Category: Weather

Staying Safe This Winter

November 24, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

With winter already upon us and the Christmas season approaching rapidly it is more important than ever to make sure you keep yourself in one piece. After all who is going to cook the Christmas turkey if you’re laid up in hospital?! As more people hit the streets in the lead up to Christmas looking for some last minute Christmas presents or making sure the house is fully stock for when the relatives arrive there is more chance for something bad to happen. The congested streets of the UK can be a tricky place to be especially when the roads are icy and you have been driving around for 30 minutes looking for a parking space.

This all sounds a bit like doom and gloom to me at a time where everyone should be happy and spending time with their families. So just make sure you take some extra steps to make sure you make it through the Christmas period unscathed. As you can expect the cold weather is one of the biggest problems at this time of year, so ensure that you dress up warm. This means a thick jacket, good paid of boots or wellies, a nice warm hat and a decent pair of gloves. Icy roads and frantic driving also don’t help. Drive carefully and if you live somewhere that is particularly hard hit by the weather you may want to invest in some snow tyres.

Of course there is another way to escape the Christmas rush and enjoy the festive period with your feet up. Many individuals are now opting to go away over Christmas and there are some nice hotels in Devon and similar locations across the UK that can offer you a laid back and relaxed Christmas. You can skip the rush to get all of your shopping done, avoid all the cooking and even keep the kids entertained.

Are You Ready for the Snow?

December 14, 2009 | By | 1 Comment

PD*26640946As forecasters predict snow for the UK are we any better prepared than we were back in February?

You may recall that earlier this year we experienced around five weeks of proper winter weather with many people prevented from getting to work, the biggest issue being the hazardous driving conditions.

But the UK always seems unprepared for bad weather. I may be over generalizing because the people who live in the North appear to be far more able to cope than us southern softies. The slightest flurry of snowfall and many schools are closed, trains are cancelled and lots people (including me) stay at home rather than go to work.

So are we any better prepared this time? I doubt it. Gritting trucks soon ran out of material back in February and with this year’s local authority cut backs I doubt if more has been spent to stock pile essential supplies of grit.

So if it does snow this week or anytime this winter, the chances are we will see the same sort of disruption throughout the South East that we saw back in February. So be prepared for more school closures, unusable roads and maybe a few unplanned days off.

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On a recent trip from Scotland I saved over 50% on Edinburgh Airport Parking by booking in advance.

5 Great Things About the British Weather

October 19, 2009 | By | 1 Comment

cardigan

If The Nurse stands on a chair, she can just about catch a glimpse of sky through her prison cell window. Today it is grey and rainy outside. 

She’d bet her last quid that everyone’s moaning about it. Dissing the UK’s weather is a national pastime. But The Nurse thinks there’s a lot to be said for four higgledy piggledy seasons. Even though they rarely do what they say on the tin.

Here’s The Nurse’s top five reasons for appreciating the British weather.  

  • Cardigans:  How many other nations have cardigans at their disposal 365, 24/7? In spring you can chuck on a light wool cardi to protect you against those sharp little winds that otherwise find their way between your cracks. In summer cotton cardigans trimmed with lace bedeck our town centres and beaches, many slung casually across sunburned shoulders or knotted at the waist against weather related emergencies. During the autumn we drag thick wool cardigans out of mothballs. Perfect for crisp leaf-kicking, conker-knocking walks in the countryside. And in winter we bundle ourselves in our warmest cardis whenever we venture outdoors. An Englishman’s home isn’t his castle. It’s his cardi.     
  • Four fashion seasons:  Ladies… imagine how bored you’d be if you only had one set of clothes to wear all year round. Eternally stuck in strappy sandals, you’d never experience the joys of a kinky boot. 
  • Saving money: Bouncing Poms are what Aussies call Brits who emigrate to avoid the UK’s weather, but miss it too much and bounce back home a couple of years later. Learn to love the British weather and you’ll potentially save a fortune boomeranging around the planet and back just to avoid a bit of drizzle.
  • Great gardening: The Nurse was a keen gardener before she was caught and imprisoned. Throughout the spring, summer and autumn she’d enjoy countless different flowers and plants coming into leaf and flower then dying off. In winter she’d eagerly await the first green shoots, usually around the end of January. If we had a climate, rather than weather, we’d be stuck with the same plants all year round. You’d never experience the thrill of seeing the first snowdrop.  
  • Balmy summer evenings:  You know those rare summer evenings when the air is sweet with flowers and the breeze is warm even after sundown?  When sound is muffled and softened by the heat? Everyone’s smiling. People sit outside pubs and cafes chattering, mellow and chilled. The pavements give off the day’s warmth all evening. Birds sing sleepily long after dark. Lovely. The Nurse doesn’t think she’d appreciate perfect summer evenings half as much if she had them all year round. As it is they’re completely magical.  

OK, the weather’s shite today. But – as the saying goes – there’s no such thing as bad weather. Just the wrong clothes. The Nurse recommends we apply British stiff upper leg, delve deep for our favourite autumn cardigans and head out into the rain with big, foolish smiles on our faces. In a few short months, it’ll be spring! 

UK Invaded by Snow

February 3, 2009 | By | 2 Comments

snowboyI just had to say something about this weather. We’ve been experiencing a taste of Russian winter here in the UK and systems have all but ground to a halt. Transport is totally disrupted, schools are closed, more than one in five workers didn’t make it in to work yesterday and there is more nasty weather on the way.

My girlfriend, who works as a flight attendant, told me that she wasn’t able to get her car out of a dangerously frozen Gatwick car park so she is stuck in a hotel until the weather improves. Or at least that was her excuse for not getting home last night. (I think that she’s having an affair with a pilot but keep that to yourself…)

A fellow ABS member, who teaches English as a foreign language to Russian students in Brighton, said that his pupils were amazed at how unprepared Britons are for weather like this. They all traipsed into college without a care, astounded at the amount of disruption caused by a few hours of snow. They wondered how well the UK would cope with months of sub-zero temperatures and huge snow drifts.

And the news is full of stories of incredible stupidity. People setting off for work in their cosy warm family saloons only to end up stuck at a roadside somewhere with no warm clothing. In my opinion if anyone is stupid enough to go out in this weather without wrapping up properly they deserve hypothermia.