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We got us an aurora

I hate to send you to the Guardian, but they’ve got the best picture of the aurora borealis over Stonehenge. If double exposures count.

I’ve never seen the aurora here, but it’s not that unusual. Look at the picture and you’ll see why. Our spot in the sunny south of England is directly across from Hudson Bay. The only reason London isn’t Saskatoon is a vigorous gulf stream.

That, by the way, is how the eco-loons are trying to explain why global warming means we’re so goddamned cold in England these days. They say currents of water? air? are pushing down on the gulf stream.

That’s right, global warming is making Britain colder. Is there nothing it can’t do?

I actually had someone tweet at me the other day, “oh, did you think climate change would make it warmer?” And I’m like, yes? So what was all that stuff about no more snow and 1.5°C and penguins bursting into flames?

Anyway, if I can be arsed to go outside, I’ll have a look for them. They’re only this far south for a few days.

November 6, 2023 — 7:27 pm
Comments: 5

Lawd, here he come!

We’ve got about four hours before the winds start. They’ll be up to 70 miles an hour by dawn. The is the ass end of Storm Ciarán. I’m not going in to work tomorrow, which feels wonderfully transgressive – like having a snow day.

Speaking of, the man on the right is Bob Lobertini. He were the weatherman at CBS channel 5 in Nashville when I were a lass. He was also Captain Bob, who hosted the Popeye program, which is neither here nor there. The man on the left is just some guy.

Nashville got a fair number of snow days off school – we were right at the intersection of “places that get snow” and “places that don’t know what to do when it snows.” One day, Bob predicted snow when nobody else agreed. We woke up to a blanket of snow and a day off. He was thereafter known as Bob Snowbertini, beloved of all children.

Until the day he stumbled onstage knee-walking drunk to deliver the weather, was whisked away and never heard from again. I have a distinct memory that my mother and I watched this happen, but I don’t trust memories that old. He died in 1977 at only 45. Sad.

Right! I’m off to charge up everything with a battery.

November 1, 2023 — 6:22 pm
Comments: 13

I am damp and grumpy

Let me spare you the suspense: the weather here looks like that forever.

On Thursday, for variety, we’re getting the remnants of Storm Ciarán. High wind and heavy rain. This comes on the heels of Storm Babet (pdf file).

Yes, odd storm names. They’ve only been naming storms for not quite ten years here. Another infernal Yankee impertinence. Our storm names are decided jointly between the Irish, the British and the Dutch, so you’d expect some loo-loos.

Note that if we make it all the way to T, we get Storm Tamiko. I guess she immigrated.

Americans have been naming storms since the 50s. If you want a preview of what you’ve got to look forward to, here you go.

Sadly for Sheila Jackson Lee, I do not see “Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn.”

October 30, 2023 — 5:32 pm
Comments: 4

Christmas stoat, Christmas stoat

New! Uncle B bought me a lovely glass ornament.

I was going to tell you how I edited the pic in the library, so I could stay in my comfy chair and not come in here and use Photoshop, using a site called tinywow.com. It’s a site with a lot of free tools to edit images and videos and do a lot of other cool things with files. But it turns out it wouldn’t do the three things I needed – crop, resize and desaturate.

Never mind. The fire’s in the room with the Photoshop.

So who’s in the path of the bomb cyclone? Armybrat, don’t you go ignoring the iguana warning! That would be a helluva thing to have on your obituary.

December 22, 2022 — 7:44 pm
Comments: 13

It snew

Not sure where the picture was taken; I stole it from this netweather article. BTW, I finally broke down and subscribed to the pay-for version of Netweather. I use the site so much – seeing a satellite image is a gazillion times more helpful than a weather forecast – that I wanted the additional tools.

Like, I can make the satellite picture animate for a period as long as 24 hours. This was a real eye-opener. I’m used to weather that proceeds sedately West to East. The occasional hurricane coming North up the Atlantic coast. The occasional winter storm coming South from Canada. That’s about it.

Britain’s weather goes where it pleases. This particular storm consisted of a chain of small clouds moving counter-clockwise around the island, hugging the coast. Damn thing looked sentient. Wild!

We got a little of it, but again and again I watched the clouds dissipate just as they reach us. I see that pattern a lot. We’re in some kind of microclimate here.

Snow in England isn’t unheard-of, of course, but it’s pretty unusual before Christmas. As are these freezing temps. Sure is pretty, though.

December 12, 2022 — 8:21 pm
Comments: 4

I live here now

And still it rained. We’ve had a bucket under a leak in the kitchen for weeks now and one starting in the hall.

Saturday morning before coffee, we hear a noise. The ceiling above the stove had finally become so weak and saturated the whole panel came crashing down. Bad enough. That it fell directly onto the stove was worse. But worst of all, it brought down old insulation and the detritus of generations of rats and mice, must’ve been a layer of unimaginable filth four inches deep.

I wore a respirator to tackle it. I ain’t breathing that shit.

The rains have stopped (supposedly) but now we have to find someone to fix it. Not easy.

So I Googled SADS and VR and I live here now.

It’s a silly application that lets you walk around sunny places and interact with goofy animals that don’t acknowledge you (they missed a trick here – I can’t be the only user who pet the deer) and plant trees and whatever. It isn’t bright enough to treat real SADS, but I probably don’t have real SADS, I’m just sick of the endless wind and rain.

It’s stupid and pointless but it cheered me up no end.

November 28, 2022 — 8:21 pm
Comments: 6

Look what we’re getting for Thanksgiving

Oof! It is upon us.

Still, we’re poised to do the thing. You know…the thing. We eat our T’day as an evening meal, about 9:30, because – what the hell? It’s England and nobody knows what the traditions are. I make ’em up as I go.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone! Or had one, as the case may be.

November 24, 2022 — 5:49 pm
Comments: 15

So it’s going to be that kind of winter, is it?

Sometimes, it’s like someone flips a switch and it’s winter. I need to do one last mow, but the rain stretches before me unendingly. It won’t be dry enough again until spring.

One thing I’ve learned here: if a country looks lush and green, that’s a place where it rains. A lot.

The forecasts are hopeless – a little island stuck in a turbulent sea, who’s surprised? – so I rely on the satellites.

It’s weird. Living on the Eastern side of the States, I’m used to seeing the weather come at me, left to right, for days (except occasionally in hurricane season).

It’s not like that here. Weather usually comes up diagonally, from southwest to northeast, following the line of the Channel – but by no means always. Those little blobs can come from anywhere – and when they come straight down from the north, it’s eeevil.

Anyway, rain. For the weekend and beyond. You have a good one!

October 21, 2022 — 6:52 pm
Comments: 5

Oh noes!

From the article:

The Met Office have issued a rare amber weather warning for extreme heat as scorching temperatures over 30C continue to hit much of the UK. The warning is in place on Sunday, July 17, with potential “danger to life”.

It will come into place at midnight on Sunday and will end at 11.59pm the same day. However, the Met Office have said that an update to extend the warning into Monday, July 18, is “likely.”

It covers much of the UK heading as far north as North Yorkshire and East towards Devon. The entirety of Sussex comes under the warning’s boundaries.

The warning mentions “population-wide adverse health effects” which are not limited solely to the vulnerable. People are urged to only call 999 in an emergency with those requiring non-emergency advice urged to call 111.

To be fair, most Brits know this is stupid. It’s ordinary Summer weather, even here. We get about a week of it every year. Two, if we’re lucky. But it’s all part of the ZOMG THIS IS THE HOTTEST DAY EVER THEPLANETISONFIRE!

The actual forecast? I’ll put it in the first comment.

Pff! Yes, really.

July 11, 2022 — 6:21 pm
Comments: 17

‘Blood rain’ anyone?

It’s the Sahara sand again. That’s what they call it – blood rain. I don’t know if that means it gets picked up in the rain and falls in red or it just leaves red dust everywhere.

If you find the map disorienting in black and white, that’s the UK at the top and Africa below and the dark stuff is the dust headed our way. Gosh, we aren’t all that far from Africa!

That makes Beachy Head lady more plausible.

Meanwhile, back at Badger House, we’ve been rat hunting. Specifically, dead rat hunting. It’s the sort of quarry you more than half hope you don’t find.

The smell got so appalling that Uncle B, with his keen sense of smell, thought he could pinpoint the location of our hidden stinker: the back of the fridge. And he was right. Ratty had crawled up into the mechanism for comfort, poor beast. Another big boy. Oh, it was vile.

Poison is an ugly weapon. I hate using it, but I’m scared of traps big enough to deal with these big rats.

I don’t suppose we’ve got them all yet, but it’s gone mighty quiet in the kitchen.




May 18, 2022 — 7:29 pm
Comments: 5