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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

I’ve come to the conclusion these don’t work

Stove fan. By the time it’s hot enough to turn, the room is already warm.

That may be the fault of our particular stove. We opted for the hood (my fault; artard decision) which means the base of the fan isn’t touching the surface, and the hood doesn’t get as hot as a stovetop anyway. Maybe it would do something on a conventional stove.

Uncle B lit the stove super early and we have retreated to the livingroom. It was brutal in here today. A bad combination of windy and cold out. IT SNEW, even!

Today was the last day to get in a meter reading before electric rates rise by an average of 54% overnight. The websites of several of the major electric companies fell over under the strain.

The CEO of one energy company said on the radio they usually get about 200 meter readings a week. In the first six hours of today, they had 40,000.

Mark my words: Brits are going to freeze to death over this.

March 31, 2022 — 9:56 pm
Comments: 13

More of this, I see.

Oof. That little snowflake symbol isn’t snow – it’s sleet. I’m listening to it click against the windows as I type.

When this Ukraine thing hit, we were caught out without enough home heating oil to make it through the season. Overnight, the price rocketed over twice what we’d last paid and even if you were willing to pay that stupid money, you couldn’t get any delivered.

Hence, we haven’t had the central heating on for a month.

Doing okay, though. I have a stock of hot water bottles and an electric throw blanket and Uncle B has…a high tolerance for pain, I guess.

We have plenty of wood and solid fuel. At night, he builds a big fire and everything thaws.

Forget warmening, I honestly live in fear that we’re moving to a time of increased cold. This is not the way I want to see myself out.

March 30, 2022 — 7:00 pm
Comments: 7

We Survived the Great Gale of 2022!

Eh. It lasted a long time, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us. We lost power for a half hour (during which our cellphones didn’t work, either – worrying). There was a period toward the end where the gusts were pretty scary. But, on the whole, we’ve had worse.

We lost one roof tile. Like the above. When the winds are high enough, the tiles lift and clack. It’s an eerie sound.

This style of tile is usually called a Kent Peg Tile, though they were the main roof tile in the Southeast from about 1300 to 1900. They were introduced by the Romans, but not adapted by Britons until much later. They hang on little wooden pegs, as you’d expect from the name.

The picture above is from a reclamation yard. You can buy them newly made, but you can also buy them reclaimed from old buildings. The ones above were salvage, going for £1.10 each plus VAT.

Have a poke around at the link. As you might imagine, very interesting things turn up in British salvage. If this is the yard we visited once – I think it is – there was an entire church belfry for sale in the drive.

February 18, 2022 — 8:08 pm
Comments: 10

If I go dark Friday…

How am I supposed to be afraid of something named Eunice?

Well, actually. Merriam-Webster tells me Eunice is “a genus (the type of the family Eunicidae) of marine polychaete worms with complex chitinous jaws including the palolo worm and related forms.” Palolo worms look pretty scary. Well, ugly anyway.

But, no. I speak of a storm. It’s expected to hit early Friday morning and go on all day. The forecast for our area, the winds are “only” predicted to be 68 miles per hour at the heaviest, but they’re expecting 100 to the West of us.

Does this sound like biking weather to you? It does not. I could get Uncle B to run me in, but I don’t fancy being in a car in 70 mph winds. We’ll see if the forecast holds tomorrow.

February 16, 2022 — 8:42 pm
Comments: 6

Partly sunny with a chance of balls

And on the fifth day, there were balls. Seriously, what do you reckon that is – hail, I guess?

That’s the fifth of February. That’s the first day that isn’t just cloud. No rain, no sun, just cloud. Two weeks of it in front of us, weeks of it behind us.

Wait, I’m not depressed enough. I’m’a go file my taxes.

I only have until next Monday.

January 24, 2022 — 8:37 pm
Comments: 1

I didn’t feel a thing

That dip on the graph is a pressure wave from the volcanic eruption in Tonga, as recorded in Sussex. Per the article: “Tonga is just over 10 000 miles away and, at the speed of sound, that’s around 14 hours away.”

They said it would have a measurable impact on air pressure locally but we wouldn’t actually feel it, and it did come to pass. Though…doesn’t that look like a drop in pressure? Does that make any sense?

Man some of those videos were wild: boom, satellite, infra-red, before and after.

Oregon Muse, one of the contributors to the Ace of Spades group blog, has died. He was the curator of the popular Book Thread (and also the Chess Thread). If you were an enjoyer of either of those, you can follow the link to pay respects.

It’s always such a strange feeling to lose an internet person.

January 19, 2022 — 7:48 pm
Comments: 9


Phew! Storm Barra whistled through earlier. High winds and heavy rain. It blew the roof off the chicken house.

Not quite as dramatic as it sounds. The roof is made to open up so you can clean inside, but it opened it up and tore one side off the hinges. Really awkward to make a temporary fix, so I stood in the wind and held it down for a while until I could find a log with a branch sticking out one side that would put weight on both sides. I got *soaked*.

“Barra” you ask? Well, I asked. It’s an Irish Gaelic boy’s name meaning “fair haired”.

Not a great name for a destructive storm. I have a feeling there’s a bit of forced diversity going on here. But, hey, it’s diverse kinds of white people, so I guess it’s got novelty going for it.

December 7, 2021 — 8:09 pm
Comments: 7

Cold, anyway

Still bloody cold here. I did a search of “coldest April UK” and got a bunch of messy hits like “Britain shivers in coldest April day for 20 years” and “Third Coldest Start To April In The Past 110 Years” and “16th Coldest April Since 1697”. They’re all real, but wish I could find the tweet for that last one.

I didn’t know they kept temperature records in the 17thC. In fact, I didn’t know they could. The Wikipedia article on thermometers makes it sound as though they existed but weren’t common or standardized. I wonder if they’re reckoning the temperature based on something in nature.

Like the blooming date for this lovely branch of…some kind of thorn in our hedge. Hawthorn, maybe. May here is full of white. White hedges, white lambs.

White fingers and toes. Enough already.

April 26, 2021 — 7:43 pm
Comments: 15