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Saturday, 23 July 2016

Yet another sunny day and flying ants

For about a week now we have had better summer weather in this part of the UK. Temperatures have been in the mid 20s to low 30s (deg C) all week. We had one big storm which dropped humidity, but yesterday and today are hot.

It is also "flying ant season". Whilst I was out yesterday we had hundreds of flying ants in our bedroom. I gather these larger,flying ants are queens.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuptial_flight .

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Humidity dropped

A few hours ago we had a violent storm pass through with heavy rain, hail and thunder. Now the storms have moved east towards the coast (now in the North Sea) and we are having a lovely evening with much lower humidity and pleasant evening sunshine. The image shows the storm at its height a few hours ago.
See www.lightningmaps.org .

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Hot day

We have had the hottest day of the year so far with a temperature of 32 deg C, so we spent some of the afternoon in the garden. We had tea outside. There was a gentle breeze.

Here are a few images in our garden. The first is our Crocosomia "Lucifer" and the second a cobweb on our birdbath. The latter was being well used by the wasps today. There was a sparrowhawk chasing the young swifts high above us. The frog (?) was spotted when we watered the garden.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Trident

This evening, the UK Parliament votes on whether or not to renew the Trident submarines which carry our "independent" nuclear deterrent.  I personally think this is a TOTAL waste of money. Most nations don't have this. Are we really any safer? Personally I'd rather spend the money (£100 billion?) on things that help us with 21st century threats such as terrorism.

What amazes me is why so many in the UK parliament think this is "a good idea". Sorry, but we are in NATO and are very very unlikely to fire nuclear weapons. In my view, Trident should be phased out as soon as possible.

Sorry if this is political, but I hate the whole idea of the UK having nuclear weapons at all. Were these ever to be used, it would be the end of civilisation. We should be setting an example for others to follow.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Summer at last?

Here in eastern England we have had a bad summer so far: it has been very wet and temperatures have been lower than normal. Oddly, my brother in Devon has had a good summer. Next week they are forecasting warmer weather here with sun. Temperatures of 25-22 deg C are possible here. The jet stream has been right overhead and we have seen low after low roll in with very few long sunny spells. Maybe things are changing?

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Mr Bean - sacked

The man, allegedly, who stabbed Boris Johnson - a possible UK Prime Minister candidate - in the back (metaphorically) has been sacked from the new UK Cabinet. I for one, although not a Conservative, agree with this. There is no place in the UK government for such people.

I am told Mr Gove is a bright man. His recent behaviour has left me speechless. I only hope that all around the Cabinet table are people who take theĆ­r jobs with great seriousness. They will be married to their jobs and all will have to work long, hard hours.

The Future

We now have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet. We voted to leave the EU. The future is a book still to be written. I very much hope we welcome genuine refugees fleeing conflict in their own lands.

I wish the new PM well, but it is a VERY long time go that I voted Conservative! Leaving the EU and still remaining good friends with our European neighbours will not be easy.

As I have said before, we like the idea of free trade but not free movement of people to our small island. We already are crowded with a high population density. Unlike Germany with a falling population we do not actually need people.

Of course, genuine refugees fleeing conflict are always welcome. We welcomed Hugenots, German Jews and others in the past and I hope we are still a welcoming place for those fleeing trouble in their own lands. Most British have always welcomed refugees. I remember being at school with a boy from Hungary in the late 1950s. I hope he soon felt at home.