The cold is seeping in….

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This is the first day of spring, but it feels like mid winter. Our house isn’t that well insulated and if it gets cold it stays cold, high ceilings means that the heat rises and warms the upper part of the room before it gets to us down here on the floor. The wind is gusting from the north and whistling through the gap round the seal in the front window and kitchen. We had new windows put in, but I guess they were cheap, all we could afford. The front door slams when you go through it because they measured it wrongly, so the top sticks out more than the bottom, giving it a very strange cant.

The North Wind cools the house, rubs the heat away as it pushes past the walls. Out kitchen bathroom extention only has thin walls. It really needs an insulating layer outside, but instead ivy is taking over and a wisteria has been planted at the end. Plants don’t keep us warm, but the blackbirds like to nest in it.

Now I’m cooking our evening meal, the heat from the oven adds a little to the warmth. I could microwave the food, but the gas cooker gives a bit of extra heat.

One day it will be warm outside, the leaves will grow, and we shall have spring and summer. X

Short walk along the canal and Westport lake.

Long title…

We went for a walk along the Trent and Mersey canal, from the road up to Trubshaw Cross at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, along the towpath, to the lakes at Westport. I was not at my best so we only walked round the small lake, then back along to our starting point.

The day was blustery, but I could feel some warmth from the sun. The old bottle oven round the back of Price and Kensington (facade allowed to crumble so much the council had to demolish part of it). It was sad to see all the rubbish and wood stacked up on the yard waiting to be burnt. The owners regularly light fires, not small ones, and cause a nuisance with smoke. I worry that the buildings may be irreversibly damaged by this behaviour. As you walk along the canal towpath the image improves, although there are places that are derelict and that made me wonder what would happen if the facade of a building were to fall into the canal.

We found the entry to Westport lake easily enough. We popped into the cafe to get some duck food, than a nice stroll round the lake. Stopping to chat with a photographer who had a really long lens to take pictures of the birds on the lake.

I need more exercise and this helped!

World

_20200303_224853what would happen if the Earth was tipped up on its axis?

The world would spin so the equator was spinning at nintey degrees or so to where it is now. Every twenty four hours it would still spin West to East as it does now, but the Sun would not rise and set every day. I think it would only do that when the Earth was mid way between when either pole faced the Sun. Because the Earth rotates round the Sun. So the North or North East or North West would face the Sun for half  of the year and the South, South East and South West for the other half.

So what would happen to the poles? Even now, because the Earth is tipped at an angle and doesn’t rotate vertically, we get summers and winters. So there  twenty four hour days in the polar summer, and twenty four hour nights in polar winter. If the Earth was tipped over more the twenty four hour days and nights would last for months. The side away from the Sun would be colder, the side towards it would be hotter. Perhaps all the ice would melt at one pole and freeze much more at the other? Who knows? I’m sure scientists would have the answer. Thankfully we don’t face that question. Sadly we do face climate crisis. We need to sort out the current situation. How? I don’t know the answer to that. But perhaps we should follow what teachers put on school reports. We must try harder?!

Cold garden

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Ladybirds sleep,

Tucked in the crook of a branch.

Butterflies hang dormant,

asleep in shed roofs.

Frogs start to spawn

ignoring the cold and ice.

Plants hunker down,

below the ground.

Fish are deep in the pond,

torpid, sleepy, quiet.

Where are the bats?

Hibernating in a loft,

huddled and shivering,

waiting for warmth.

Last years temperature was 21°C

Today it is 3°C…….

Cold garden

chilled fingers,

icy wind,

frozen nose….

Waiting for snow while towns flood

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We are living through a bad patch of weather. A couple of named storms, then more rain. Now the forecast is for snow and ice or hail. Watching the news tonight there are towns on the river Severn which are flooded. The flood defences that were put in to protect properties next to the river in one in a hundred years storms have been used many times in the last few years. At the moment the county of Shropshire is affected. Shrewsbury is badly flooded in places. Bewdley and now Ironbridge (heart of the industrial revolution) are in danger. In two places Red, danger of death, warnings have been issued. The defences are being overtopped. That means people who have refused to move out are in danger.

Our society makes things worse by building on flood plains, laying concrete and brick ‘features’ and parking spaces in our gardens, not maintaining the countryside and removing trees and hedges. Even in the light of all the floods we still want HS2 (a train line whichmeans people will be able to get from Manchester or Leeds to London about 20 minutes more quickly. In the plans for the train line ancient forests will be dug up and villages demolished or cut off. All for the massive cost of over £100 billion! Maybe we should spend that on greening the environment instead.

Now I’m waiting to see if it snows. Whatever happens I hope for respite for the flooded areas.

Pink dawn

Sky to the East of us about 7. 10 am. Barometer showing fair but the old  saw that red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning seems appropriate after all the bad weather we’ve been having. Apparently if the sky is red its because the dawn is reflecting off the underside of clouds (yes I can see that), and that means the bad weather is more likely to be overhead now or later. Red sky at night shepherd’s delight? The weather will have passed over and be moving away. I guess the point is also that it depends what direction the wind is blowing in?!

Waiting for the next storm…. It will probably start with the letter E…. How many more?

Flooding

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This is a local lake, but I’m using it to illustrate what has been happening this weekend as storm Dennis rages over the UK. Flooding in South Wales, Worcestershire, Yorkshire, Scotland and many other of the shires (counties). Cities, towns and countryside have all been affected. The water that fell from storm Ciara last weekend has saturated the ground and made it difficult for the water to drain. The weather has battered the mainland of Europe too.

Watching it all happen on the TV, I know its a rather small problem compared with what’s been happening in Australia with its wild fires. In East Africa where billions of locusts are affecting many countries. In South America where people are burning rain forests, in so many places on the earth where seven billion of us are causing untold damage?

The questions come, but are not always answered. I don’t know what to think. But I might have to stop writing about it. I’m depressing myself and probably everyone else….