Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts

Snow in England



This is one of the snowiest Decembers in recent history for a lot of places. The United Kingdom is no exception (the above is a recent photo of the seashore in Brighton - about an hour south of London). Although it's been inconvenient, it's also been beautiful and has almost made it like Christmas to me. There's nothing like a dusting of snow to make you want to cuddle in and enjoy a few quiet days with family.

The photo above is from the wonderful Big Picture website. You can view their entire snow set here.

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Snow in London



For the past few days it's been snowing in fits and starts in London. Nothing quite as magical as the 'big' dump last January, but still. And there is something a bit magical about it happening right before Christmas.

On the negative side, two millimeters of snow in London is enough to grind the entire city to a halt. Seriously, the UNDERGROUND has been know to stop running for less. They call it "a weather event" over here. I wonder what they would call a Saskatchewan blizzard? A life altering catastrophe, I would imagine.

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I'll Get You My Pretty!



Can someone please buy me some ruby red shoes? Think of all the money I would save on air fare.

In the spirit of the Wizard of Oz and other wind storm related things, London sounds like it's blowing away tonight. Seriously Saskatchewan, tonight London's gale force wind takes the prize.

Unrelated to stormy weather (I hope) - tomorrow le garçon and I are heading to Manchester where he is giving a talk about brilliant webby things. We are staying up there overnight and spending Thursday exploring the city, which, based on this website, actually looks like it might be cool.

Anyone out there from Manchester? Any tips?

Sweet dreams my pretties.

xoxoxox

These lovelies found via adnspirit.


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Hurricane London


This video was taken with the camera on my iPod Nano. The image quality is OK, but the sound is a little dodgy.

Anyhow, there is some kind of crazy ass tropical storm in the UK today, the likes I've yet to see in over a year living here. The wind is from the south and is cutting a swath from the channel straight into my garden.

I am from Saskatchewan (land of -50 C and winds that almost literally cut you in half) and I don't pretend our little gale compared to January in the Canadian prairies, but it is different. It feels tropical. London is far enough away from the ocean that I sometimes forget that I am living on an island. Today, with the wind moaning outside and the trees buckled over, coupled with the warmish +15 degree temperature, I feel a bit out of sorts. Like Dorothy, right before the lights go out. I think I'll stay in.

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A Good Lido is Hard to Find


(Image from Art of the State)

Today I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. There was no particular reason. I'd had a good sleep, the sun was shinning, everything was in order, except that I felt like my body and mind had been inhabited by a petulant child just waiting for things to go wrong so that it (I) could sulk.

First of all, I burned my omelet due to the fact that this London flat has limited kitchen utensils and not a proper plastic egg turner/flipper thing. Golly, did I ever get angry about that, despite the fact that I've known of our limited flipper utensil situation for months and have yet to care enough to do anything about it.

Then, as I was eating my burned omelet, a fly came in the living room through the window and started buzzing around, slamming itself against the glass trying to escape. This was the perfect opportunity for the bad three year old inside of me to become furious that people in the UK haven't embraced the simple concept of the window screen. In North America, it is pretty unheard of not to have a neat fitting window screen to keep out all manner of pesky bugs. Granted, we do have mosquitoes the size of bats, but still. Between gulping down my bad eggs and fighting back tears, I tried to convince Dan that it is inhumane of the British to not have screens because unfortunate bugs are lured inside for a premature demise. When he tried to suggest that they don't have long lives anyway, I got all soppy about how the fly in question probably had at least one more lovely day to look forward to before flying in through the damn screen-less window, trapping himself to death. Never mind that I would as soon smash a fly to death with a rolled up newspaper, old shoe, book ... anything ... as look at it.

Despite my bleary mood, the weather was lovely and hot for the second day running in London. We did what all people do in a place that is rainy over 80% of the time, we tried to find a patch of outdoors to soak it all up. Initially I had this cockamamie idea about going to the seashore, but despite the fact that the UK is an island, it was more challenging (and time consuming) then I'd imagined to get to the sea from here. Brighton was an option, but the beach there is rocky and not terribly nice to sit on. This was, obviously, another source of my agony. (Damn Brighton! Damn rocks!)

After a long think, I decided we should go and find an outdoor pool, which is not so easy in London. There is one in Kentish Town that seemed the least painful to get to and so we set out. I need to qualify the concept of least painful. Most things in London take a long time to get to by the standards of anyone living in a modestly sized city. To get to Kentish Town we needed to take the tube, transfer once - the whole thing taking nearly an hour. Once we arrived at our designated station, it was about a 20 minute walk to the pool, which is located in Hampstead Heath, a big park.

By the time we got there it was well into the afternoon. Apparently a lot of people were looking for some outdoor water today because there was a fairly intimidating line at the entrance of the brick building that enclosed the pool. Possibly the worst bit was that the line was composed of pre-teen children, mostly without adult supervision, all clearly high on the ice cream treat they probably had on the way to the pool and the prospect of an afternoon without their parents. Instead of waiting in the line and facing the shrieking crowd within, we decided to sit on a hill in the park. Although this was undoubtedly the best decision (I would have probably drowned the first shrieking little person I saw) I was still ridiculously angry. The park was mediocre at best and probably not as nice as Holland Park, which is only a ten minute walk from where we live. To make everything worse, there was some track and field none sense going on and a very stupid man kept shooting off a starter gun to my great annoyance. Oh, I was a misery!!

At one point I witnessed a little boy of maybe four or five start sobbing and kicking his feet, little fists in angry balls. He looked as ridiculous as I'd been acting. Then again, if it were socially acceptable for adults to have tantrums, I wonder if we wouldn't be better off. Or maybe that's just an excuse for wanting to misbehave.


(Image by Jill Greenberg)

I am feeling much better now, thanks for asking.

A tip for non UK readers: A lido is what they call an outdoor swimming place. Yes, just another thing to be annoyed about...

XOXO

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Summer


It feels like summer in London today. I am in one of the most amazing cities in the world but all I can think about is hiding away in a cute little corner somewhere, water to swim in within walking distance, some good music on hand and a few good books. Oh, to be twelve again and heading into two months solid of a hot, lazy beach summer.

(images via Dream Smile Design)

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London, you may be a sissy but I still love you...

Over the past week, the United Kingdom has experienced its biggest snowfall in nearly 20 years. Though I don't miss the severe (-40 C) cold back home, I have missed the snow. Especially during Christmas and New Years, which didn't feel real to me at all without the white stuff. So when the weather people began to forecast that blizzards from Russia were on route to hit the UK, I was really excited, though skeptical. Over here a big snow fall is a light smattering that has melted into slush within minutes of landing. My expectations were not high.

On Sunday night the temperatures dropped to around freezing. I took the train from Cardiff to London and by the time we rolled into Paddington Station there was already a bit of snow falling. And then it snowed more and more until London was in the throes of a genuine blizzard, even by Canadian standards. By morning there was about a foot and a half of lovely, clean white snow. What was most amazing was how excited everyone was about it. Kids were out playing, people were walking their very excited dogs. It was an event.

The problem? London is a sissy and is not well equipped to deal with snow. By Monday morning all city buses were suspended and even the underground was mostly shut down. I was lucky and managed to get on the one train leaving the station for the Soho office. I was also lucky in that I was able to get a train back at the end of the day and didn't have to spend the night in said freezing cold office. It is bizarre to me that an underground train is incapable of running because of snow above ground. Lots of people have been complaining about London's lack of preparedness for the storm, but I found the whole thing endearing. London, I have a bit of a crush on you.


After Monday the worst of the storm seemed to be over and by Tuesday almost everything was at least functioning in London. Last night I took the train to Bath for a networking event and all things weather related seemed clear, until I went to leave. At about 10 pm, Bath was suddenly engulfed in an 'extreme weather event' (what they call snow here) and the train back to Cardiff was suspended so I ended up staying the night in the Royal Hotel, which was far from royal but well located across from the train station, where I scampered to catch my ride back to Cardiff at 7:30 am. As I sit here, I am still wearing the same clothes as I was yesterday, my hair is barely brushed and my teeth haven't been cleaned since yesterday morning. I am lovely. On a positive note, I did get to see the snow covered British countryside roll by this morning on the train and it was perfect. Snow here feels different than in Canada. Maybe it's the way it clings to the buildings that have been here for hundreds of years. I don't know, but it was beautiful.

This whirlwind week continues with a dance party tomorrow night where an acquaintance is DJing, then back to London on Saturday for another dance party that night, then a comedy show on Sunday night and then back to Cardiff Monday or Tuesday. Then back to London on Thursday so that I can fly out to Paris on Friday morning. Yay me! If it doesn't kill me, it's bound to be fun!!

Also, to all of you still in Canadiana... I've booked my tickets home and am planning a bit of a whirlwind trip of visiting people. I am flying into Calgary on June 27th and am planning a few days around there visiting and maybe take a day to go to Banff (Lindsay, I hope you're around!!), then to Regina for Canada Day (July 1st) where I'll be for about a week. Then Toronto (Crystal!) from July 8th to 11th, when I fly back to London. So you better be around bitches! Put me in your calendars!!

(Photos are from here. I forgot my stupid camera in Cardiff. Sniff.)

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