caddyman: (Spider-Pig)
Some years ago, when first I moved to London1, I lived (for far too long) in a hostel in SW7 just off Gloucester Road. One weekend, about this time of year, I was queuing for lunch and happened to mention to one of my friends just how gloomy the normally reasonably well-lit corridor was. A voice behind me announced in a gruff baritone, “Stygian, Dear Boy; positively Stygian!” The speaker was a man in late middle age, dressed rather dapperly in a three-piece suit, bow tie and sporting a marvellous handlebar moustache, looking every bit the retired colonel down on his luck.

I mention this simply because after the mild sunlight of lunchtime, it has gone rather dark outside and we have been debating the likelihood of a decent thunderstorm. I think it’s a given that it will absolutely pelt down, but the possibility of a good thumping celestial mix up is less certain.

Later: In fact no: sunny again. I think I'll go home.

1OK, OK, I’ll stop being coy. It was 1984.
caddyman: (Spider-Pig)
Some years ago, when first I moved to London1, I lived (for far too long) in a hostel in SW7 just off Gloucester Road. One weekend, about this time of year, I was queuing for lunch and happened to mention to one of my friends just how gloomy the normally reasonably well-lit corridor was. A voice behind me announced in a gruff baritone, “Stygian, Dear Boy; positively Stygian!” The speaker was a man in late middle age, dressed rather dapperly in a three-piece suit, bow tie and sporting a marvellous handlebar moustache, looking every bit the retired colonel down on his luck.

I mention this simply because after the mild sunlight of lunchtime, it has gone rather dark outside and we have been debating the likelihood of a decent thunderstorm. I think it’s a given that it will absolutely pelt down, but the possibility of a good thumping celestial mix up is less certain.

Later: In fact no: sunny again. I think I'll go home.

1OK, OK, I’ll stop being coy. It was 1984.

The weather

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 11:04 am
caddyman: (Default)
Today I shall be talking about the weather. It is what we English do, you know: grumble about it being too hot, or too cold; too wet, or too dry. It is a fine tradition of some years standing and far be it for me to break such an august national characteristic.

I think I may safely say that we have dispensed with the traditional summer. We have the long hours of daylight certainly. We have the warmth of summer, too, though not the heat. We seem to be importing US style humidity and Indian subcontinent monsoon, however, and I feel that something has gone awry with the climate of the country that gave us Constable’s Hay Wain and Dedham Vale. We have, instead, that of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. It is dull, overcast, warm and humid with near-constant if light, rain during the day. At night it is just too warm to sleep comfortably until about 3.30am when it becomes just too cool to sleep comfortably, after which we have sunrise, which makes it just too light to sleep comfortably.

I think I want my money back. This isn’t quite what I signed up for. Where is my equable climate, the one I remember from my youth?

The weather

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 11:04 am
caddyman: (Default)
Today I shall be talking about the weather. It is what we English do, you know: grumble about it being too hot, or too cold; too wet, or too dry. It is a fine tradition of some years standing and far be it for me to break such an august national characteristic.

I think I may safely say that we have dispensed with the traditional summer. We have the long hours of daylight certainly. We have the warmth of summer, too, though not the heat. We seem to be importing US style humidity and Indian subcontinent monsoon, however, and I feel that something has gone awry with the climate of the country that gave us Constable’s Hay Wain and Dedham Vale. We have, instead, that of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. It is dull, overcast, warm and humid with near-constant if light, rain during the day. At night it is just too warm to sleep comfortably until about 3.30am when it becomes just too cool to sleep comfortably, after which we have sunrise, which makes it just too light to sleep comfortably.

I think I want my money back. This isn’t quite what I signed up for. Where is my equable climate, the one I remember from my youth?

Truly English

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 10:40 am
caddyman: (Default)
Now I know summer is on its way in. We have had two warm days in succession and I am already wilting and croaky with pollen-related sniffles and such like. I always assumed that as I got older I would discover new interests and pass times. I did not anticipate these manifesting themselves in collecting hay fever pills and ensuring that I remain well stocked with disposable hankies.

I guess the protective layer of tar is well removed from my lungs and other tubing now, so there is nothing between my pipes and the outside world, so here I am: Sir Sniffle of Congestion.

Be that as it may, I am beginning to think that I should put away the black jeans and the tweed jacket (it’s not as if, hand on heart, they match anyway, though I have never let anything as paltry as colour co-ordination ruin my day) and dig out instead the chinos and pale jacket. The irony of course, is that I have donated my panama hat to the charity shop, so a proper Sydney Greenstreet impression is out of the question. That said, I do have a rather tatty, though better fitting panama rolled up in the bedroom drawer or somewhere.

However it turns out, I shall have to think of ways of remaining cool on my way to and from work every day. This is a lesson I have to relearn every year since my memory discards everything useful on the subject as soon as temperatures start to decline and I can gratefully clutch at a jumper and over coat. I pointed out to colleagues that I like the temperatures of winter, but with the daylight of summer. One of them suggested that I want my cake and eat it.

Yes. With cherries on top, please.

Truly English

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 10:40 am
caddyman: (Default)
Now I know summer is on its way in. We have had two warm days in succession and I am already wilting and croaky with pollen-related sniffles and such like. I always assumed that as I got older I would discover new interests and pass times. I did not anticipate these manifesting themselves in collecting hay fever pills and ensuring that I remain well stocked with disposable hankies.

I guess the protective layer of tar is well removed from my lungs and other tubing now, so there is nothing between my pipes and the outside world, so here I am: Sir Sniffle of Congestion.

Be that as it may, I am beginning to think that I should put away the black jeans and the tweed jacket (it’s not as if, hand on heart, they match anyway, though I have never let anything as paltry as colour co-ordination ruin my day) and dig out instead the chinos and pale jacket. The irony of course, is that I have donated my panama hat to the charity shop, so a proper Sydney Greenstreet impression is out of the question. That said, I do have a rather tatty, though better fitting panama rolled up in the bedroom drawer or somewhere.

However it turns out, I shall have to think of ways of remaining cool on my way to and from work every day. This is a lesson I have to relearn every year since my memory discards everything useful on the subject as soon as temperatures start to decline and I can gratefully clutch at a jumper and over coat. I pointed out to colleagues that I like the temperatures of winter, but with the daylight of summer. One of them suggested that I want my cake and eat it.

Yes. With cherries on top, please.
caddyman: (Das Boot)
The weather this time of year is a real pain.

I decided that although I haven’t quite shrunk enough to button it up properly that I would wear my U-Boat Commander jacket today. Be the Man in Black, or a bald, fatty version of the Eccleston Doctor.

That was before I discovered that it was positively tipping down with rain from deep grey, leaden skies.

So I opted for the usual tweed jacket and trench coat because I wanted to be able to button myself into the ensemble should the wind take the rain and hurl; it at me. You need a jacket you can close for those times and a trench coat over a leather jacket is just plain wrong.

So by the time I get to the station at Totteridge and Whetstone, the rain has stopped, the sky is busily clearing and the sun is out. My leather jacket is draped across the bed and I am beginning to get prickly heat under my jacket and trench coat ensemble.

Right now I am a bit grumbly about it; I should have had the courage of my convictions, but I guess when we go to Clapham tonight there is a chance that it will be cool and windy again, so I shall be glad of my trench coat, I expect.

With a bit of luck, come the end of summer, I shall be able to Time Lord it up with the best of them. Must stay off the choccy and cakes. And do more exercise.

Bugger.
caddyman: (Das Boot)
The weather this time of year is a real pain.

I decided that although I haven’t quite shrunk enough to button it up properly that I would wear my U-Boat Commander jacket today. Be the Man in Black, or a bald, fatty version of the Eccleston Doctor.

That was before I discovered that it was positively tipping down with rain from deep grey, leaden skies.

So I opted for the usual tweed jacket and trench coat because I wanted to be able to button myself into the ensemble should the wind take the rain and hurl; it at me. You need a jacket you can close for those times and a trench coat over a leather jacket is just plain wrong.

So by the time I get to the station at Totteridge and Whetstone, the rain has stopped, the sky is busily clearing and the sun is out. My leather jacket is draped across the bed and I am beginning to get prickly heat under my jacket and trench coat ensemble.

Right now I am a bit grumbly about it; I should have had the courage of my convictions, but I guess when we go to Clapham tonight there is a chance that it will be cool and windy again, so I shall be glad of my trench coat, I expect.

With a bit of luck, come the end of summer, I shall be able to Time Lord it up with the best of them. Must stay off the choccy and cakes. And do more exercise.

Bugger.
caddyman: (Sid James)
Ho hum.

The recent decline in TV reception at the Athenaeum Club has bottomed out with no appreciable TV reception at all. I have tried everything I can with the coaxial cables inside the building and have found that no combination works any better than another. Indeed, the reception on occasion was better when the cable was physically unplugged.

I am led inexorably to the conclusion that the fault lies on the roof. Any combination of three things is happening or has happened: a) the wind, which I didn't think had been overly strong recently, has dislodged the remaining aerial or at least pushed it out of alignment with the transmitter; b) the coaxial cable has become detached from the aerial, or is in the advanced stages of becoming so; or c) the recent heavy rain is getting into the connection and shorting it out. The latter would explain why reception is so much poorer when the weather is determinedly wet.

Luckily I can get most of the TV I want to watch from the torrents, but it is nice to be able to slump on the sofa and switch the telly and absorb brainless input from time to time. And it doesn't use up CDs either. Individually cheap, but expensive if every TV programme has to be downloaded and put onto a CD.

Grumble.
caddyman: (Sid James)
Ho hum.

The recent decline in TV reception at the Athenaeum Club has bottomed out with no appreciable TV reception at all. I have tried everything I can with the coaxial cables inside the building and have found that no combination works any better than another. Indeed, the reception on occasion was better when the cable was physically unplugged.

I am led inexorably to the conclusion that the fault lies on the roof. Any combination of three things is happening or has happened: a) the wind, which I didn't think had been overly strong recently, has dislodged the remaining aerial or at least pushed it out of alignment with the transmitter; b) the coaxial cable has become detached from the aerial, or is in the advanced stages of becoming so; or c) the recent heavy rain is getting into the connection and shorting it out. The latter would explain why reception is so much poorer when the weather is determinedly wet.

Luckily I can get most of the TV I want to watch from the torrents, but it is nice to be able to slump on the sofa and switch the telly and absorb brainless input from time to time. And it doesn't use up CDs either. Individually cheap, but expensive if every TV programme has to be downloaded and put onto a CD.

Grumble.

This and that

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 10:38 am
caddyman: (Default)
Early January weather courtesy the tropics. Warm rain on 8 January; it’s not natural. I shouldn’t be having these trials with the weather for about another six weeks. This time of year it is supposed to be deep winter: cold and dray or cold and wet. My only decision should be how much I wrap up and whether it needs to be waterproof. Instead I find that a trench coat is more than ample and possibly too warm.

On a completely different track, I have just had in my change a 2007 one pound coin (for some reason I think they are only issued late in the year so start cropping up in December and January). It has taken me a short search on google to work out what the design on the reverse is (for my overseas readers, the Royal Mint changes the reverse of a number of our coins annually or bi annually with a design to commemorate the flavour of the day). The 2007 pound coin has a very strange design on it.

Initially it looks rather like a bear trap, which seems rather odd in these politically correct can’t-swat-a-fly-because-it’s-cruel days. It turns out that it’s the Gateshead Millennium Bridge



Don’t be fooled by the picture, which shows the 2007 sterling silver proof one pound coin, they’re for collectors only. The workaday coins are made of squashed bottle tops or something similar.

This and that

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 10:38 am
caddyman: (Default)
Early January weather courtesy the tropics. Warm rain on 8 January; it’s not natural. I shouldn’t be having these trials with the weather for about another six weeks. This time of year it is supposed to be deep winter: cold and dray or cold and wet. My only decision should be how much I wrap up and whether it needs to be waterproof. Instead I find that a trench coat is more than ample and possibly too warm.

On a completely different track, I have just had in my change a 2007 one pound coin (for some reason I think they are only issued late in the year so start cropping up in December and January). It has taken me a short search on google to work out what the design on the reverse is (for my overseas readers, the Royal Mint changes the reverse of a number of our coins annually or bi annually with a design to commemorate the flavour of the day). The 2007 pound coin has a very strange design on it.

Initially it looks rather like a bear trap, which seems rather odd in these politically correct can’t-swat-a-fly-because-it’s-cruel days. It turns out that it’s the Gateshead Millennium Bridge



Don’t be fooled by the picture, which shows the 2007 sterling silver proof one pound coin, they’re for collectors only. The workaday coins are made of squashed bottle tops or something similar.

McFlurry

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 05:20 pm
caddyman: (Snowman)
There was a desultory waft of snow for about ten minutes leading up to dusk. It is now chilly and damp, but there is no real snow to be had.

Bah.

Now would have been the ideal time: three whole days left before I need to go to work. I could have enjoyed a good snow fall with none of the hassle. I suspect that might have been winter been and gone.

McFlurry

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 05:20 pm
caddyman: (Snowman)
There was a desultory waft of snow for about ten minutes leading up to dusk. It is now chilly and damp, but there is no real snow to be had.

Bah.

Now would have been the ideal time: three whole days left before I need to go to work. I could have enjoyed a good snow fall with none of the hassle. I suspect that might have been winter been and gone.

Damp

Monday, November 19th, 2007 10:40 am
caddyman: (Morning!)
This morning, while half the country is nestled in a comforting blanket of snow1, it is raining stair rods in London and is much milder than yesterday. I can’t pretend that I wanted to drag my carcass out of bed, but eventually I did and here I am in the office.

In addition to the soggy trench coat, which is cheerfully dripping on the office floor, I dug out for the first time in many moons, my favourite fedora to keep the rain off. When it’s not windy or too mild, I like to wear a hat, but frankly, over the past 18 months or so there have been very few days when the weather hasn’t been just too warm or too windy to make the effort. Anyway, I wandered into work today looking like a cross between Sam Spade and an over indulged Indiana Jones. Texas Smith, perhaps. I would have said Alaska Smith, but I can’t use the biggest state in the Union when I know that there are larger examples of humanity out there; we’d have to start going continental and that would be plain rude.

1viz. Up to its ankles in slush.

Damp

Monday, November 19th, 2007 10:40 am
caddyman: (Morning!)
This morning, while half the country is nestled in a comforting blanket of snow1, it is raining stair rods in London and is much milder than yesterday. I can’t pretend that I wanted to drag my carcass out of bed, but eventually I did and here I am in the office.

In addition to the soggy trench coat, which is cheerfully dripping on the office floor, I dug out for the first time in many moons, my favourite fedora to keep the rain off. When it’s not windy or too mild, I like to wear a hat, but frankly, over the past 18 months or so there have been very few days when the weather hasn’t been just too warm or too windy to make the effort. Anyway, I wandered into work today looking like a cross between Sam Spade and an over indulged Indiana Jones. Texas Smith, perhaps. I would have said Alaska Smith, but I can’t use the biggest state in the Union when I know that there are larger examples of humanity out there; we’d have to start going continental and that would be plain rude.

1viz. Up to its ankles in slush.

Disappointed

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 10:21 am
caddyman: (Material World)
The Met Office seems to have forgotten to put 50p in their weather meter or whatever it is that does the forecasting. All week we have been consoled, during the heavy downpours, that today and tomorrow would be warm and dry; a balmy 70 degrees, which is good for this time of year.

I think we may have got the right amount of degrees, but instead of cool, dry breezes and sunny periods, we have leaden skies and rain.

Twenty-first century weather forecasting is very much like twentieth century weather forecasting, only with prettier maps on the telly.

Disappointed

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 10:21 am
caddyman: (Material World)
The Met Office seems to have forgotten to put 50p in their weather meter or whatever it is that does the forecasting. All week we have been consoled, during the heavy downpours, that today and tomorrow would be warm and dry; a balmy 70 degrees, which is good for this time of year.

I think we may have got the right amount of degrees, but instead of cool, dry breezes and sunny periods, we have leaden skies and rain.

Twenty-first century weather forecasting is very much like twentieth century weather forecasting, only with prettier maps on the telly.

Damp (II)

Friday, July 20th, 2007 12:22 pm
caddyman: (I beg your pardon?)
That was spectacular, but very brief; visibility is still low, but the sky is brightening up again.

It looks as though Departmental Sports Day is going to be called off. We have just had an email suggesting that people may wish to avoid disappointment by not making the trip out to Chiswick where events will almost certainly have been cancelled. I wonder what Numpty drafted that email (it is a general, unsigned one from the information section); most people will avoid disappointment by going down the pub and boasting about what they would have done had the weather permitted.

Damp (II)

Friday, July 20th, 2007 12:22 pm
caddyman: (I beg your pardon?)
That was spectacular, but very brief; visibility is still low, but the sky is brightening up again.

It looks as though Departmental Sports Day is going to be called off. We have just had an email suggesting that people may wish to avoid disappointment by not making the trip out to Chiswick where events will almost certainly have been cancelled. I wonder what Numpty drafted that email (it is a general, unsigned one from the information section); most people will avoid disappointment by going down the pub and boasting about what they would have done had the weather permitted.

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