Where we live we tend to miss all the extremes of weather. However, today we are in the centre of it all. I love thunderstorms and this one is a good one. We had about an hour of strobe lightning making us feel we were in a film like Close Encounters or War of the Worlds. This short video was just before the rain started, which became torrential.
Then the rain hit for about half an hour flooding everywhere.
Since then we have returned to strobe lightning and are about an hour in. According to the Met office, we will be having these storms until late Friday. I’m not complaining as I love this weather.
I keep meaning to do a post, and then something comes up, and later I realise that I didn’t do my post, and think I will do it now, but manage somehow to get myself sidetracked and BOOM! Forgot to post again. I do not know what is going on with me. So, forgive me for my tardiness!
Since last we “spoke” as it were, I finally got rid of my large tank in the lounge. Part of me was glad to get rid of it, and part of me was sad to see it go. The fish love their new smaller home and my Cameroon shrimp seems happy too. Although it was a great tank it took up quite a lot of room, being so massive. We have a unit that we moved into one of the halls when we got the tank, so that is now back in the lounge. My thoughts for getting rid of the tank was to move the smaller tank onto the said unit and get another small tank and finally do a nano reef tank. However, the cost of doing a reef tank is high. I have found a nano tank I like which is £150, but then I need a skimmer and a heater so that’s another £90. Add sand, live rock and all the other bits I need to get it started and I am close to £500 without even adding fish or coral. So, before I take the plunge I have downloaded and printed a book on the subject and intend to read it in full before I decided on what to do. Having spoken to a few people the jury really is out. Some say it is easier than tropical, some say get a large tank as a nano can have problems being small, and others rave on about nano tanks, so there is no real help chatting to others LOL.
I bought an external 12-litre canister filter for my other large tank which works like a treat, but today I added on an extra 2-litre filter canister to that. In essence, water is drawn out of the tank to the small sub canister then passed into the large canister and finally put back into the other end of the tank. I did manage to make a bit of a watery mess as I had not fastened one of the inlet pipes properly oops! I had lost a few fish over the last few weeks, so thought the canister filter would help sort the water quality out. It has UV inside so sterilises the water as it filters. The lighting I have on the tank also decided to die, only 6 weeks after it being exchanged after the first one died after 4 months. Thankfully the aquatic centre where I get most of my equipment and livestock were very understanding and spoke to Fluval who admitted there was a problem that they have now sorted out and to exchange it for me.
It was Harpers 5th Birthday on Sunday. As always we took them to McDonald’s for hamburgers, then to the pet store so Harper could pick a toy, which this year was a rather large monkey, and two packs of balls. Needless to say, they both had a great time.
Thought about it, even mentally made a pattern for a hat for winter, but that was it, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?
I was reading The Massacre of Mankind which is a sequel to War of the Worlds and in the end, I gave up as it was so slow and the author was trying to write in the style of H. G. Wells but failed page after page. As most of my readers will know I love classical literature, so have no problem with ancient writing and old English, but this bad, if he had written it in current English it would have been a good read.
I went to a joint Christening and Communion party a few weeks ago, got very drunk and had a ball.
Last week we went to Delamere Forest again, which for some reason driving there we managed to take all the wrong turns. I came off the motorway/highway onto the expressway in order to go over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, which when you get to the end of the expressway is straight over the roundabout, however, when you follow this, you end up in an industrial estate and nowhere near the bridge. It would seem the directions for the bridge do not exist, and when you get to the end of said expressway you turn left and ignore the signs. But as I managed to turn the wrong was we ended up back on the motorway heading in the direction of home. Time though was on our hands. My satnav said we would get there at 11:15 when we left home and although I managed to go on a long diversion of 20 minutes we got there at 11:22 thus proving that time travel can be achieved.
The degree is now on hold. I was so undecided about doing it that I thought it best to put the thought to one side until I was 100% committed to doing it.
After returning from Ireland I had tests and a cardiac assessment done. My blood results came back reporting a lack of vitamin D, which is about right living so far north and the general lack of sun. But I also did not have enough of the good cholesterol either, but this could be due to coeliacs disease. The doctors’ office suggestion was to take vitamin D tablets and eat more oily fish etc. Luckily I found a company that sells vitamins on Amazon and they do a vitamin D that is 4000iu, and when you buy a product they thank you by letting you pick another one for free. I decided on Hemp oil tablets as they are for omega 3 and 6, so that’s the bloods sorted.
The scarecrow festival came and went, and I managed to take exactly zero photos of it. I mean, what is the point of having a great camera, living in the country, and having festivals if I do not record it? Answers on a postcard, please!
We bought new garden furniture, namely a table, chairs and a parasol, just in time for the monsoon season to hit us. Yes, my luck/timing really is in at the moment.
I have managed to have a few barbeques lately, between showers that is.
I finally took the leap into meditation after dipping my toes off and on into it over the last few weeks. I have joined Headspace for a year, and am finding it quite good and just have to add it into my daily routine.
In other news, I had a puncture in one of the rear tyres on the car.
I have moaned before about the rain, but it seems relentless and has followed us to Northern Ireland. Every day it’s raining, then the sun comes out for about 30 minutes along with every dog walker, then rain, rain, and more bloody rain. Yesterday, I decided to go to the town park and walk around the 56-acre lake with the girls. The rain had stopped for about 20 minutes, and I thought all looked good. Dropping M off at the home first. I drove down Windsor Ave, pulled into a parking space by the gates, and the rain started, only a few drops. I thought it would light spits, but as I was about to get out, the heavens opened, but not just rain, hailstones and giant raindrops, and it battered down for about 10 minutes solid. Eventually stopping I got the dogs out and we did our 3.5km walk, getting back to the car for it to hammer down again.
I got back to M’s dad’s house and it was dry there, no rain at all, this is only 1.75 miles away, WTF! Then later that evening as mentioned in a previous post it pissed down again whilst the car roof was open. Thankfully the heat of the day has finally dried the seat out.
This morning, I took the dogs to Craigavon North Lake for a walk and, wouldn’t you know, it started raining as we drove there, thankfully stopping for us to walk in it. Again it has been on and off all day. Currently, there are huge black and dark grey storm clouds in every direction, so I am not holding much hope to it ever ending.
The thing that really gets me is that looking at the cameras back home, the sun is shining, there is not a cloud in the sky, it looks like a lovely day, and has done for the past few days. On checking the thermometers (yes we are that advance) the temperature is 22.3 degrees in the garden, so very pleasant. However, on checking the weather forecast, Saturday when we head for home, the weather improves here, and back home the rain starts, basically, the crap weather is following us, like the cloud above Charlie Brown.
I don’t know how many UK readers I have, but I am sure if you live in the North as we do, you are sick of the rain by now.
We live on the coast, and we also have our own microclimate, however, for the last three weeks, we have had nothing but rain, rain, and did I mention? rain! We have had so much that we have managed to fill up the large water butt in the garden by putting out a few buckets to catch the rain. The butt is full, a 50-litre bucket is full and so are 6, 10-litre buckets, and as I look out the window, I see it is raining still. The garden has flooded and needless to say, the dogs are not happy at all.
We managed to get them out in some light rain for 20 minutes this afternoon, and yesterday evening for another 20 minutes. Whenever it slows down to a light shower lots of our neighbours and the village are out trying to walk only to be thwarted ten minutes later by a torrential downpour. Harper hates the rain, so as soon as it starts she is dragging me towards the car or home depending on where we are. Mazikeen, on the other hand, does not care and is happy to get wet, muddy, filthy, and all in all messy.
We have been told that we have had 2 months of rain in a day, which explains a lot. Sunday afternoon was the only time we have managed to see the sun, and it was very hot, and didn’t I look pink after sitting in the only sun for all of half an hour. The rain is set to carry on for the next few weeks, but will we get to see Aquaman? or is it too wet even for him?
A few years back the UK took on that much rain that looking at England from a plane it looked like we were thousands of island, that summer was cancelled, and it looks to be the same this year. I think we need to move it Italy, sun, good food and let’s face it, what is not to like there!
The so-called “Beast from the East” arrived overnight and we finally got about 3 inches of snow. Now, those of you know my blog, know I love snow and have been waiting for a good snowfall since 2010, and today it arrived, but it did not last too long as the sun came out and the temperature reached a whopping 1c and the sky turned blue. Over the rest of the week, we should be getting more snow, but I doubt it will arrive, this was a rare event here. M shot a video of me and the dogs in the snow, this is Mazinkeens first proper snow. Harper has been in the snow before when we have been up in the mountains. It is a shame Lilu was not still with us as she loved playing in the snow, and we have many videos and photos of her enjoying it. I think my love of show rubbed off on all my dogs.
I love the snow, and each year we have to go and look for it, and this year is no exception to the rule. The whole of the country seems to have snow, be it think 12″ or just a smattering of the white stuff, but here, in our little microclimate we do not have a drop, not one flake has fallen, and as I look out at the sky whilst writing this in my office, I see blue sky with some white clouds, well quite a lot of cloud, but the point is, I see blue sky. I can see my twitter stream flying by on the side of the screen and everyone is posting about #UKSnow but not here in our little village.
Yesterday I went to the next county to get produce from Booths, and it was snowing there, only 9.5 miles away, there is a market town which is only 8.2 miles away from my house had snowfall, but again we missed it.
The last time we had snow here was in 2010, and the whole country had it and no one escaped, and that was such fun. Our car was buried under 2 foot of snow, and we had temperatures in the night of -18° c with daytime ranging from -5°c to -10°c. We went for a very slow walk in the village and met so many people all chatting and having a really nice time of it, enjoying something that is rare here. At the time we only had Lilu, and she loved it, although I did have to make a pathway in the garden for her and it quite literally buried her when she went out in it.
I have checked with the Met office and so far we are going to miss all the snow again. Talk about Bar Humbug!
Here are some Pictures from 18th December 2010 when we last had snow.
My car is somewhere under that.
Lilu having a great time in the snow, she always loved playing in it.
So we survived the backlash of Hurricane Ofelia which being honest for us up North (53.6°) it was just another day of autumn, although with all the Sahara sand in the air, mixed with the smoke and fire dust from Portugal made for interesting skies. It was as if the world was coming to an end, a little like in Flash Gordon, all we needed was Zarkov and it would have been complete. With the so-called storm came two claps of thunder, 17°c (very warm for us), a black sky turning red and 70mph winds. The red sky lasted for about 6 hours, then the sun came out and normality resumed.
WIP – Admirals Braid. I have finished the front of the sweater, and the middle 13 stitches for the neck braid are on a holding needle awaiting the completion of the rest of the garment in order to pick up stitches and do that. So the next part is the back, which, apart from doing the 3×3 ribbing on 7mm, is now standard stocking stitch on 8mm, and as you could imagine, boredom sets in quite fast just knitting a row and purling a row continuously. However, I am determined to get it finished soon as the cold weather will be starting soon, and zero on the thermometer will soon be here.
This morning we decided to go for a walk in the woods. If you have read my other posts on morning walks you will know that we have 22 miles of coast and approximately 5 square miles of pinewoods, so lots to explore. Today was no exception. We started off in a place that we knew, and all of a sudden were off the beaten track and into wooded areas that we had not been in before. Lots to see, and discover, including this rather charming little house right in the middle of the woods. I say charming, but who is to say that Leatherhead is not in there carving up bodies for his next Hallowe’en outfit? If it was not for the car on the drive I would have guessed at it being an abandoned house, but looking through the windows, from where I took the photo that is, I am not going to tempt fate and end up sewn into a mask or bodysuit, it looked lived in, just.
The walk off the beaten track ended up with us walking 4k, yes we did get lost, and only for GPS on my phone got us back to the car. Harper must have walked twice that distance, let’s face it, dogs just cannot walk in straight lines.
One great positive from the cold weather, I was able to wear my knitted socks, they were so warm and comfortable and I could have kept walking for hours. If you have not seen them in previous posts, these are the ones I wore today.
We joined the national trust this week and thought, what the hell, let’s go to Lyme Park, spend the day there, and of course, take Harper with us. We have not been there for about 6 years. Even though we would not be able to go into the house with the dog, we were happy to walk around the grounds and deer park, go to the dog-friendly cafe and just have a relaxing day.
We woke just before 7 and the weather had not turned out the way it was supposed to be. So, we stayed in bed for another hour and waited for the sun to pop out. He did not turn up, and the rains started, and have not stopped all day. The road is flooding, not too bad, but all the same, it is relentless.
What will we do with the day? Shopping was already done, walking Harper between the early showers was not exactly going to do much. Rather than sit waiting for the weather to break, we decided to change the master bedroom around, move the bed to the gable end of the house, then a bit of housework. This was all done by about 12pm. So, what now? I planted more plants in the aquarium, did a small water change, and went to the supermarket again, this time for salty snacks and beer.
I made scouse yesterday in the slow cooker, which we ate some of for lunch, and are having the rest of it tonight for dinner, so cooking is out of the question.
Today feels like a Sunday, and we have the real Sunday tomorrow. May have to relieve the boredom of the weekend with a back to back box set watching of Lucifer, Preacher, Frasier, Big Bang and of course Moonlighting.
Because of the unprecedented fabulous weather we are having at the moment, I am writing this in the garden in direct scorching sunlight with Stone Sour on my headphones, and so I have not been doing any knitting, not a jot in the last 10 days.
Rather than sit in the lounge, or on the patios and knit, I have been sitting in the sun, slowly developing my tan, I say slowly as after 30 minutes in direct sun I move to the shade as I don’t want to burn and look like an old Peruvian Sherpa.
With sunbathing comes great responsibility; barbeques are aplenty, music is essential, especially to drown out the sound of a neighbour’s twins screeching because they cannot get their own way, and a load of books that need to be read, both in physical and e-book form. On the barbeque front, we have managed to have 12 so far and summer has just started. Musically, I love my heavy metal, but rather than have my favourite bands tear down the walls, I tend to have Radio 6 Music on the go, that is if I do not have my cans on.
I keep looking at all my yarn stash and think I really need to get moving on all the stuff I need to make, finish making, and really want to make, but unless it starts raining and the temperature drops, that really isn’t an option. At night in the winter my needles are going all the time, but at night I am ploughing through books, which is another passion of mine, as I love literature, especially the classics, it is why I decided to my degree in English Language and Literature.
Our summer last year was mostly rain and the odd hot day, so lots of knitting was done especially socks. I wonder how many of you out there find that knitting seems to be a seasonal thing too? Those that live in hot climates probably do not have that problem, but we are about 880 miles away from the arctic circle, so a hot summer is quite rare, however, because of the jet stream we rarely get really bad winters, and the coldest I have ever recorded was -18, which came with two foot of snow and a complete standstill of transport.
Maybe I should take up knitting lace work, that is light weight, and looks quite complex.
I love the fog, especially when I was a Kid in the 70’s it used to be thick as pea soup, and of course called a “pea-souper”. However, these days it seems to be ice cold, wet and not too thick.
One thing that annoys the living daylights out of me is drivers who don’t put their fog lamps on, or as seen this morning, don’t bother with lights at all. The anger I feel for them is incredible as I want to hurl abuse, drag them out the car and slap them. I think I have anger issues.