Tag Archives: Rain

In Wellington Today

After our totally abysmal summer we had thought that an Indian Summer might be on the way.  But that wish/thought has been dashed over the past few days.

Tree

A walk in the bush

It’s now autumn with all the lovely sights in nature that brings to mind – falling leaves, golden sunsets etc,  but all we can see here in Wellington is rain.

Ray Charles might have meant it when he sang –

“I’m old fashioned
I love the moonlight
I love the old fashioned things
The sound of rain
Upon a window pane
The starry song that April sings”

but frankly, enough is enough.

Boat on rocks

Boat adrift in Wellington Harbour copyright Fairfax

And according to the DomPost – our daily newspaper:

“Southerly gales are expected to ease in Wellington this morning and have been downgraded from severe.

The low will fade out on Friday ahead of a Southern Ocean low which will bring a strong to brisk westerly change across the country this weekend – and more rain this weekend.”

So it’s not going to get any better by the weekend.

What else?  A new Armani Store is opened here in the capital. Again, according to the DomPost:

“Already awash with suits, Wellington’s corporate image is about to be further stitched up as Armani Collezioni has chosen the capital for its first made-to-measure service in New Zealand.

Men will be able to go to Vance Vivian and pay from $2895 for a custom-made Armani suit – or duty free ($2450). With 150 fabrics to choose from, including super fine wools, wool crepes, silks and linens, the suits will be made in Italy.”

Apparently just down the street from this new store a man can purchase a suit for $795.  So do some men have more money than sense – or do they just have more style?

And  today we also are told that the worldwide surge in the theft of metal to feed the scrap metal market appears to have hit the Wellington region  with thieves stealing more than 30 heavy stormwater drain grates  from suburbs in Wellington.  “Wellington City Council is urging residents and motorists to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around the suburbs to help prevent more thefts.”  I think that cyclists should be keeping an eye out so that they don’t end up thrown from their bikes.

And a man “regrets” leaving his 23 month old baby girl in a car outside a tavern while he went in for a drink.  Apparently, he was drunk as he drove to the tavern, having already left two children aged 10 and 11 at home alone.

And on a better note we hear that a nun has been awarded a Local Heroes Medal for her ongoing work at a local soup kitchen.  On being told that she had been nominated  by fellow soup kitchen worker her response was “I’d like to wring his neck.”

The medal was awarded for seven decades as a nun,  primarily in the Wellington Soup Kitchen.  So all is not gloom here in Wellington.

Off to Paekakariki to play Granma – I shall finish the post on my return.

It’s 9.30pm and I have just returned.  My son and his family live about 50 kms away from me, that is less than an hour’s drive.  But it could have been in a different world.  I arrived from soggy Wellington to be met with brilliant sunshine and hot weather.  I, of course, had on my winter sweater and they were all getting around in short sleeved shirts,  When the boys got home from school they changed out of their uniforms into shorts and tee shirts.  And all the windows and doors in the house were open to catch what little breeze there was.

It was very pleasant sitting on the patio in the sunshine drinking the cup of tea brought to me by my No 2 grandson.`

But now back in Wellington where it is still raining and windy.  On days like this I wonder why did I move back.

Lambton Harbour, Wellington

The Harbour, Wellington

Advertisements

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

The South Wind Doth Blow

The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow and what will poor robin do then?  He’ll sit in a barn to keep himself warm and hide his head under his wing”  Children’s nursery rhyme

Southern Alps NZ

via Wikipedia

Except here in the southern hemisphere it is the south wind that blows and today it’s blowing straight off the Southern Alps.  The temperature hasn’t risen above 10 degrees Centigrade and tonight it is forecast to fall to 4.  Very cold.

Added to that it has rained solidly all day and non stop.  So eventually we had to go out.  Lotte and I both needed to get some fresh air.  She doesn’t like to get her feet wet so she was a pretty miserable little thing once she got outside and saw the rain.  But she needs her walk as do I.

Storm clouds

The only people we met during this walk were other dog owners out with their charges.  Our walk was of necessity, very short and Lotte decided that the place for her was in front of the fire.  She really looked like a drowned rat when we got home again.

Do you know and/or use the phrase “It’s raining cats and dogs”?  This was a phrase commonly heard when I was growing up.  It always seemed strange to me and nobody appeared to know where the phrase originated.  Now with the internet and our trusty friend Wikipedia I have been looking for the origin.

Well it appears there are many.  One source World Wide Words tell us  – “The most common one says that in olden times, homes had thatched roofs in which domestic animals such as cats and dogs would like to hide. In heavy rain, the animals would either be washed out of the thatch, or rapidly abandon it for better shelter, so it would seem to be raining cats and dogs.”  and then – “The most favoured one in the references I have found is mythological. It seems that cats were at one time thought to have influence over storms, especially by sailors, and that dogs were symbols of storms, often accompanying images and descriptions of the Norse storm god Odin. So when some particularly violent tempest appeared, people suggested it was caused by cats (bringing the rain) and dogs (the wind).”

And from www.phrases.org – “The much more probable source of ‘raining cats and dogs’ is the prosaic fact that, in the filthy streets of 17th/18th century England, heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals and other debris. The animals didn’t fall from the sky, but the sight of dead cats and dogs floating by in storms could well have caused the coining of this colourful phrase.” and ” Jonathan Swift described such an event in his satirical poem ‘A Description of a City Shower‘, first published in the 1710 collection of the Tatler magazine.”

So which one do you prefer.  I lean towards the Jonathon Swift filthy streets.  I can imagine how filthy were the streets of London in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cover Mayhew's London

Very tattered cover of book

And then I went off on another tangent.  I have another old book entitled “Mayhew’s London” first published in 1861.  I don’t know when my copy was published but it is hardback and cost 25 shillings.  As there were 20 shillings to a pound I guess in the early or even mid 20th century when this book would have been purchased, it was quite expensive.

There are illustrations of the time and descriptions of how many made their living or at least enough to survive.  It is a fascinating book and I propose to share parts of it in some other blogs.

But for now:

The Hurdy gurdy player

Old Sarah, the Hurdy Gurdy Player from "Mayhew's London"

Costermonger

London Costermonger from "Mayhew's London"

Costermonger, or simply Coster, is a street seller of fruit (apples, etc.) and vegetables, in London and other British towns. They were ubiquitous in mid-Victorian England, and some are still found in markets. As usual with street-sellers, they would use a loud sing-song cry or chant to attract attention. Their cart might be stationary at a market stall, or mobile (horse-drawn or wheelbarrow) – from Wikipedia

These costermongers are still to be found in the street markets of London.

And now I will stop these ramblings.  Lotte and I are off for a few days and I wont have access to the computer.  So I will have loads to report when I return in the middle of the week.

Rainbow

My rainbow


What a Difference a Day Makes

Record disc

“What A Difference A day makes
24 Little hours
From the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain.”

Well, what a difference.  Yesterday the large tree that overlooked the back courtyard and bugged me with falling leaves, stood keeping light and what sunshine there is at this time of the year, away from the back of the house.

I saw a man working on a tree across the road and asked him to look at chopping my tree.  Incidentally, he told me it was a sycamore tree, not a plane tree as I have been calling it.

He took one look and said he could chop it right back but would leave some of it there as in all probability it was holding up the bank.  He gave me a very reasonable quote to chop it back, remove all the debris and also remove much of the German ivy that was trailing across the bank killing other things that had been planted there by an earlier inhabitant of this house.  And he could do it right away.

Well, all things considered, it was an offer to good to pass up.  So he set to work.  He told me that by chopping it back the tree wouldn’t be killed but would grow again.  He said in 20 years that it would probably be as big again.  Of course, I then told him that was OK as I wouldn’t be around then.

Before the rain set in he had the ivy removed and the tree partly chopped back.  When the rain stopped he cleared all the mess he had made and transported it off in his trailer.

What a lucky thing that I was home in the morning to see him working across the street.

This morning there was no rain and the sun shone giving extra light into my kitchen.  And there are very few leaves in the courtyard today.

So tomorrow I have only to tidy the courtyard, replace the dead plants in the planter boxes and wait for ‘the man’ to come back and finish the tree lopping.

“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning
of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well
he will never sit. ”
D. Elton Trueblood, 1900 – 1994,  American Quaker author and theologian.