Posts Tagged ‘Lake District’

Rain 2

It’s Wednesday again and time for my guest blogger to take over. Enjoy.

 

Last week’s subject got me thinking. As well as the weather aspect of rain it crops up in a lot of songs. I thought I’d look at just a few.

Remember the Travis song, Why Does It Always Rain On Me? (1999). Apparently, at the exact moment when they played the song, at Glastonbury in 1999, the weather duly obliged. There’s that other classic by B.J. Thomas, Raindrops keep falling on my head (1970). Rain is a mood-altering phenomenon: it can give us a down when we’re being soaked but give us a lift when we see those dark clouds disappearing and best of all when we see it stopping. Remember the Lighthouse Family and the lines from their song Lifted: “I wouldn’t say I’m mad about the rain, But we’ll get through it anyway.” One thing’s for sure as BJT sang, we’ll never stop the rain by complaining; so don’t – move on, it will stop (eventually)!

Garbage (the group) had a song called I’m only happy when it rains, in 1995, which seems to be a similar sentiment to Gene Kelly, (remember last week’s post).
Remember the opening bars of The Doors’ song, Riders on the Storm? Must be one of the most atmospheric sounds of rain & thunder on record. Only managed to reach No.22 in Britain even with two re-issues. (However, here’s a good one – If you watch this vid of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS-af9Q-zvQ on Youtube, at about 2m 46s, you will see Jim Morrison lighting a cigarette not far from the petrol pump in a garage where he’s stopped to get fuel. Those were the days, eh? Risk of explosion – who me? Where?)

I don’t know much about the weather in the USA apart from the stuff that makes the news over here. In 1972, when Rapid City (South Dakota) lost 238 inhabitants due to flooding lasting 2 days, Albert Hammond was singing about people saying, It never rains in Southern California but then says “Girl don’t they warn ya – it pours, man it pours”. Any readers from California tell me which is right?

As an aside, did you know that hurricanes don’t actually get named. Yes, I know, you can think of plenty but did you realise how they originate. A tropical storm is named when it reaches a sustained speed of 39mph; if that storm then reaches a sustained speed of 74mph it becomes a hurricane and keeps the name it was given as a storm. Also did you know that the names for Tropical Storms follow a prescribed pattern: the first storm of any year gets a name beginning with “A”, the second a name beginning with “B” and so on. (So in 2012 they went like this: Alberto, then Beryl, Chris, Debby etc). Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used.

Furthermore, if the year is an even number, men’s names are used for the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th etc storms; if the year is odd women’s names are used for the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th etc storms. The names are pre-determined so I can tell you that, if there are 21 storms in 2012 that reach hurricane force, no.21 will be called Hurricane William. I can also tell you that the second storm (poss hurricane) in 2016 will be called Bonnie and the 11th will be Karl. (The full table, which goes to 2017, can be found at http://geology.com/hurricanes/hurricane-names.shtml).

Ok, so back to the rain. Are you a bit like the Carpenters – you know, Rainy days and Mondays always get you down? If you’ve never listened to The Cascades’ song Rhythm of the Rain, watch (listen actually, as it’s it’s only a still pic) this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=l1PJ9mF2H2Q. (A brief count of the different uploads of just this one Cascades song by various sources comes to about 3.5 million views).

Of course you’re probably wondering about the wettest place on Earth: where & how much, obviously?

Here’s the wettest place in Britain: Dalness in Scotland
image

Looks beautiful doesn’t it? It gets 130 ins (3.3 metres) of rain per year. That means an average of nearly 11 ins per month.

In second place is Seathwaite in the Lake District which is the wettest place in England and here it is.
image

Seathwaite (in Borrowdale) gets 124 ins of rain per year.

Both of these pale into insignificance when we look at the wettest places in the world. The top two are in India and get 467 ins (11871mm) & 463 ins (11777mm) – that’s more than 1 in (25.4mm) per day! For the UK 124 ins & 130 ins are enough to be going on with. Definitely worth keeping an umbrella with you I’d say.

What a good job this lady took her umbrella with her!! Just think what might have happened if she’d forgotten it.
image

image

And this chap too. I’d like to see him do a Gene Kelly (see last week’s post):

So please, if you think it might rain don’t forget that umbrella!

A novel written in 1830 by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) called Paul Clifford begins with these very famous lines:

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

The novelist’s name has been immortalised in the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The English Dept of San Jose University (California, you remember where Albert Hammond sang that it never rained) sponsor it and entrants have to compose the opening sentence to “the worst of all possible novels”.

This list has done the rounds a bit so you may have come across some of them before but here are the 10 entries starting at no.10 and working up to the winner (of 2010 possibly):

10. “As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it.”

9. “Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens.”

 

8. “With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description.”

 

7. “Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: ‘Andre creep.  Andre creep.  Andre creep.'”

 

6. “Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved.”

 

5. “Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store.”

 

4. “Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do.”

 

3. “Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor.”

 

2. “Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘fear’; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death– in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.”

 

And the winner is. . .

 

1. “The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog’s deception, screaming madly, ‘You lied!'”

I like no.9 for its simplicity (and of course no.1) but see what you think.
I couldn’t finish without quoting Walter Sichel (1855-1933):

“The rain, it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella:
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.”

(He is of course putting his own comedic spin on the last part of the verse from the Gospel of Matthew Ch 5 verse 45 which has the words: “For He (God) makes His (God’s) sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (I’ve added words in brackets for explanation purposes).

And that’s it for our second look at rain.

Hope I’ve whet your appetite (see what I did there?) for some further research.

Advertisements

Laura Maisey, Fully Qualified Piglet and Multi-Award Winner

Well, this is a good week. Passed my exams and been nominated for two awards. I’ll do the other one in a separate post. So for now, I would like to thank Wealthymatters for the nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award. This blog is a mixture of useful info and tips on creating wealth (always a useful thing when emerging from a period of self-imposed student-loan-related poverty!).

So the rules for this award are that I tell everyone 7 things about myself and nominate 15 other blogs for the award. So I’m going to have to think of 7 new things as I swear I’ve told the most interesting stuff already. Ok, here goes…

1. Sometimes I think I might like to spend my life becoming the new Alfred Wainwright, a famed English walker, who spent his time walking the Lake District and writing fantastic books about it, known as Wainwright’s Walks. In light of this possible life goal, I’m looking into walking the Pennines for my birthday next year. It takes about two weeks apparently. A friend did it and had a heart attack and had to be airlifted off to hospital. I don’t think the heart attack was related to the walk.

2. I once walked the Great Wall of China. It took about two weeks. It was exhausting. A lady in one village tried to sell me a Great Wall-themed t-shirt and when I said I had bought the exact same one at the previous village so didn’t need another, she said, in desperation, ‘But I have extra large!’

3. When I was travelling in Namibia with a friend and her family, we were staying in the middle of nowhere in a tented camp. As we walked in the pitch black from the dinner tent to our sleeping tent, we looked back up the path and shone the torch, and we had walked straight past a huge HUGE male lion with a massive mane. It had been lying down next to the path, clearly not hungry enough to have a go. If any of us had reached out an arm while walking past it, we would’ve touched it.

4. When I was younger, I named every single cuddly toy that I had, and I had a lot. When I was supposed to be going to sleep, I gave them all personalities and created a little life with them. My favourite doll, which I’d had since forever, was called Yvonne.

5. After I’ve been swimming, I eat far more than is really necessary, to get my energy back up. I’m probably burning enough to have two or three cereal bars. I tend to eat four or five, then a bit of everything else I find in the fridge. I know this is silly. And I know overall, the swimming can’t be having that much effect, due to my massively increased food intake, but I have decided to pretend that it’s not happening. If you would pretend too, then that would be great. Thanks.

6. I love a project. Love it! If someone says ‘I need to file all this stuff by tomorrow, I’ll never get it done’ I love it, I get straight in there. Or if we need to check the best before dates on everything in the shop, I’m on it, I’ve already started! Re-organising a drawer or re-arranging furniture, I love it. Let’s get the garden looking pretty, someone says. I’m your woman! I love it. I get excited thinking up projects for myself to work on.

7. I feel quite a bit of pressure to do something law-related now that I have my degree but in all honesty, I quite like what I’m doing now, even though it has nothing to do with law. People say, ‘O, so what will you do now?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, at the moment I am mostly baking and writing. Which I like. So I’ll do that.’ Lots of people with grown-up jobs don’t like them very much. Whereas I love my job, it’s great fun. I think I should count myself lucky in that and not be in a rush to go and do something grown-up, just for it’s own sake.

Ok, so now you all know me a bit better (I’m running out of cool facts to tell you all actually. Any more awards and I’ll be telling you things about myself that are of the ‘I had a cup of tea this morning’ variety), and it’s time to nominate 15 other blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award. This is fairly easy as they’re all pretty lovely, lovely enough for me to take the time out to read them every day. I’ll try not to repeat any I’ve done before.

1. Thought Catalog – This blog is just fantastic. There are no other words for it. It’s witty, painfully honest and always hilarious. 33 Things You Should Know Before Dating Me is my favourite of the recent posts, but the’yre all worth reading.

2. A Year Of Reading The World – This blog is great. 196 countries, and a year to read something from all of them. I was super excited the other day when I saw a book from Namibia on the list.

3. The Good Greatsby – I love love love this blog. Invite Me To Your Yachting Party and Thank You For Inviting Me To Your Party. I Apologize For My Behaviour At The Party are among the funniest things I have ever read.

4. Belle Grove Plantation – This blog feeds my history obsession. It follows the restoration of the plantation in Virginia, US, where James Madison was born. The little stories of discoveries on the land and tales of the families who lived there are absolutely fascinating. At some point, I’m definitely visiting, it looks amazing.

5. socomfortablynumb – This blog had me at “I’m not all that pretty. I dress wierd.”

6. CyclingEurope.org – This man cycled around Europe and wrote a book about it, which I’m in the middle of at the moment. It’s a great book, fantastically entertaining. Read it.

7. Bagni di Lucca and Beyond – Gorgeous gorgeous photos. I’ve never wanted to go to Italy more! In fact, I have booked myself a trip there soon and my sole holiday research has been this blog!

8. hairsprayandhemingway – I was initially attracted to this blog by the name. The blog is described as being about ‘literature, beauty and life.’ What’s not to love?

9. AsiaDreaming – This blog always has beautiful photos from exotic faraway lands, that make me want to drop everything and jump on a plane.

10. Blogging for a Good Book – It’s the Williamsburg Regional Library blog and every day I come and check out which book they have recommended. I’ve read a few that have been suggested and they were very good.

11. Tokyobling’s Blog – Again, amazing photos and a fascinating insight into another part of the world. The colours and liveliness in the photos are great.

12. Project 365 by Kenneth Todd – One photo a day for a year. Does what it says on the tin. There are some lovely lovely pictures on this blog, check them out if you’re into photography or if you just like looking at pretty things.

13. Fitness and Frozen Grapes – The great pictures of food are just one of the reasons I love reading this blog. No matter how active I am, I always feel lazy when I read this!

14. Lyrics and Chocolate – The most recent post, List of things that never change was great!

15. Steeshes – A Photo Collection of Mustaches – This blog is just great. There’s always a new picture of a moustache. I feel it is good for one to be up-to-date with the latest moustache fashions. That’s partly why I love this blog so much. Check it out. You’re bound to discover something amazing.

 

PS. As a London-dweller, I feel I should say something about the Olympics. So here it is = the Olympics are nice, aren’t they?