Greg's Occasional News & Views

29 July 2018

Whew! What a scorcher! It’s been a hot, hot, hot week. Thursday the temperature reached the lofty heights of 35o Celsius (95o Fahrenheit) at Heathrow, the hottest day of the year so far. Friday was supposed to be even hotter but Friday was also supposed to be the day when the heavens burst and flung buckets of water down upon us. We did, once again, have a spot of rain this week. Actually, I think it was three spots of rain – it drizzled for about ten minutes on Thursday evening just as we were going to bed.

We’ve had the first hosepipe ban of the hot weather – United Utilities which supplies water to parts of the northwest of the country has announced a hosepipe ban which is due to begin on 5 August.  

Lack of rain and increased demand for water means that our reservoirs are now lower than we’d like for this time of year. That’s why a hosepipe ban will be introduced across the North West on 5th August.

Nothing to do, then, with the lack of investment in infrastructure due to the company prioritising profits over the careful management of a vital natural resource.

Private Eye has an excellent little feature scattered throughout most issues – Number Crunching. The current issue has the following:

You wait and wait for a rain cloud to come along and then three dozen come along at once. Parts of the country did, allegedly, get the promised downpours on Friday night but nothing in our neck of the woods. The one impact the clouds did have was to prevent us from observing the lunar eclipse – apparently the longest blood moon lunar eclipse this century. As we gazed out on to the grey cloudy sky we wondered how magnificent it must have been! If the clouds had brought us some rain we might not have been so disappointed but to bring us no rain AND obscure the view of the eclipse is almost unforgivable.

Adam and Ava and the adorable Jessica continue with their settling in process. Adam and Ava are both signed up for driving lessons so that they can acquire their UK driving licences, something which is pretty much essential for anyone living in Moreton Pinkney where we no longer have any bus service at all. Ava has a Chinese driving licence but not a lot of driving experience while Adam has never had a licence. When he was of an age when he would “normally” have acquired a licence, he never felt the need to bother. Since his birthday is in July he was always amongst the youngest in his class. As a result, all his friends had their driving licences before he was old enough to take the test and they were generally quite willing to come and fetch him and transport him around. I seem to remember that he had a few lessons but then abandoned the whole exercise when he went travelling. I imagine the driving instructor views these two as a welcome diversion from the 17 year olds he teaches most of the time.

We’ve spent several very entertaining afternoons paddling in the brook at the bottom of the appropriately named Brook Street in the village. Seven weeks of no rain has reduced the brook to a mere trickle but it’s still fun. We went down on Thursday evening with Jessica proudly wearing her new Wellington boots which meant that she could actually play in the brook rather than having to stand at its edge. Not surprisingly, this was a great success even if her boots were filled with water in a matter of a few moments!

We’re off to Nick & Lucy’s for lunch and a play in the garden this afternoon. I suspect there may be some water-related activities although the weather forecast is still promising those torrential downpours. If we can’t have a water fight we can always dance naked in the rain.

Stop Press: We finally received some of our share of the drought-quenching rain. It arrived on Saturday evening and came down in buckets for about ten minutes. It then sprinkled intermittently through the night and we awoke to grey skies and a miserable drizzle – hardly the lashings and lashings of rain we had been warned to expect. The winds are at gale force, as anticipated, but the delicate misting which we are experiencing is much better for the vegetables as it will get a chance to sink in. Looks like we might be dancing naked at Nick & Lucy’s after all. 

Love to you all,

Greg

 

 

 

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