Well, we had a 100% improvement in the weather this week: last week we had one nice day; this week it was two (Tuesday and Wednesday). If this trend continues we might actually get to enjoy a decent run of tolerable weather. On the other hand, Wimbledon starts this week and that’s generally a precursor to a couple of weeks of even lousier weather. So, who knows?
The BBC and the Guardian have both produced articles about the rain this past week. The BBC quite reasonably raised the question: if the Eskimos have fifty words to describe various types of snow, surely it’s time the British came up with at least fifty words for rain. One of my favourite suggestions: “it’s raining like a cow relieving itself” (which apparently derives from a French phrase but my linguistic skills are insufficiently honed to work out what that phrase might be. Any suggestions?)
The Guardian article is all about why we secretly love rain although I’m not sure I agree with any of the suggestions put forward. Another article gives us five reasons to love the rain. It seems that the British enjoy dressing up to provide some protection against the elements, that we love to measure it, we can dance in it, swim in it and learn some interesting facts about it, i.e., “did you know that an inch of rainwater falling over an acre of ground weighs 113 tonnes?” I’m afraid I’m still not convinced.
I mentioned last week that we had received some slide transparencies from John Blundell which necessitated our borrowing a scanner with the capability of scanning slides. Naturally this got Ms Playchute and I wondering if we would be able to locate the six million slide transparencies we had hidden away somewhere. So, off up into the loft I ventured one afternoon where I found, to my delight, one box jammed full of a couple of dozen smaller boxes of slides. I’m sure there are more to find up there but this box has revealed some absolute gems so far. I’m only about half way through scanning them but amongst my favourites so far:
Click any image in the slideshow for an enlarged version.
It’s quite fun to have a look at South Seventh Place on Google street view – our house looks virtually identical; the small saplings in the photo of Sallie and me racing up the road are now, not surprisingly, full-grown and mature trees. (If anyone can offer any corrections on dates and/or locations I would be delighted to have them).
I expect there will be more to come in due course.
I received a correspondence from our favourite diplomat the other day including a link to an article with the astonishingly catchy headline that Eating Farts Could Reduce Blood Pressure. You can read the article yourself here but what struck me was not so much the medical research that led to this revelation but rather the enormous money-making potential such a discovery presents to me. Even without an appropriately specialised diet, I could easily produce the relevant raw material on an industrial scale. All we need now is for someone to develop a suitable capture mechanism but let me assure you that I am always ready to play my part in promoting good health.
I can’t remember who sent me the link to the AirPano site so please forgive the lack of attribution. This is a site focused on high resolution 3D aerial panoramas of cities and sites around the world and it has some pretty amazing panoramas to enjoy. You can either let the site “fly” you around your chosen venue or you can control it yourself using your mouse. I could perhaps do without the music but fortunately you can turn it off. Have a look.
And the following came from Dad. For some reason I’ve not been able to find the App on my iPad – perhaps it’s only available in Germany?
Finally, this past week marks a somewhat significant anniversary for me – a year ago ysterday, 23 June, I received the diagnosis of my prostate cancer. Much water under the bridge since then and thankfully, of course, I’ve had a very positive outcome. As Penny and I have commented several times recently – that dark period seems to have taken place such a long, long time ago. Now, there are others in our extended network of family and friends who are facing similar challenges – spare a moment and send some positive thoughts, support and prayers to those and their families currently facing difficult times.
Love to you all,