Sunday, 9 March 2008

We're Going To Have Weather!

We supposedly live in a temperate climate. The UK is surrounded by water. We have seasons. At the moment, the seasons do not appear to coincide with the calendar, but that's a minor point. My main point is that Winter is supposed to be wet, and cold, and windy. And it might occasionally snow. Summer is supposed to be hot... ok, warm, and mainly dry. Spring and Autumn are somewhere in between Winter and Summer, and rain is a distinct possibility...

Despite this variable weather pattern, we seem, as a nation, to be singularly bad at coping with whatever Mother Nature sends our way...

In Autumn, trains are delayed because there are leaves on the line. No... really? Leaves? You mean to say that they fall off the trees in Autumn?? How very odd...

In Winter, if you get more than 5mm of snow, the road system seems to suffer total paralysis. One evening, a couple of years ago, I parked outside the presbytery and went in for a meeting with Fr. Tim. I couldn't have been in for more than three-quarters of an hour. When I came out, it had started to snow... it took me nearly two hours to get home... a drive which normally takes all of 15 minutes.

Of course, the trains are then delayed (or even cancelled) because of frozen points, or electrical failures... or (and I am not making this up) the wrong type of snow on the lines. Bear in mind that I do not recall the temperature ever dropping to anything below -5 °C... we are not talking major freeze.

If it doesn't snow, then it rains. If it rains for more than three days on the trot, then the drains and sewers back up, and the rivers flood. It would appear that quite a lot of houses have been built on flood plains. So they get flooded out. This is not good for trains.

In Summer, we have drought warnings and hosepipe bans. Apparently all the water which falls as rain during Autumn, Winter and Spring is... you got it... the wrong type of rain. It falls too fast, and the water-table isn't being replenished. And in hot weather, the train rails buckle...

Ok, I hear you cry, why the rant? Simple! The whole of England is being put under a "severe" weather warning for tonight and tomorrow. We've been advised to stay indoors, not to drive unless it's absolutely necessary, and to avoid coastal areas.

I'll be interested to see whether the trains are running tomorrow...

9 comments:

the owl of the remove said...

Come to Vermont - we've just had an ice-storm - that's REALLY bad weather!
(p.s.- and it gets to -30F!)

Marie said...

I just wrote a post about Seasons and how they reflect on human nature.

But, I have to say today it is 110 degrees and set to remain in the 100's for the entire week!

I long for winter...ah...cool breezes, rain, clouds, frost....sigh lol.

Peace to you Mac:)

Marie xoxooxo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. As I travel on the trains every day to work, I can let you know that the trains were running but with delays of up to five minutes which was not too bad - but I did dread travelling to work this morning as I thought the trains would have been far more worse than what they actually were.

Mac McLernon said...

Actually, Heart Radio reported that many, many trains which run in to London from the South Coast were cancelled... loads were delayed (by a lot more than five minutes) the Dartford Bridge was closed and the increased traffic through the Dartford tunnel and the Blackwell tunnel caused loads of the kids to be late to school.

I squeaked in on time, but by the skin of my teeth!

Oliver Hayes said...

In Norway every winter apart from Fawlty Towers the comedy highlight on television is news about England being brought to a standstill by a few centermetres of snow at -1 degrees celsius. In Norway transport is expected to function normally at -30 degrees below freezing with 3 metres of snow!

George said...

Mac - don't you know? This bad, cold, stormy weather is all down to tooooo many plastic bags on the planet, farting cows, me driving around in my Land Rover and your cat all causing global flippin' warming! After all the arch-hot-houser-high-priest Al Gore says its true. Who dares not to believe?

Talking with a friend on the phone yesterday evening who resides in California, he was saying that Dallas Airport was brought to a stand-still by the heaviest snow EVER! They don't have snow ploughs in Dallas - never needed them. Oh global warming of course - WAY OFF COURSE! Does the government insist we teach Junk Science as a GCSE subject in schools these days?

Mac McLernon said...

Yes, George... the Science National Curriculum has indeed been reduced to junk Science. The Biology is pretty much unchanged, because you need a certain amount of Biology in order to understand about GM crops and genetic testing (so as to abort any imperfect specimens, you understand) and to understand why you need to have stem cell research.

Chemistry has been simplified. The manufacture of plastics is considered, as well as the disposal of waste, especially plastic waste. Sustainable development is also included. And don't forget air pollution...

I dare not look at the Physics stuff - but I have been assured by my colleagues that I would be able to teach it with my eyes closed... and indeed that might be preferable, as I won't believe what I'm seeing anyway!!!

Have a look at your children's Science books... and try not to have a conniption.

George said...

Why don't science teachers complain - or is it that they are so bogged down with red-tape and bureacracy (could never spell this word - still looks wrong!) trying to crisis manage unruly and indifferent children with their hands tied behind their backs due to government 'do not discipline the little darlings' policies that they have simply lost heart in their profession? If my old science, chemistry, zoology, botany, biology and physics teachers were alive today I think they would have a 'conniption' of the terminal variety with bells and whistles!

What have we done with education in this country and why?

Mac McLernon said...

Yep... performance management, classroom crowd control, and red tape...

We do complain... we're just not listened to!

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