6 February 2011

What a difference a week can make. Last weekend we were shivering in Arctic-like freezing conditions; “If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze, till sometimes we couldn’t see.” This week, Spring has arrived.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate to some extent but yesterday, Saturday, the temperature got up to 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and, at least in terms of the temperature, it was tolerably comfortable. Mind you, it was overcast and blowing a gale – branches of large trees and the occasional small child flew past the window at regular intervals – but one could almost be forgiven for believing that Punxsutawney Phil had indeed predicted an early Spring. Earlier in the week we even witnessed swarms of small insects making their way in the world for the first time. The birds, I suspect, were delighted to have fresh meat on the menu but I don’t imagine it will last long. The next cold spell is forecast for next week.

Interestingly, even the Guardian had an article on Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day. It seems that his recent track record leaves something to be desired – only a 30% success rate in predicting the end of winter. You could do better than that by simply tossing a coin!

In contrast to our temperate conditions, when I checked the weather in Hanover, New Hampshire, as I sometimes do, I was dismayed to see that it was registering -21 degrees Celsius! That’s -5.8 degrees Fahrenheit in old money which means, if my seventh grade maths is still to be relied upon, a difference of more than 60 degrees F between here and there. Whoa! That is cold.

And then, to cap it all off, earlier in the week Donna posted the following image of the weather forecast for the week to come in Los Angeles on Facebook.

LA Weather forecast

It prompted me to suggest that Facebook needs a “That’s not fair!” button to complement it’s “Like” button.

Sandy's SculptureWe were watching television on Friday evening when we spotted something which looked extraordinarily familiar. In fact, it looked very much like the sculpture of the bulrushes we have in our lounge produced by our favourite sculptor Sanford Stragnell. I’ll bet this is the first time his stuff has ever appeared on British television.

In fact, it’s no mystery at all of course. The programme we were watching was entitled “Relocation: Phil Down Under” and it’s a programme where a chap named Phil Spencer assists people searching for new homes in Australia. In normal circumstances this is not the sort of programme I would normally watch but this episode happened to be about my former boss Julie Leigh and her husband Ian who have emigrated to Australia to be near their two children, both of whom have settled there. I bought Julie the bulrushes in question as a present some years back after she admired ours once upon a time and, in the pre-migration filming the producers clearly thought they would make a splendid back drop. Sandy, feel free to use “as seen on British television” in any advertising materials you produce.

I ran across the following cartoon on the Time web site and didn’t understand it at all.

New Zodiac Signs

Then, a few days later, I ran across an article somewhere which enlightened me about the revelation that we’ve been using the “wrong” zodiac signs for about 2000 years. Now, I am terribly confused. As it is, I was always on the cusp between Sagittarius and Capricorn. So, on the one hand I may be an outstanding entertainer and conversationalist while at the same time I’ve got Capricorn’s melancholy and stern temperament. Now, it seems, I am a full-blooded Sagittarius. Fortunately, I guess I’ll be able to adjust somewhat better than some folks to judge by a couple of comments I ran across including:

“Darn it, the whole time I thought I was an introvert, now to find out that I’m an extrovert. I’m going to need awhile to unravel my life.”

or especially:

“Dude, I’m a Leo and always will be a Leo, no matter where the sun is on August 5th. Besides, this very expensive tattoo on my right shoulder tells me so.”

May the force be with you,


3 thoughts on “6 February 2011”

  1. Now, you have left me in a quandry. Where to go to find out if I have lost my virgoinity, and what about your mother out there on the 1st of Septemeber you leave her teetering, or dosen’t it work that way?

    Love, D.O.D.

  2. You can read one of many accounts here. Apparently you both come under the sign of Leo now rather than Virgo and there is a new Zodiac sign – Ophiuchus. The full “new” list is:

    Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
    Aquarius: Feb. 17 – March 11
    Pisces: March 12- April 18
    Aries: April 19- May 13
    Taurus: May 14- June 21
    Gemini: June 22- July 20
    Cancer: July 21- Aug. 10
    Leo: Aug. 11- Sept. 16
    Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30
    Libra: Oct. 31- Nov. 23
    Scorpio: Nov. 24- Nov. 29
    Ophiuchus: Nov. 30- Dec. 17
    Sagittarius: Dec. 18- Jan. 20

  3. does this mean I must give up my Lion totem in exchange for the Crab? Now that’s ironic! (and worth a giggle or three!) ;>)

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