Category Archives: weather

Petrichor

Another new word for me today.  You may know that I am a pluviophile – a lover of rain.

Pluviophile

I have written about walking in the rain several times in the past.  More particularly last year when the only independent way of getting around was to walk.

And today I found another new word Petrichor – the smell of the earth after the rain.

Wikipedia tells us “Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrkɔər/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek πέτρα petra, meaning “stone”, and ἰχώρ īchōr, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.”

 

I am sure you all know that smell.  It’s almost as if the earth is saying, OK time to wake up and start reproducing the flowers, trees, vegetables etc.  I love that smell and am so glad that I found the word.  But I do wonder when I shall use either or both of these words and in what context.

We haven’t had any rain for several days so I am sure I shall smell petrichor again soon and  I am sure that some of my friends in the Northern Hemisphere would welcome a little rain at present.

And now, as I don’t have anything else to share today, I shall go out for coffee with my daughter and then return to read more of your posts this afternoon.

But first, I shall drink this cup of tea.

IMG_1793

No matter how dark the night
we know that whatever happens,
the sun will rise tomorrow

and then all the shadows
will be chased away.”
Judith Baxter 1938 –

 

Sunrise

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Stormy Weather

“When all is said and done, the weather and love
are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”

― Alice Hoffman,  American Novelist 1952 – 

 

Here in New Zealand, we are all bracing for what has been described as the storm of the century.  Ex-tropical Cyclone Cook is due to hit us just about now – 6.00 pm  Thursday 13 April 2017.  Rain is already causing problems and this is purported to be the worst storm since the Wahine Disaster in 1968.

According to New Zealand History  “The Union Steam Ship Company’s 8948-ton roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) passenger ferry Wahine, the largest ship of its kind in the world when completed two years earlier, left Lyttelton at 8.40 p.m. on the evening of 9 April. There were 734 passengers and crew on board.  Storm warnings had been issued, but rough seas were nothing new in Cook Strait. As it turned out, the Wahine was about to sail into one of the worst storms ever recorded in New Zealand. The ship reached Cook Strait as tropical cyclone Giselle swept south and collided with a southerly front. The combination of warm tropical air and cold air dragged up from Antarctica produced exceptionally violent turbulence. On 10 April, in a bad storm, the Lyttelton-Wellington ferry hit a reef.”  See the timeline to disaster here

Early the next day the Captain called for the ship to be abandoned and would be rescuers lined the shore in the atrocious weather as the Wahine succumbed to one of the worst storms recorded in New Zealand history and others raced to a further beach where many of those in the water were being washed to.

It seemed impossible that so many lives could be lost so close to shore. Fifty-one people lost their lives that day, another died several weeks later and a 53rd victim died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck.  A number of people who reached shore alive did not receive medical attention quickly enough to prevent death from exposure. Others were drowned or killed when thrown against rocks.

The Cook Strait that connects the North and South Islands of New Zealand is 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point and is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world.

The Wahine Disaster is known about and discussed by many to this day.

So now, some 49 years later, we are faced with a similar storm.  At this time the sailings across Cook Strait are not canceled although I suggest that many people will change their travel plans.  The airport in Wellington has been closed on and off for most of the day as have several other airports.  Severe weather warnings are in place for many parts of the North Island and the top of the South Island.

 

Ohope2

Ohope Beach in front of the Architects A-frame.

 

Ohope 1

Several areas have already been evacuated including the Westend of Ohope where the Architect had a holiday home.  It was almost on the beach so I suggest there will be little of it left when the storm passes.

auckland harbour bridge.jpg

Schools have been closed today in anticipation of the storm.  There has been some discussion about closing Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.  Many businesses have closed early allowing their employees to get home before the worst of the weather hits.   But this means that roads are even more clogged than usual.

So is this going to be a Happy Easter for us?  I suggest it won’t be for many people.  So while I wish you all a very Happy Easter I’m taking

So while I wish you all a very Happy Easter I’m taking time to think of all those people who will have to return to devastation and flooding, some of whom haven’t yet recovered from last week’s storm, courtesy of ex-cyclone Debbie.

Just the way it is

summer

 

Well, that certainly sums up Summer in Wellington this year.  It has been cold, wet and windy for many days and the number of summer days can be counted on my fingers.  The forecast is no better and gale force winds are predicted for Wednesday and Thursday in Wellington.

How very different to last year. Then we had day after day of warm, sunny weather and I wrote about lunches in 3 different places with three different pools.  Well the pools are still there of course, and lunch is still on but unfortunately this year they have all been inside.

So I have had time to read more books and drink more tea.

Then today I thought again of the resolution I make around this time of the year.  For the last 4 years, my only resolution has been to get back to writing blog posts daily.  I’ve set the goal, have the best of intentions and then something/anything gets in the way.  So this year I haven’t made that resolution and it’s just as well because we are now at the 15th day of this New Year and I have managed to write two posts and now this one makes three.

Well anyway.  having started to write this post this morning, I then left it to continue my sorting out and clearing extraneous belongings; then it was lunch time and I thought after all that effort and energy I deserved a treat.  So I opened my book “The Lollipop Shoes” by Joanne Harris.  Well, it’s not really my book,  I belong to a book club where we share books with each other and this one belongs to another member. It’s a great way to read books you have been meaning to, and you don’t have to buy them or reserve them at the library.  You keep them for as long as you need. In fact, I’ve had these books since November.  After my latest Adventure with the chair and the rug, I wasn’t able to go to the December meeting so I’ll return the books in February.

After a couple of hours, I went back to decluttering.  I’m really feeling very pleased with myself at how well I’m doing (with a  little help from Grandson No 4 who has helped move things up onto the high shelves).   I have to have the occasional stop for tea and to rest my right arm and shoulder, and that’s an excuse I won’t be able to use for much longer.  The six weeks is up in 10 days time.  And then I shall be able to drive again.  Hoorah!

So my resolve, which I’m keeping secret this year, is to get back to writing and to posting a blog daily.  And as we say Watch this Space.

And from Bridget Jones’ Diary –

“Resolution number one: Obviously will lose twenty pounds. Number two:
Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket.
Equally important will find sensible boyfriend to go out with and not continue
to form romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobic’s, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts. And especially will not fantasise about a particular person who embodies all these things”

Wet, Wild, Wellington Wednesday

weather2

“Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing.
Whenever people talk to me about the weather,
I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.
And that makes me quite nervous.”
― Oscar Wilde

Well, we were warned that it was to be a cold wet and windy day.  Apparently there is a southerly storm creeping across the country and nowhere will be immune from it’s effects.  I guess that’s one of the things about living in a small long and narrow country.  Sometimes one just can’t get away from the storm.

Well, as you know I’m a pluviophile and I’m English and like walking in the rain so I got ready for today’s walk.  But discretion took over.  The wind is close to gale force at present and I was told in no uncertain terms to say inside.  So that I did and no walking today.

———-

But today was supposed to be called A Word on Wednesday.  You all know how I love words and get very excited when I find a new one.  Well yesterday I found one –

Peregrinate – to travel or journey especially on foot.  Henry James had this to say about peregrinate – “But I seem to travel, to peregrinate less and less and so I am reduced to living on my past accumulations” But not for me.  I propose to keep walking and finding ever new places to see.

———-

And now after lunch with a friend it’s 4pm and the sun is shining.  The only thing we haven’t had today in Wellington is snow, but we are promised the gale force southerly tonight, so who knows.

And just because I love this, I offer it to you.

Savour Kindness PG museum

The plaque at the entrance to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice

 

Wet, Windy, Wellington Wednesday

“Instructions for living a life Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.”

Mary Oliver

Today I have read several posts on August in the Northern Hemisphere.  Picnics, walks, swims and holidays seem to be on the minds of most of you.  But it’s winter here.

weather2

And how easily we are fooled.  Having been lulled into a false sense of security with days of mild, almost windless weather we woke up this morning to a typical winter’s day here in Wellington.

The rain fell out of the sky and the wind moaned and shook trees and roofs around our Capital City.

We know that Wellington is the most Windy City in the world.  Yes, it even beats Chicago.  We regularly (how often?) have gale force winds but hey, this all adds to the wind power that generates the turbines around the city.

According to The Telegraph reporter Karl Mathieson on October 15, 2015 “Judging which is the world’s windiest city is tricky, as no global database for cities exists and measurement techniques are not standardised. Other contenders include Rio Gallegos and Punta Arenas in Argentina and Chile’s windswept southern Patagonia. St John’s in Canada is north America’s windiest city,”

Wellington’s Acting Mayor Justin Lester waxes effusive over the benefits of Wellington’s windy record.  “Sailors, windsurfers and kite-surfers come from afar to ride the vortex. Air pollution is non-existent as any fumes are whipped away and wind power is harnessed for electricity.

Perhaps the best thing of all, it breeds a bunch of sturdy, resilient Wellingtonians who aren’t fazed by a little bit of wind.” he says

And we are told by those who know, that this weather is set to continue for the rest of the week.  So what shall I be doing?

Drink tea

Looking forward to it.

And from Percy Bysshe Shelley in Ode to the West Wind

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
― 

 

Windy Wellington

stormy-weather4

Our capital city certainly lived up to its name yesterday.  All day long we were battered with gale force winds and torrential rain.  A friend commented that it was as bad as the day in which The Wahine foundered on Barretts Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour.  In all 51 people lost their lives in spite of the valiant rescue attempts of many.

I wasn’t in Wellington on that fateful day – April 10, 1968 – but the tragedy was beamed around the country and around the world.  We were shown images of the disaster and the rescuers in action.  We sat glued to the television as the drama unfolded.  We didn’t know Wellington then having recently arrived in New Zealand and were living in Auckland but we could see the rugged coastline and the reef on which the vessel came to rest.

But yesterday’s storm did not cause loss of life; it did, however, cause much damage.  It is reported that “At its peak, winds gusting up to 200kmh damaged buildings and tore trees from the ground. …Lashing rain caused surface flooding and, at times, up to 30,000 residents were without power. Conditions were so treacherous that some council and power companies stopped their workers from carrying out repairs.”  Click here to read the rest of this and see the devastation caused by the wind and rain.

Fortunately, we came through this storm unscathed.  The only damage that I can see is the garden furniture blown around and some of the cyclamens that I planted in pots to brighten the entry to the house have been battered, but a small price to pay for what could have been so much worse.  Across the road a tree has been blown down taking part of a newly installed fence with it and blocking the footpath.

A series of calls to and from friends and relatives confirmed that all were well and had suffered little or no damage to their property.  So now on this wet and still windy Friday, my small dog and I are having a quiet day at home.  There is no attraction for leaving the fireside, except that later Bella will have to have a very short walk.

Here’s a rainbow for those who did suffer damage to their property.  At this time we have heard of no injuries to people.

Rainbow

My rainbow

Moaning on Monday

“If winter comes can spring
be far behind?”
from Ode to the West Wind. Percy Byshe Shelley

Here in the antipodes we are in the middle of winter.  In fact as Christina Rosetti’s carol has it, it is the Bleak mid winter here.  The past few days have been bitterly cold.  Oh not as cold as it gets in Montreal or Glasgow but cold for us.  Most days the temperature hasn’t risen above 12 degrees Celsius (about 53 degrees Fahrenheit).  And I don’t like the cold; nor does Lotte.

Lazy Lotte

Too cold to get up

And today I spent six hours with a friend who has just discovered a large lump in her breast.  We went to the hospital for a barrage of tests and then to the specialist, who just so happens to be the surgeon who operated on my lump.  So apart from being cold it was a miserable day in all respects.

The one bright spot, another friend cooked dinner for me.

So now after this grumpy post I am going to take myself off to bed with my book and a cup of tea. And perhaps a Lemon Treat biscuit to cheer me up.

packet of biscuitsHopefully tomorrow I shall wake up in my usual Pollyanna way, looking at the world through rose coloured glasses, etc. etc.

“No matter how dark the night we know that
whatever happens the sun will rise tomorrow
and then all the shadows
will be chased away.”
Judith Baxter 1938 –

Saturday again!

Six word Saturday button

It’s Saturday again so here we go.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

SATURDAY – SUN, RAIN, WIND AND HAIL!
Just a typical winter Saturday in Wellington NZ

I rained heavily through the night.  Not that I heard it as I was in a deep, dreamless sleep for about 7 hours.  But this morning the evidence was there.  All the cars parked in the street were wet!

Toast and marmalade

I got up and made some tea and toast to take back to bed with my book for an hour.  Soon I was disturbed by the patter of hail on the roof.  That was so strong and hard that it left a white coating on the patio.

Wind blowing cloud

via Clipart

Having been disturbed I got up.  The hail and rain had gone to be replaced by (almost) gale force winds.  They were so strong that the patio furniture was blown around.

And now the sun is shining brightly.  So what else will the weather have in store for us today?

Loonies and Twonies and Candies

Do you know what loonies and twonies are?  I have just discovered they are the $1 and $2 coins that have replaced the paper bills in Canada.

Where did I find this fascinating, earth-shattering, fascinating information?  Well I was reading a report in the Vancouver Sun describing the confusion caused when a truck crashed scattering millions of dollars worth of coins along the highway.  This has also of course, been reported in newspapers across the country.

Truck crash

Apparently when the Brink’s truck carrying the money crashed into a rock face on the side of the highway the complete load of somewhere between $C3.5 and $C5 million in coins was scattered across the highway.

This caused a chain reaction of course, and one of the casualties was a truck carrying candies.  It too lost its load over the highway.

“Crews used a one-metre round industrial magnet on a backhoe to pick up the toonies and loonies..”  And having commented that it would be an onerous task the Constable  on the scene said “I walked through the scene where there was more money than I will ever see in my whole life,” Ontario Provincial Police officer Marc Depatie with the South Porcupine detachment.

So if you have a sweet tooth are short of a few dollars head to Northern Ontario where I am sure they are still scooping up coins.

Back now to Wellington where the good weather is set to continue at least for a few more days, according to our local paper The Dominion Post.

Oriental Bay

Photo CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ

Perfect weather in Wellington is fleeting and this could be the last opportunity to bring out the togs for many long months.  The weekend is shaping up to be sun-drenched with 18 and 19 degree highs forecast for Saturday and Sunday.  After the dismal summer we enjoyed endured, this will be a welcome change.

But the Metservice has also warned that the weather is set to deteriorate by Easter, and urged people to get out and enjoy this weekend.

And now the summer is really ending.  Daylight saving ends at 2am on Sunday April 1; is there a message in that? And the nights will draw in and fires will be lit in homes in this street.  Ah well, this weekend will be the last of the summer weather.

Rainbow

My rainbow

Pause and Reflect

New Year’s Day:  Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.
Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.  ~Mark Twain

New Year’s Eve in Wellington wasn’t so much a damp squid as a soaking wet one.  The usual celebratory fireworks display on the waterfront was cancelled because of the atrocious weather we have been having over the past few days.

But here in NZ we are not surprised that the summer lasted only a few days in fact three in total – 23, 24 and 25 December.  Then the rain set in.   And it has rained here in the capital ever since.

This year has seen many things happening to our small nation on the far side of the world.

Map of New Zealand

In February we had an earthquake in Christchurch of 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale.  This earthquake killed 181 people and caused widespread damage to an area that was already devastated in the September 2010 earthquake.  This quake has been followed by regular quakes in the months since.

In May a tornado hit the Auckland region – a very brief burst but causing spectacular damage.

In June two more earthquakes hit the Christchurch region.  The result of these earthquakes is that many buildings have been deemed unsafe and many of the historic buildings that made up the city centre will have to be destroyed.

Residents of some parts of the city were just getting used to the idea that they may have to leave their homes, while some lucky (?) ones were told they could stay when a 5.8 magnitude quake hit them on December 23rd.

On December 14, the Nelson region (about 255 miles/159 kms from Christchurch) was hit with flash flooding causing a multi-million  dollar trail of damage and having people evacuated from their homes.  This was followed with more torrential rain causing more flooding on December 28.

Mother nature’s violent farewell to 2011 wasn’t restricted to the rain. Christchurch residents were battered by three large aftershocks, including a magnitude 4.8 quake 10km northeast of Lyttelton at 1.44pm on December 31.

Of course these happenings fade into insignificance compared to the damage and destruction Mother Nature has caused around the world.  Floods, famine, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes.  So the prize for the most active member of the community in 2011 must go to Mother Nature.

And we must ask ourselves what are we doing to this earth of ours that has caused these things to happen in the past year.  May 2012 bring a more peaceful and settled year for everybody living on this crowded planet of ours.

Wild weather

Angry Mother Nature