There is no ‘bucket list’ - Lynne and I are both well, thank you – but we have arrived at a point in our lives where we have the time, the money and the good health to indulge in a passion for travel. We know how lucky and privileged we are to be able to do this, and we know it won’t last for ever, but while it does…..

Sunday, 2 October 2011

October in Staffordshire: The Weather's Gone Weird Again

This is a travel blog, so it is not concerned with events at home, and by at home I mean right here, in our house and in our garden. But it is my blog and they are my rules, so if I wish to rewrite them – ignoring the small matter of their actually being unwritten – then I can.

The world is becoming warmer, and the activities of our species are almost certainly to blame; but for those of us who don’t have access to the numbers, its nigh on impossible to pick out the signal from the noise. Over the last twelve months the weather noise over this patch of the world has been spectacularly chaotic.

I felt moved to write about weather last November, when we had an unexpected dump of snow. Coping with a Cold Snap  has been one of the least visited postings on this blog (as maybe this will be, too), but that does not alter the fact that it does not snow in England in November. Only last year it did....

The First Dusting of Snow, November 2010

.....and then it hung around, and it got cold.

Cannock Chase, 20th of December 2010
And in April? The skies were blue, the sun was warm, I went walking in shorts and a t-shirt.

Walking the Stone Circle - or, in this picture, not walking the Stone Circle
9th of April 2011
Even on the 24th March Brian and I tramped across a dozen miles of the Peak District and drank our lunch sitting in the garden of the Jervis Arms.

The White Peak, blue skies, warm sun
24th of March 2011

But summer could not be arsed to put in more than a token appearance. Lynne and I lunched in the fresh air more often in April than in July or August. We had dinner outside only once as even dry, sunny days – and there were precious few of them - seem to lose their warmth as the sun began to dip.

So now we have reached autumn. Next week we go to Portugal, where the southern sun should allow us to lunch al fresco every day, whether in our own (rented) garden or picnicking in the hills or sitting outside a favourite restaurant. By dinnertime, though, the evening cool will usually have forced us inside.

Normal October weather - in Portugal
But before we go we will enjoy the Indian summer here. Even in Staffordshire, even in a village on a hill with its own dismally cool microclimate, the temperature has leapt cheerfully into the mid twenties. Yesterday, on the first of October, we had dinner in the garden for the second time this year. The autumn equinox has passed, so we lacked the light we would have had in July – at least the hours of daylight have a reassuringly predictable pattern – but there was not a breath of wind, so we ate by candlelight.

Sitting outside and expecting to be served with food and drink - when the waiter's finished
 taking photographs.  October 2011
This should not happen in October, not here, not in Staffordshire.

1 comment:

  1. Crackers... come Friday I will be posting pictures of the Essex coast with members of the great British public stripping off and lying panting in the sunshine, looking like it's mid August - yet it was the first week of October. All very confusing...