Friday, June 07, 2013

'Weather' We Like It - or Not

Up early enough to write a blog today.  Have cancelled Norma the Hair (by text) but as she did not reply am not sure if she got the message (she may have lost her mobile phone).  So need to be 'free' at  9.00am if she does arrive.  Even so, want to do a bit of baking (fresh scones to serve to guest) before she comes, so this blog will be short.

Thanks for comments.  Have not heard of the local (Fen) term for the mid-day snack: 'docking', Sairy.  Think the 'Ploughman's Lunch' wasn't called that when eaten in times past, probably a name given in the last century as a dish to be served as 'pub grub'.  The basic ingredients seem to remain the same,  cheese, apple, sometimes a bit of pork pie, pickled onions, a chunk of crusty home-made (or artisan) bread, and a pint of beer or 'scrumpy' (cider) to wash it all down.

Have not heard the name 'smores' relating to biscuits here in the UK, Margie.  Perhaps it is an American name, called because the biccies are 'moreish'.  The French Macarons (often called Macaroons here in the UK) are supposed to be difficult to make, but I find them very easy. MInd you I have perfected an easy way to make them.  Perhaps, because they are so 'difficult', and a bit time-consuming if we wish to make several with different colours and different flavoured fillings, these 'Macarons' are sold at a £1 each!  Unbelievable price as we could make dozens of these for just £1.  When it comes to baking, home-cooking wins hands down when it comes to cost.

I'll make a not of the books that you mentioned Margie, and ask B to see if he can get them through the library for me to read.  At the moment I'm waiting for them to get me a couple of books I had already read, but wish to read again - the first being 'The Clan of the Cave Bear', and then the second in the series, I believe there are four in the full set, but have only read three. but really did enjoy them first time round.  A 'very me' type of book.

Good to read that the temp in your part of Canada is much the same as it is here in the UK this week.  There was even an article in the paper yesterday about how many of us dream of having a few days in the Med to gain some sun, researchers have found we prefer our weather to be a little more on the mild side, and our average ideal summer temperature would be 74F (23.5C), which is what it is in most of the country at the moment, slightly lower in coastal areas (where we live).

The weather does seem to occupy our British minds more than most for research has found that we love complaining about it, it can be either too hot, or too cold etc., and we spend four months of our lives moaning about the elements. 
Considering I write about our weather nearly every day on this blog, am sure I spend a lot more time 'discussing' it.   Maybe not, for as I read on it says "the average Briton complains about the climate four times a day, for a total of eight minutes and 21 seconds (do they stand beside us with a stop-watch?), and anything over 82F (28F) considered too hot for the summer months, while anything below 66F (19C) was considered too chilly".

There is even a gender difference with men preferring slightly warmer weather, 77F (25C) as their optimum weather, us ladies happier when the weather is slightly cooler at 73F (23C).  I go with that.

A spokesman for the organization who commissioned the poll said "One of our favourite pastimes as a nation is to moan about the weather no matter how hot or cold it is.  For many it is either too wet or too dry so it was really interesting to find a temperature which everyone would be happy with".

It's a pity that we hardly ever have days that have 'the perfect temperature', it's either too hot, too cold, too windy, or too humid.  You see, that's exactly what happens, even I'm having a beef about the weather on one of our very few 'perfect' days.  Why can't I be just happy with that?

We watched a very sobering programme last night about the vicious tornado that swept through Oklahoma recently.  It was mainly about the town called 'Moore' that had been worst hit, and seeing the devastation it reminded me so much of 'the morning after' the many 'blitzes' (severe bombing) we had in war-time (my own memories being of Coventry).  With us this happened day after day for weeks on end, but this does not mean the American disaster is any the less because of that.  Our flattened properties were caused by man.  The tornadoes are a natural occurance and all the worse because of it. 

As the township mentioned above has had - it was said - several tornadoes hitting it over the past decade or so, it's obviously in a danger zone, so could not understand why every home does not have some 'storm shelter' built below it.  I remember seeing (in films) that many older houses always had 'root cellars' (presumably to store root veg to see them through the winter), and it shouldn't be too difficult to even now dig under (or beside a home) to make a safe place to shelter when the next tornado is forecast.

Another puzzlement.  The tornadoes are able to be tracked by radar, and they do seem to 'blow' a fairly straight path, so there is ample time for people to jump into cars and drive away from the danger zone, and when the tornado is visible on the horizon, it should be easy enough to keep away from its path and drive back once it has gone past.  But so many families seemed to prefer to stay put in their homes, even when they had a car they could escape in.  One man discovered his car upside down some distance away, part covered with other rubble, it having been blown right through their house while they were shelting inside a cupboard.  They had a car - so why stay?

Thankfully, tornadoes are not something we get much of in the UK.  Hardly even until recent years when the weather seems to have changed its normal pattern.  We do hear of very small tornadoes maybe once (or even twice) a year somewhere in the UK, but these only seem to lift a few tiles from roofs, and sometimes will blow a caravan or two over.  Perhaps with homes being stone or brick built they stand wind pressure, whereas the US homes built mainly of wood, are more easily damaged. 
Our worst weather seems to be mainly flooding, we get a lot more of this these days due to heavy and often constant rain (nor normal), with the floods not all to blam on Nature, but with man who has paved or concreted over far too many fields and water meadows so that supermarkets and car-parks can be built (as well as high-rise flats), and the rivers that used to burst their banks and flow over these fields - which soaked it up, now flows on down roads and into property.  

Mind you, with all the rain we had last year, not surprising that even the fields couldn't soak up all the water and it was lying around for weeks, drowning all the crops.  But it has now gone, and even with all that rain, what's the betting that if the sun keeps shining for a few weeks more, we'll soon be told we have a 'hose-pipe' ban, and that drought conditions have set in again.  Even with the weather 'just how we like it', we can't have it like that too long or we can't cope (at the agricultural level), so start praying for rain.

The comp is now playing silly 'b's', but as I need to wind up now anyway, I'll say my farewells for today and hope it works properly tomorrow, TTFN