Weather warnings noted

It has started. It started this weekend. Subtly.
It started on the way to the Beagle Run.

We’re heading to my homeland soon, and whenever we do that, there is mention of the prevailing meteorological conditions over there. There has to be. It’s the law.
During previous visits, we’ve had an occasional glimpse of blue skya lot of rain and even some snow. Oh, and then that fortnight where it never got above or below 3ºC and was just… very grey.
I didn’t bother with photos that time.

The weather in the UK isn’t as nice as it is in Cape Town. You know that. I know that. But Mrs 6000 still likes to remind me of the anguish her body – which is a Capetonian body – is inevitably going to have to suffer while we’re over there.

It started this weekend.
It started on the way to the Beagle Run.

At 7am on Sunday morning, somewhere near Klapmuts, she asked what the temperature was. It was 11ºC. A bright but chilly start to the South African day. I told her that it was 11ºC, despite the fact that she was driving and had the thermometer reading directly in front of her on the dashboard. Sometimes it’s just easier to play along. Because we both knew what was coming next.

And what’s the maximum temperature in Sheffield today?

She asked, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

“It’s going to be 13,” I replied, dutifully.

We both knew this, because just the previous evening, we had spotted the UK weather on Sky News, and had remarked on how it was going to be 13 in Sheffield the next day. So my answer was just for confirmation, and to allow for the mathematically simple, but utterly essential, next line.

So, just 2 degrees warmer than it is now, then?

“That’s right.”

Wow. Just two degrees warmer. And it’s only 7am here.

“Yes. Just two degrees warmer.”

And we were done. For the moment at least. The weather in Sheffield isn’t as nice as it is in Cape Town. But then, in its favour, Sheffield has water. Decent internet. Great football. Proper relish. And fewer beagles.

Don’t get me wrong. Cape Town is great too. I love Cape Town. Mountain, beaches, Milk Stout, braais, Cape Agulhas (not strictly Cape Town, but you get my drift, right?). Yes, Cape Town has lots of good things too.

It’s almost as if each city has some positives and some negatives.

Apparently, one of the negatives about Sheffield is the weather. But I grew up in Sheffield. The cold doesn’t really bother me.
Although, I’ll admit that I’m actually quite glad we’re not going this week:

Storm Aileen is expected to bring very strong winds with gusts of 50-60 mph on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. The worst of the winds, with gusts to 65-75 mph are expected to be across North Wales and the North Midlands. Longer journey times by road, rail and air are likely, with restrictions on roads and bridges. There is also a chance of power cuts, and damage to trees and perhaps buildings.

Oh come on, Aileen.

Weather-wise, all I really need while we’re there is a couple of days of calm weather to fly the Mavic. Anything else half-decent will be a bonus.

And then we can come back home and thaw.

The Qantas A380 post

After an impromptu Twitter debate yesterday evening, I have found myself photoshopping this Qantas A380 into various images in any moments of spare time this morning.

It’s a long and actually rather uninteresting backstory, but I have discovered that adding a Qantas A380 to any photo not only makes that photo better, it’s also quite a cathartic process.

Additionally, I got a couple of helpful replies from the legend that is Jules Hudson – presenter of BBC’s Escape To The Country – and all round aircraft noise avoidance technique expert (residential).

Anyway, you can look forward to occasional images with the additional of the above aircraft on here. And then you’ll see what I mean.

For Fox Sake

BIG NEWS that I almost missed from earlier this week when there was drama in a Swindon department store, after a fox fell through the ceiling.

Here’s the full story:

House of Fraser’s furriest customer* gained access via the store room overnight.
It was later seen walking around the shop on CCTV, and set alarms off throughout the building. When staff began to arrive at around 10.30am, they were unable to find the fox, so the store opened as usual.

Fair enough. If the fox sneaked in, it could also have sneaked back out, right?


Wrong! Because: Surprise MotherFoxer!

It wasn’t until the trapped fox crashed through the ceiling panel at around lunchtime that customers were evacuated, told it was a “matter of safety”.

It’s like something out of an action movie, like Mission Impossible, but with a fox instead of Tom Cruise. And with fewer cameras. Oh, and a rack of jeans:

The fox then hid itself behind a rack of jeans until the Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue was called to come and pick it up.

Yep. You can’t just Lee-v it there, so I Guess Diesel be the right people to have called, being fox Wranglers and all. (Sorry, not sorry.)

“It is an adult female; she looks very fit, well and healthy, but obviously being in House of Fraser is not where she wants to be.”

Expert opinion there. And based on sound observational evidence, as well. How many of us have ever seen House of Fraser packed out with foxes?
Exactly – none of us: adult females, yes. Foxes, no.
And yet, it stands to reason that if House of Fraser was where foxes did want to be, then they would surely have done something about it before now (notwithstanding that this one did dramatically crash through a ceiling just to get there).

The fox was released back into the wild later that evening, because:

“We didn’t want to release her into the centre of Swindon in the middle of the day.”

Well, having been to Swindon, I’m hardly bloody surprised. The middle of Swindon at any time is clearly another place where foxes don’t want to be.

* [citation needed]

Over the top

This is awful. Where’s the incentive to do well in your exams when dismemberment is the only reward?

It’s no wonder that this female student looks so despondent: she has studied hard and knows the answers to all the questions in front of her. She is also now aware that her inevitable bifurcation lies ahead.

Look, I fully recognise that the number of students achieving the top grades is getting disproportionately high, potentially devaluing the qualification, but to lower those numbers through traumatic and/or surgical hemisection seems at best, a little harsh, and at worst, wholly barbaric.

Either way, these reforms are completely over the top and need revisiting.
Why not just make the exam papers more difficult or something?

The dangers of a soggy August

No danger here in Cape Town, of course. We need that rainfall.

But if you live in Bristol in the UK, then a soggy August so soon after a warm Spring is a frankly terrifying prospect. Not because your kids will be bored, stuck inside during the long school holidays (although I accept that that isn’t great), but obviously because of the invasion of super fleas with giant penises that those conditions will inevitably lead to.

Super flea with giant penis infestation isn’t something that I had ever had to deal with personally, although I have first hand experience of half of the problem. Unfortunately, it’s the first half of the problem, as the beagle had a bout of fleas a couple of years ago. These were normal fleas though, not super fleas with giant penises. I have very limited experience of giant penises.

It’s important to note here that the penis size that they are referring to (which is ‘giant’) is expressed relative to the size of the flea. And fleas aren’t huge. Their penises, however, are:

The August damp weather so soon after a hot spring has created the ideal breeding conditions for fleas with penises two-and-a-half times the length of their body.

Just for the record, I’m 188cm tall. Hello! [winks suggestively; overbalances]

But how… how does that even work?
Ag. Never mind.

Anyway, in the event that your pet and home become overrun by superfleas with giant penises, what measures (not measurements) should you take? It’s not rocket science, folks:

The British Pest Control Association recommends regularly treating pets with flea treatment and removing infested bedding to prevent the pests returning.

Who knew?

I know that I have some readership in Bristol, and I’d be deeply indebted if that readership could let me know if it has seen any super fleas with giant penises in the local area. Or any giant fleas with super penises. Or any super giants with flea penises.

These are the dangers of a soggy August.