Monday, 2 November 2015

Sunny stories (mostly).

Apparently there has been fog "all over the country". This has caused flight cancellations at airports in London, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff. What's more, Met Office issued a yellow warning of severe or hazardous weather for much of England and Wales. Airports in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris are also affected. That's what the newspapers say. 

But here in Saddleworth, amazingly, we began the day with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. The only thing remotely resembling fog was a bit of mist in the valley. We had a friend stay overnight last night and this morning he and I set off on a walk down the valley. 

It was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as it took us to the place where Phil and I used to live thirty years ago. En route we met the brother-in-law of one of our neighbours from that time. I come across his quite often when I am out and about and he is walking his dog. He has often told me of deer he has spotted in what I still think of as OUR valley. We didn't see any today though. 

Our path also took us past a house that I always remembered for the workshop alongside it where they used to do up classic cars, the sort of cars that brides love to be photographed in on their way to the church. The house and the workshop were still there but the vintage car in the workshop looked as though it had not seen much TLC for a while. There it was, all covered in dust and fallen leaves, its tyres quietly going flat. How are the mighty fallen! 

It's odd when you revisit a place from your past and find that it has been somewhat gentrified. The allotment plots we used to rent from another car-repairman are now the garden of a classy dwelling, the building itself formerly the workshop of the repairman. What used to be an educational supplier's warehouse, full of craft materials and educational toys, including our son's first little ride-on toy, is now another lot of classy dwellings, no doubt much more expensive than our little house was at the time we bought it. We had a good walk however. 

And the good weather, the fine, even warm, weather continued into the afternoon when I persuaded Phil out to take the air. How very curious the weather patterns are! Dull and cloudy in August, sunny and warm in November! 

You read some odd stuff in the papers. As well as news of (for us non-existent) fog blanketing the country, I found some more disturbing things. Someone called Helen Reece, a reader in law at the London School of Economics, has called on Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to relax rules which automatically ban sex offenders from caring for children, saying that this could breach their human rights. She claims that reoffending rates were not high among sex criminals, adding: “despite growing public concern over paedophilia, the numbers of child sex murders are very low.” (Surely they should be zero.) Therefore they should be allowed to work with children, even adopt children, just like everyone else. Goodness! I am all for rehabilitation, even for letting bygones be bygones, but there are limits. What a strange world we live in! 

More encouragingly, I read about a new law in France that says that rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered either in plants or solar panels. What an excellent idea. Not only will solar panels generate energy but it seems that green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. 

Someone should suggest things like that to our government, instead of pieces of nonsense! And if sunny autumns become the norm, just think how good that would be! Of course, fog is another matter!

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