Saturday, 27 July 2019

Simply not coping!

I really don’t know about going it alone in the world once more and establishing trade links with all and sundry, for it seems that the UK simply can’t even deal with weather.

People who love to jet off to hot and sunny places to toast themselves on holiday are now complaining that it’s just plain too hot. The reality of working in 30+ degrees heat is taking its toll. Even a friend of mine who usually feels the need to turn the central heating on when the temperature drops below 20 degrees says she is finding it hard to cope.

And it’s not just people. In the winter time we have travel problems because we are never prepared for snow on the road. Trains are prevented from running because of leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow. That gets us into eskimo territory with talk of the umpteen different words for the categories of snow!

And now it seems that the hot weather is also causing problems. A friend told me about a swing-bridge in Greater Manchester that had to be hosed down with cold water by the fire brigade as the heat was preventing it from working. And as a rule even when it they report hot weather in England it does not really mean Manchester and the North but mostly the Southeast of the country!

And now, however, all over the country there seem to be travel problems because of weather. Extreme heat has caused chaos on the rail network. Great Northern, Thameslink and East Midland Trains all advised people to avoid travelling unless the journey was essential. Does commuting to work count as essential travel? Looking at it from another angle, can you use heat-related travel problems as an excuse for not getting to work?

Thousands of passengers were left stranded at major stations on Thursday, the hottest July day on record, as temperatures of up to 38.1C (100.6F) created havoc. The weather has also been causing difficulties for air travel. British Airways announced that severe thunderstorms were causing significant delays and cancellations to flights in and out of London.

In countries where summer heat is more usual there are usually lots of open air pools where people can cool off. As a rule this is not the case in the UK. So people have been making use of lakes and rivers. Emergency services have had to rescue people and in some cases have retrieved bodies of people who got into difficulties swimming to cool off.

The weather men expect what they refer to as “more familiar conditions” to return by the weekend. Everyone can get back to moaning about rain once more. On a longer term basis the government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change has warned the UK is not prepared for the increase in heatwaves that is expected with global warming.

Well, I suppose that goes along with not being prepared for leaving Europe but planning to do so anyway!

On that front, here are a couple of things. Boris Johnson’s brother has been appointed to some kind of position in the government. It seems it’s not just who you know but whose brother you are! Anyway, someone pointed this out:

“Jo Johnson voted Remain in the referendum, then backed Brexit by voting to trigger Article 50, then resigned to campaign for a 2nd referendum and is now back in government supporting a no deal Brexit. And yet the public are still told they can’t change their minds on Brexit...”

It appears that changing your opinion, possibly according to the way the wind is blowing, is a family trait!

And then someone called Lucy Wainwright has been tweeting:-

 “Johnson became PM with 92,000 votes. Boaty MacBoatface got 124,000 votes and was overruled for being plainly a b****y stupid f*****g decision. Just saying.”

Here in our bit of Galicia, there is currently little need to jump into the swimming pool to cool off. We woke this morning to a cool 18 degrees and to the swishing of cars’ tyres on the wet road. When the the cloud cover shifted in the evening the temperature went up, as we expected it to do, but for much of the time we remain an oasis of cool! Not to say damp!

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