Monday, 29 June 2009

What's the Definition of a Heatwave?

No, it's not one of those jokes.

Apparently the Met Office has issued a heatwave warning for England and Wales and the Department of Health has asked people to check on elderly friends and family. NHS staff have also been warned to prepare for a surge of elderly and ill patients suffering from the heat.

And what sort of temperatures are we expecting?

Well wait for it........In London, the temperature will rise steadily from about 29C on Sunday to about 32C by the end of the week. Yippeee!!!

What about the rest of us? Well supposedly i
n the rest of UK, temperatures will climb from about 22C to about 29C. Note my scepticism, I say supposedly because this doesn't marry up with the weather here in the North East today and the BBC weather forecast for the rest of the week.

Anyway, come on, is that really what you call a heatwave? I would say it has to get above 30C and I'm pretty positive I've never experienced that here in the North East. Maybe 28 or 29F for a day!

So what is a heatwave?

I was surprised to find that there is no accepted definition of a heatwave.

There is no universal definition of a heat wave and the term is relative to the usual weather in the area or local threshold. The definition recommended by the World Meteorological Organization is when the daily maximum temperature of more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 5 °C, the normal average period being 1961 to 1990 (which corresponds to the UK baseline of thirty years). Source: UK Climate Projections
So by this definition it really only constitutes a "heatwave" in the London area. Have to ask, does that really constitute a UK heatwave?

Bill Bryson was right when he says he's bewildered by the British attitude to the weather. If you've read Notes From a Small Island you may remember how he describes our tendency to suffer from hyperbole in relation to the weather. Yes, we certainly do exaggerate the slight deviations from the weather norms. "Somebody" also assumes that if it happens in London, that's the whole of the UK.

What's the temperature today here in the North East of England? Well according to the BBC it's a high of 16C, 61F, it's grey and cloudy. Oooh I'm sweltering. Don't think so!!!!!

What's on the cards for tomorrow? Sunny intervals and a huge 18C, 66F. Whey hey!

The highest temperature this week? Wednesday more sunny intervals with a massive 19C, 68F. Oh my goodness, don't think I can cope with that heat!

Well I just can't wait for this heatwave. Better get my bathing costume out and the sun cream and dash out to buy a fan of some description to cool me down or I'll get heatstroke. I'll not go mad and get a quote for the swimming pool just yet. I'll wait for the global warming to take effect. Well they're forecasting that the water level will rise and London will be submerged. So it's lifebelts and rubber dinghies all round then?

I assume it's the best weather we're going to get this summer so I'd better make the most of it.

Post 103

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Rhodes Flora

When I go abroad another of the things I like to do, apart from looking at churches is looking at the different flowers and trees.

Rhodes has such a warm climate in comparison to England's so the flowers and trees do vary a lot and I see things I certainly don't at home. I live in the North East of England so there are plants and trees that won't grow there even though they do in the warmer South of England.

I love the bushes that grow all around the hotel we stay at. I have no idea what they are called but they are gorgeous and are shades of pink and white.

If anyone knows their name I'd be pleased if you would let me know.

Update - Jeanette has told me they are called Oleander, many thanks for this information.

If you click the photographs they should enlarge now. See my Update at the end of the posting to find out about this.

More white ones.

Some of the bushes grow really high and form a lovely hedge on the entrance to the hotel which has been designed along the lines of the medieval town of Rhodes. The day before I took this picture the border on the left below the trees was full of lovely flowers. Unfortunately the gardeners had taken them all out the night before to replant.

Here are some more on the left of the picture just inside the hotel grounds.

Near the entrance there's a lovely little chapel and again there are lots of these lovely floral bushes/trees around it. I didn't notice at the time but the clouds in the background are lovely. We didn't see many of those in the two weeks we were there!

I love that little chapel although I've never seen anyone there. I know this posting is about the flora but I'll show you a picture of the inside of the chapel. It's always been locked when I've been there so I had to take it from a window in the door which I pushed open to peep in. The painting is absolutely amazing, the colours are really beautiful. Just look at that beautiful evening sky painted on the ceiling.

I assume it was built for weddings at the hotel but they tend to go to other places such as the Kalithea Roman Spa. The entrance to the refurbished Spa is in the photo below. It's very nice too but it has no religious aspect to it. However I assume lots of people nowadays just want a civil ceremony.

Incidentally the Spa has been the set for a number of films. The main one I remember was Escape to Athena a comic WW11 film which had a number of stars in it, Roger Moore, Stephanie Powers, Telly Savalas, David Niven, Claudia Cardinale, Elliot Gould, Sonny Bono, Ricard Roundtree and Anthony Valentine. I've seen it a few times and although it's thirty years old I really like it. I especially love looking at the bits filmed in and around the Spa.

I've digressed yet again!

My grandchildren call these the pineapple trees. I assume they are some kind of palm.

They really do look like huge pineapples.

Look here's a pineapple forest! Lovely!

Now this one I know. I just wish I could grow geraniums like these and it was only mid May when I took this photo. Even by August mine don't look as big as this.

There were lots of plants with flowers like tubular bells.

Here are the red ones.

And here are the lemon ones.

They looked so pretty cascading down over the walls.

Now this one I think I know. It's possibly bougainvillea.

Here it is again below a "pineapple" tree.

Who says pink and red don't go together?

This looks a bit like the hibiscus that has sadly died off in my garden this summer.

Now these are really lovely trees with beautiful blue blossoms. Again I have no idea what they are.

Update - Michelle has advised me that these are Jacaranda. What a great name! She said that the ones that flower are female trees.

Here's a closer view of the blossoms.

I've seen this before on my friend's balcony on the Costa Brava.

Again I don't know what it is.

Update - Jeanette has told me this is another bougainvillea.

One thing I haven't mentioned is the gorgeous smell that greets you late evening and in the mornings, the smell of jasmine is absolutely wonderful.

There were lots of lovely bushes and plants on our patio. The jasmine I recognised but the bush next to it had red fluffy flowers. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo as soon as we got there. By the time I took this most of the fluffy bits had dropped off.

I'm missing these lovely flowers and the blue skies you see in the pictures. Well you can't have lush green lawns like we have if you have sunshine all day every day and no rain can you.

Never mind I'm sure I'll be back again before too long.

Update - Recently I can't understand why my photos don't enlarge when you click on them. I was sure that I have been inserting them in the same way so had no idea what was going on. Today I think I know what has happened but I have no idea why Blogger is so inconsistent with image insertion.

I've been having a lot of problems with formatting text and photographs and so I decided to centre the photographs when I inserted them. This resolved the problem of the text jumping about when I centred the photographs after inserting them. However I think this is stopping the photos enlarging.

In desperation this afternoon when I inserted photographs I didn't choose a layout and centred it afterwards. I had the problem with the text again but surprisingly the photos now enlarge. Eureka! What a weird system Blogger is. Why doesn't it give you any information about this anywhere?

Update to the Update - I'm just about losing the will to live with this!
Myra contacted me to say that she can enlarge her photos even if she chooses to centre them from the layout screen.

I've just tried it on a test posting and she's right, they do enlarge. So why didn't they last week when I was doing this posting and on my posting about Michelle's Mailart? They still don't on that one.

Give me strength! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Post 102

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Thank You Michelle!

A while ago I was looking at Michelle's website and saw her Mailart swap.

It seemed very interesting and I decided to join it.

Well this is what Michelle sent me. Isn't it lovely! This is Michelle's picture of the mailart before she posted it.

Can you see the two lovely little ladybirds? The detail is amazing and the stitches are really perfect. I was hoping that if you clicked on the pictures they would enlarge and you could see the detail but it doesn't seem to work. Now I have no idea why this works sometimes and on other occasions it doesn't if you are doing the same thing. Maybe it's a Blogger quirk. If anyone can enlighten me I'd be grateful. The size of the photos are quite large apart from this little one below, so not sure why it isn't working.

Here is my photograph with the stamp and postmark.

Here's the reverse. Look at the lovely ribbon tie.

Just look at what's inside. The lining is a lovely red design.

Amongst the lovely goodies there's a gorgeous tiny little ladybird pendant which is from Delos
. Hope you can see it just above the greetings card form Michelle.

What a fantastic present this was from Michelle, thank you so much.

Why not take a look at Michelle's website and see some of her fantastic sewing skills.

Now I'm worried that my mailart won't be up to this standard. I'll just have to do my best!

Post No 101

My Singer 338!

Well here it is my very first sewing machine, the one I got for my 21st birthday in 1966! I know it cost my Mam  a lot to buy it for me...