24 June 2012

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?)

Umbrellas

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:

1800 S Seventh Place, Arcadia
Lake Gregory 1952
Sallie & Greg 1954
Ben and Nick 1975
Amelia Blower, Nick & Ben 1976
Christmas 1976
Ben and Nick camping
Sarah, Susie, Nick & Ben 1977
Ben and Nick 1977

1800 S Seventh Place, Arcadia

Lake Gregory 1952

Sallie & Greg 1954

Ben and Nick 1975

Amelia Blower, Nick & Ben 1976

Christmas 1976

Ben and Nick camping

Sarah, Susie, Nick & Ben 1977

Ben and Nick 1977

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.

New York City

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,

Greg

 

5 thoughts on “24 June 2012”

  1. We seem to be having lots of rain these days as well – June is Rose Festival month in Portland and lots of festivities and celebrations occur all month – and it’s usually rainy! I liked the term from the guy from Venezuela on the blog that was at the bottom of the article on rain, when it really rains hard they call it “lluvia moja bobos”- meaning “rain that will only soak you if you are daft” (makes me think of “mad dogs and Englishmen out in the noonday sun”). I was lucky enough to go to the Olympic Time Trials in Eugene on Friday (and witnessed Ashton Eaton’s amazing performance in the first 5 events of the decathlon… now the world record holder of the event!) and during the opening ceremonies all the important people in Eugene/Springfield/Lane County paraded around the track waving to the crowd – in the drizzle/light rain… Not a one with a rain coat or umbrella and not a one acting like it was anything other than another beautiful sunny day in Oregon. It wasn’t a case of “lluvia moja bobos” but there must be some term for those who are able to act as if they aren’t even a little bit annoyed at the mist/drizzle/wet stuff coming down.
    Do you still have the hose pipe ban?

    1. Indeed, as of last week, the hosepipe ban in our neighbourhood has been lifted. Not sure about other regions but I would guess those in the north have similarly had the restriction lifted. Unfortunately, they still can’t use their garden hoses because their gardens are under three to four feet of water.

  2. You in England wish for 50 different names for rain. We in the U.S. are going to have to come up with more names for HOT! In VT we only reached 89 degrees today. In the mid- west and South it was 100 and above. Our only way to describe hot is with adjectives , e.g. Steamy hot, dry hot, G.D. hot, –I had better not get started.
    On our PBS, we are having several weeks of reruns on you Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth, her reign, her life etc. No comment – people in the US seem almost as fascinated as in The U.K.
    I have just returned from three weeks at Lake George. It was so wonderful to be there!! Pam has now a specific diagnosis she can live with; your brother Sandy looks as great as ever, whistling while he works, Carol Ann is swelling normally. I missed seeing your father for Father’s Day, and missed seeing young Robert.
    Sorry, this is more an Email than a Blog comment. Rack,it up to a new user of the iPad and the world of you techies. Love, Cousin Bunny W.

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