Tag Archives: weather

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.

Spring or the Ides of September

In the northern hemisphere you have unsettled weather in March and we have it here in September.

installing-sprng

Image stolen from Jeff    at jccsst-random.blogspot.co.nz

 

Well yesterday Wednesday)  I said we had all weather conditions in one day except snow, well today has made up for that.  We had a slight fall of snow here in Wellington but we also had hail.  And the Cook Straight Ferry sailings between the two islands have been cancelled all day.  Apparently thee were waves up to 6 metres at times and we have just been informed that the gale force winds reached 130 kmh.  Windy indeed.  Several roads have been closed for the day and we are being warned not to go out on the roads unless absolutely necessary.

So obviously walking was out of the question, instead a friend picked me up and we went into town for lunch and while she popped into her office for a short time, I took the opportunity to do some retail therapy.  See how well I am recovering.

And now continuing with my obsession with words Ive just been reading a  post  from September 9  2011 when i was very new to blogging and was writing every day.  How very disciplined I was then.  It was called Playing with words

Words

“Better than a thousand hollow words,
is one word that brings peace.

Buddha

 

In that post I commented onOnomatopoeia and  and came up with a word for each letter of the alphabet.  The comments were interesting as many of my followers like words andI love words.  I like the sound of them, I like to see them written down and I like to see them used by others in different ways and I just like playing with them.

See what you think of my alphabet.  Can you offer other words?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

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?”
― 

 

Saturday Again

Six word Saturday button

How quickly the weeks pass and it’s already Saturday again and time for Six Word Saturday.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

THE END OF THE GOLDEN WEATHER

Yes, this week the weather gods decided that we had had it so good for so long that they would introduce winter with all her faults.  We seem to have skipped past autumn this year straight into winter.

This week we have had torrential rain and hailstones battering on the outside of our house and we have been pushed to fire up the central heating and light our log fire.

We continue to be grateful for the fact that we do have a warm and comfy house and we can have the warmth we need in winter.  How many people in this world are without these basic needs.  But the gratitude doesn’t stop us thinking longingly about those warm summer days that we enjoyed such a short time ago.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell, author, poet,
1887 – 1964

Writing 101: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

This was the challenge for October 8th and it’s now the 12th.  But after this I have only one more to catch up.  So –

On this free writing day, remember the words of author Anne Lamott: “I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.”

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

I want you to let it all hang out. So does writer Anne Lamott. At the risk of turning The Daily Post into an Anne Lamott fangirl blog, no one motivates me the way she does. Every time you sit down to write and think your idea is too stupid, too uninteresting, too random, or too unoriginal to be committed to the page, let Anne give you a gentle but firm nudge.

Four-hundred words. One at a time. Go.

Rain on leavesThe sun is shining and summer most certainly is on its way. But each day this week I have thought that only to have the day “ turn to custard”. Large black clouds suddenly appear in this fantastic blue sky. I scurry out to retrieve the washing before it rains. And then, having got it all in the sun reappears and I could hang it out again if I wanted to. I choose not to and pop it into the dryer for a final dry off.

Lunch can be eaten outside. There is no wind and the sun is really warm on my face. I consider going inside for some sun cream but decide that as I am only going to be sitting for about 30 minutes I can just relax and enjoy the sun on my face.

Lunch is eaten and the daily newspaper beckons. I turn to the World news and see there is more mayhem, killing and abuse around the world. But what’s this? The new Mrs Clooney wants to help the Greeks bring home the Elgin Marbles. The Marbles have resided in the British Museum for many many years. It seems to me that they have always been there but I know this not to be the case.

Each time I go to London I head to the Museum and one of my first stops is the Marbles. I marvel at the intricate work of those long ago carvers. All now moved into the bounds of history.

My next port of call is always the Rosetta Stone. What another marvel this is. I stand among the crown just looking at it. Around me there is a cacophony of voices in so many languages and I wonder what they are all saying. Are they as mesmerised as I am at this ancient piece of writing on a stone?

I turn to the crossword section of the newspaper. This is where I relax. So with pen in hand I start, but true to form of the last few days, the sun goes behind a black cloud, the wind suddenly picks up and the first spots of rain appear. So that’s the end of lunch and as I pick up the newspaper and pack up the lunch things I muse that this will no doubt be the way of the weather for the next few weeks. We are not into summer yet.

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

Magic, Mayhem and Mischief on that Mountain

The mountain

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!  John Muir, 1838-1914, Scottish-born American naturalist and author.

The garden

The Knot Garden

On Tuesday morning, bright sunshine greeted us and we decided to go up the mountain.  The snow had stopped and was lying beautifully across the countryside.

Breakfast time

Patiently waiting for her breakfast

At 10 am after a leisurely breakfast, we left the house.  But the queue to get up the Mountain was at a standstill at the gate to the lodge.  I spoke to some people who advised that there had been a couple of accidents on the mountain road and everything was at a standstill.  However, we decided that the crashes would soon be cleared and we would wait in line.  Well we waited..and waited..and waited.

We had the foresight to prepare lunch knowing that the queues for food in the cafeteria would be long and so we had our picnic sitting in the car.

A long slow trip

Eventually after 3.5 hours we had traveled the 7 kms to the area where they were fitting chains.  And there was some confusion (and short tempers) here as only one man was fitting chains while the other stood around chatting to the drivers and taking their money.  The guy to whom we spoke had been on the mountain since 7 am and hadn’t had a break – by this time it was 1.30 pm.  So we plied him with the remains of our picnic, candy bars and chocolates to keep him going.

The mountain

The next 10 kms took only one hour with much stopping and starting.  People losing the chains; others stopping and not being able to start again on the slippery slope.  But eventually we arrived at the carpark.  And what a fantastic site greeted us.

My friend got kitted out to ski and the other two of us walked with her to where she was going to board the chair lift to the summit.  We waited while she donned the skis and then hot-footed it into the cafeteria for hot chocolate and french fries.  What the h.ll the diet could wait until tomorrow.

Ski lifts

We spent a very pleasant couple of hours while the skiers did their thing and we sat in the warm supping hot chocolate and reading our books.  Then it was time to head home.  We all decided that the long drag to get to the top had been well worth it.

Arriving back at the lodge the fire was started.  But oh dear! Smoke filled the house and the fire brigade had to be called.  So, and much to Lotte’s delight as she had been on her own all day, suddenly five very large, yellow clad firemen were walking through the house.  They put out the fire in the grate and then went outside to climb a ladder and peer down into the chimney. Apparently there had been a chimney fire and we were advised to have the chimney swept before lighting another fire. What excitement.

One of the guests staying in the apartment was driven to question what was going on.  Two fire engines, lights flashing and sirens going stopping at the entrance to the lodge and she thought she might have been in danger.  However, once the fire trucks had left, we invited her in and shared a couple of drinks with her. Soon her husband, son and his girl friend joined us and so we had an apres  fire-party going.

Dinner though was a rather subdued affair.  We had all had enough excitement for one day and so all took ourselves off to bed early with a good book.  But what a great day and how grateful I am to have such days and such great friends with whom to share them.

Another quiet day at the mountain.

“Man is the only creature that dares to light a fire and live with it.  The reason?  Because he alone has learned to put it out.”  Henry Jackson Vandyke, Jr. 1852-1933, American clergyman, educator and author.