Sunday 31 January 2016

Hints of spring, EOMV January -16

It’s still stormy season on the British Isles and storm Gertrude has just passed whilst storm Henry is waiting in the wings and will land on us on Monday. Here in the relatively quiet corner of the South-East we are not so affected by bad weather in general and storms in particular and although it is windy every time we have a new storm, nothing has been damaged in my garden and I have had no flooding issues to worry about. But parts of my garden seem to have rather bad drainage and are now so soggy after all the rain that I try not to walk in those beds for now. Other parts of my garden, especially under the two tall ceanothus’ trees are still bone dry and will need to be watered as soon as I get some plants in the ground. When that will be is an open has been slow the last month. It has been cold and wet and the number of days possible to work outside rather few and far between. Hopefully February will bring more good days – I don’t mind it being cold, that’s just a question of putting on the right type of clothes – it’s the rain I can’t cope with, getting wet makes me too cold. When it rains I am stuck inside watching my garden through my windows, just aching to get outside again.

Friday 15 January 2016

GBBD from a cold January London

Did anyone think we could have summer temperatures to last us all winter?? Well, one can only hope – but alas, all good things come to an end and the last week it has been cold in Britain, bitterly cold. Not just low temperatures but the bone chilling wind here in London makes the around 5 plus Celsius feel like well below zero. To be honest I would rather have proper cold winter weather like in Norway than this raw, cold wind in London. Or, at least your average winter weather in Norway. Mind you, the other day I spoke to a friend who lives in Northern Norway where I used to live from I was 7 until I was 16, that day it was minus 27C there (-16.6F) - ordinary winter weather for January for that area. I suppose everything’s relative! I remember what that kind of weather was like, the coldest I ever experienced was a winter when I was 11 or 12 or so when we had 5 days of minus 40-43 degrees C (43 C is 45.4F). We all went to school, people went to work, life went on pretty much as normal. It was winter. Here in Britain they have huge warning campaigns on TV and radio every time it is about to rain more than a few mm and if there is even the slightest hint of a snow flurry, the amber and red warning signs are flagged up everywhere. I think people get desensitised to all the warnings. They should be used when there is an unusual or dangerous weather event, not just because it will snow or rain. Anyway, that was my way of telling myself that perhaps it hasn’t been so cold after all. Who am I kidding, yesterday it was sooooo cold I didn’t even go outside, I filmed and took photos of the birds in the garden through my kitchen window despite beautiful sunny weather!