Thursday, 29 July 2021

What to wear for the weather and for sport! Lightning! A bit of clothing discrimination!

I went running in the drizzle this morning. You couldn’t really call it running in the rain. It was more like running in a low cloud. Later I read an article about how the weather in the UK is changing quite dramatically. Or rather, how it has gradually changed over the last few decades. Our mild climate is disappearing and we can expect more extreme weather patterns: more heatwaves, more floods, more storms. 

It has a knock-on effect:

“The impacts are also being seen in farming and on the natural world. The first leaves appeared much sooner and fell much earlier than usual last year, the report found. These effects can cause havoc for other species, which may find themselves out of sync – for instance, caterpillars and other invertebrates may peak before baby birds are born, leaving them with little to eat.”

The first leaves may have appeared early again this year but 5en we had a cold spell which slowed everything down again. This does not seem to have stopped leaves falling already. Looking out of the window onto the back garden I see a distinctly autumnal view of trees and bushes blown to and fro and a fine rain falling. Goodness! I would like a bit more summer, please.

This changeable and stormy weather makes planning outings difficult. Two women had to be taken to hospital after being struck by lightning at the top of Snowdon. Neither have life threatening injuries fortunately but warnings have now been issued, advising people to stay clear of summit areas if there are any signs of thunderstorms.

Well, yes! That sounds like good advice! Even if you’ve had your clamber up Snowdon planned for weeks and you’re a little miffed to find the weather changing just as you want to set off, surely common sense says not to be on the top of a mountain, like a human lightning conductor, when a thunderstorm starts. Surely when the lightning starts to crackle, you abandon the attempt to get to the top and head down for shelter asap. Well, that’s what I would do anyway! 

Snowdon seems to have seen an increased number of visitors. Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team tweeted that it had been “very busy” this year, assisting police with 104 incidents.

On a more down to earth level, all of this odd weather makes getting dressed difficult. It’s no longer warm enough to be tripping about in floaty summer frocks or shorts and T-shirt but neither is it woolly jumper weather. I’ve been rummaging in the wardrobe for in-between-weather garb!

But at least I’m not being criticised for wearing the wrong stuff, unlike women athletes. Apparently the two-time Paralympic world champion Olivia Breen was told by an official at  a long jump competition on Sunday that the shorts she was wearing were “too revealing” and was recommended to buy another pair. At the other extreme the European Handball Federation said the Norway’s beach handball team were in the wrong because they wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms during a match over the weekend. They were fined €1,500, which the singer Pink has offered to pay on their behalf! 

But will they be able to wear shorts in the next game they play. Men can wear shorts for their matches. Nobody asks them play in their Speedos! Clearly even beach handball is a serious sport for men but a spectator spectacle when women play! 

Members of Norway’s women’s handball team said they deliberately broke the rules as they wanted to “ spark a conversation about the uniform requirements. 

“We are overwhelmed by the attention and support from all over the world,” the team’s instagram account posted after news of the fine broke. “Thank you so much to all the people who support us and help spread the message! We really hope this will result in a change of this nonsense rule!”

It’s not a new argument. Over the years, bikinis in particular have become a source of contention among beach volleyball players and spectators. In 2012 the International Volleyball Federation said it would no longer insist women wear bikinis, opening the door for others like the Egyptian women’s volleyball team to participate wearing hijabs and long sleeves.

Welcome to the 21st century!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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