...one sort of expects warm sunny days &
blue sky. Silly of me I know, but that is just the way I seem to
remember Spring Time.
The pictures I have taken in the grounds of Hexham Abbey & the streets serounding demonstrat though that this year is different.
Our local mad-man-who-knows explained to me that we are going through 400 year cycles of weather. He is always very convinsing!
...I remember the day he stopped me on the Fron St to tell me how we are being manipulated by alian planets & that even the Government don't realise this is hapening!
Still, he has never done me any harm & he workes wonders with dogs!
Any way, as I was saying, pity about the weather. It has rained heavily today, blowing from the east off the North Sea.
I'm going to put the kettle on.
Looking down the valley and
across to the moor from my windows you’d think it was yet another
warm sunny day, but not a bit of it;
there is a sharp wind from the north west and even with clear sky and the sun shining we are down by a good 10c! In some areas higher up from us they’ve fluctuated between 9c in the town and maybe 1c. in places like Alston.
I’m pretty sure we had a skim of ice on the bird bath today, though the sun was glorious early on.
By the time we were walking the twins about 4pm there was a fine drizzle in the air & the cloud was dropping fast again.
There is certainly a difference between the style of weather as it occurs in different parts.
Where I lived in London in my childhood & youth, summer was hot & humid. Streets were not inviting and the city itself was thick with a stuffy damp heat; it trailed in-&-out of simply warm days the whole of June-to-early September.
When I eventually went up to Newcastle University to study medicine I discovered that Summer time was short, sharp & a delight to people.
Somewhere in July there would be a week of heat, clear sky & often followed by a dramatic thunder storm. In the sunshine the natives were known to “Take their kit off.”
The men wore loud patterned shorts & very flimsy vests to show off the profusion of “Body Art.”
The ladies wore equally skimpy dress, consisting of a northern version of a leotard, topped by a skimpier vest than the men [to show their tattoos,] & a colourful ‘Boob Tube’
Some of the female students from the Art Departments, could be seen mealy in a long-ish T-shirt affair, often topped by bright orange hair.
On the other hand here in the rurals of Cambridgeshire when the seasons reach the summer months, a chap may discard his waistcoat on a hot day;
if it swelters he may swop his battered Trilby or cloth cap for a Panama or a knotted hanky, but on the whole the population have their market gardens or their flock to attend & are far too busy for such frippery!
For my part, being experienced in all three parts of the country, when I do my rounds in the early afternoons in summer I tend towards chinos, a thin cotton jacket & a cheap, & ofen rather fraud Panama hat that needs replacing fairly frequently.
I’d like another half in there please John, but really - I ought to be getting back. I must finish my notes.
“We know people are struggling with rising energy bills but a warm home should be a given, not a luxury” Greg BarkerBy Mary B
Pensioners and vulnerable householders across Great Britain are being urged to take advantage of the help available to keep warm this winter. There are a number of schemes designed to provide support, including money off bills and assistance with central heating and insulation.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:
“We know people are struggling with rising energy bills but a warm home should be a given, not a luxury. That’s why we want to make sure everyone is aware of the support available, and anyone who thinks they may be eligible for some insulation or new heating kit should call 0300 123 1234 for further advice.”
ENERGY COMPANY OBLIGATION
The Government has recently introduced a new Energy Company Obligation alongside the Green Deal aimed both at saving carbon and at getting efficient boilers and insulation into the homes of vulnerable people across Great Britain. Part of this new scheme is specifically targeted at low income households to help them keep warm and save money on energy bills. Householders who think they may be eligible for help can contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) on 0300 123 1234 for advice.
The last day for new applications to this scheme, which gives households the opportunity to get help to improve the heating or insulation of their home, is 19 January 2013. After then, help and support will be available to a wider group of vulnerable households under the Energy Company Obligation. Any Warm Front applications received by Carillion, the scheme administrator, by 19 January will be processed under the Warm Front scheme. Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for the Warm Front scheme should call ESAS on 0300 123 1234.
WARM HOME DISCOUNT
Energy bill discounts of £130 are being provided to around 1.1million of the most vulnerable pensioners this winter under the Warm Home Discount scheme. The discount has already been given to over 1 million pensioners, but a small number may need to provide some further information before they can receive this. All those eligible for the discount will receive a letter by February 2013. There is also support available for a broader vulnerable group and householders should contact their energy supplier directly to find out more about the help available.
WINTER FUEL PAYMENTS
Automatic payments are made each year to all those in receipt of the state pension in Great Britain, to help with the cost of energy bills.
COLD WEATHER PAYMENTS
Money is paid to pensioners on pension credit or people on income related benefits who meet certain criteria during periods of severe cold, to help with the cost of energy bills.
There is a lot of help available to keep warm this winter, and people can call 0300 123 1234 to get further advice on the specific support available for them. From 28 January people will also be able sign up for a Green Deal, which will transform homes by providing the opportunity to pay for energy efficient measures with the savings on their energy bills.
1. Energy Company Obligation is split into three elements, hard to treat homes, affordable warmth and carbon saving communities. This scheme operates across Great Britain and more information can be found here:http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/green_deal/gd_industry/eco/eco.aspx
2. Warm Front has been running since 2000 and has helped around 2.3 million households to keep warm. This scheme operates in England only and more information on Warm Front can be found here: www.gov.uk/warm-front-scheme
3. Warm Home Discount has been up and running since April 2011 and will help around two million low income and vulnerable households this year. This scheme operates across Great Britain and more information can be found here:www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
4. Winter fuel payments are annual payments for pensioners and
are worth up to £300. In 2011/12, 12.6million people received a
winter fuel payment, in 9.14million households.
More information can be found here: www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
5. Cold weather payments have already been paid to people affected by sustained cold temperatures this winter, 2012/13. More information can be found here:www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
6. Government recently consulted on a new definition of fuel poverty to make sure help is targeted at those who need it most. DECC will confirm the way forward following consultation later this year.
or whether the weather be hot
we'll weather the weather
whatever the weather
whether we like it or not.
whether we like it or not, we are in a temperate region and therefore at the mercy of this countrys weather whims. you can get up some summers and its pouring down with rain, and some winters its so warm, i have been known to sunbathe. pepys himself recorded in his diaries of a winter where roses were blooming round his door all winter, and winters where they had to dig themselves out. the thames froze so hard it became a play ground for skaters.
we dont have the monopoly on peculiar weather, and if we like it or not its here to stay. and we folk who have lived here have gotten so used to it, we put up and grumble and talk about it incessantly sometimes.
my fathers last retort as we girls left the house was 'have you got your gamp'. 'yes dad' was the sighing reply. my mothers of course was 'have you got your hanky', and we smiled our replies and fled.
gamp for the unititiated was the common or garden umbrella. my father being a londoner was prone to use london terms and cockney sometimes. i have spent my life with cockney terms threaded and laced in my speech. i have never tried to get rid of it as i find it quaint and colourful and nowadays with london being mostly yuppies the old ways have died out.
he also used backward slang as well, which i got used to. but that has gone forever now.
i still use apples and pears, and half inch. i cant help myself.
oh well, what was i saying before i so rudely interrupted myself. oh yes, the weather.
i have a friend who is constantly watching weather reports and doesnt look at the sky outdoors. i am an old fashioned gal, if i want to know whats it going to be doing today, i go outdoors look at the sky and sniff the breeze.
and the sensations of breeze i listen for in the trees. if the trees rustle a certain way, i know theres rain coming. if the lowering clouds are underlaid with a pinky sort of colour, its going to snow.
if they are mighty black, well thats anyone guess, theres a storm on the way.
i also suffer from body and head pains if theres snow or storms coming my way. the change in the electrical charges pronounces that only too keenly.
the weather pressure when it goes up and down affects my mood, especially in the winter, when we have lack of light.
come the first bright sunny day, when there is the lightest breeze and it becomes warm, i feel im floating on air and can get anything done, probably clean and polish the houses of parliament before sundown.
seriously, i seem to be absolutely ennervated and get up with perhaps not quite a spring in my step these days, but a hundred jobs that have been niggling at me in my dog days, get done and dusted and i feel better for the doing of it.
but when the snows on the ground or its absolutely chucking it down outside stair-rods, there is absolutely nothing like heinz tomato soup.
it really has to be Heinz. i pick up a tin in the souper market, and hustle off home, with the can already warming my insides spiritually. i dont know what it is, but Heinz tomato soup is synonymous with warming comfort.
the warmly red label thats been with us since noah got off the ark, is a tin of heaven. i feel a glow just looking at it. taking home someone elses label doesnt do it for me at all.
so, i get home, open the can, prepare the bowl and spoon, get a hunk of bread out. i wind the wooden spoon round the lovely deep orange smooth liquid and wait till its nearly boiling, with some impatience.
its the build up to sitting by the fire, bowl in hand and one finger and thumb dunking the bread. the sodden piece of tomatoey bread goes straight in, and already i feel almost content.
several spoons later of tomato bliss, i feel satisfied and the rain can rain, come what may, i feel happy.
so, these days being subject to various ailments i inwardly curse the outside for being too wet, too windy, or toooooo whatever. if i cant get out, its a blinking nuisance.
i wouldnt have it any other way though, the changing seasons and the particular feeling it brings in the wake of the next is a nursery for some of the most talented people in the world. i swear that the fact we have to put up with a great deal weatherwise, makes folk stronger and therefore much more interesting in the old brainbox. perhaps a good freezing, a good old soak in spring and wonderful summers is a good oven for talent. to say nothing of the wonderful autumns we have here. canada has nothing on us!!!
plus, what are puddles for anyway, but for having a good jump in and splash.
i may not be able to jump but i always have a surreptitious splash when no-ones looking. im a child at heart!
and autumn leaves, i kick them up and watch them float about and resettle, and then go and do it all over again. its so much fun.
there are so many old saying about the weather too. a windy christmas, a good crop of apples for one. there are many more.
so, guys and gals, get your gamps, and lets go out to play. coming?