy and slippery and awful almost the whole way.

British stores have decided if they don’t do anything about snow in the parking lots, we can’t sue them for not doing a very good job when we fall and break our asses (thank you, American litigious culture, for spreading misery around the Western world). Not kidding, the slush was over my ankles in the parking lot. My sneakers leak.

It wasn’t very much snow at all, but like all places that don’t get snow very often, everyone lost their freaking minds.

Oh well. Made it home. Warm and dry. Almost gin o’clock. How was your Monday?

December 11, 2017 — 10:46 pm
Comments: 11

Curse you, Thursday!

gale

Woke up to driving rain and gale-force winds this morning. I lay and bed and thought, “hey, at least it’s Friday.”

Shit.

To be fair, Uncle B tried to persuade me to accept a lift in this morning, but I was all like “no, no…it’s going to clear by noon! I’ll be fine!”

Shit.

Never trust an English weather forecast. It pissed down all day and both ways, and my end-of-the-week bike battery wasn’t up to a head wind. I’m counting the minutes to Gin o’Clock. See you tomorrow, when the sky will clear and it really will be Friday.

December 7, 2017 — 9:45 pm
Comments: 10