It’s the weather, right?

29 February 2020 Cogitation 9 First off, if today is your birthday, Happy Leap Day Birthday! Imagine, 29 February created long ago just for you. I trust you’ve found old and new ways to make the most of your youthful years. Here’s a Cornish language happy birthday greeting: Penn-bloedh lowen! Go 29!

Featured image: Visiting after the service last Sunday at St Anta & All Saints.

Two storms, Ciara and Dennis, wreaked havoc across the UK in February, especially in Wales and Yorkshire. The force of water and wind have left people, communities and regions in shambles. Storm Jorge is arriving this weekend, posing new challenges especially for displaced people and overtaxed emergency services. In Carbis Bay we’ve had blue sky, fluffy clouds, dark clouds that let loose with hail as we walked to lunch, back to blue sky.

It’s the weather, right?

Clear sky and rain-threatening clouds earlier this week move east across the Atlantic from St Ives, far left, over Carbis Bay,.

Yes, no. Beyond meteorological reports of what’s happening, climate scientists reveal why we’re seeing more intense storms, more rain, warming temperatures, rising sea levels. Extreme weather has links to climate change.

Government leaders who brush off the science of climate change show a lack of interest in hard and fast evidence, indeed denial of the same. For whatever reason, they’re “more interested in policy-based evidence than in evidence-based policies.” I pinched the policy / policies quote from an opinion piece on holding government to account, by Simon Wren-Lewis, emeritus professor of economics and fellow of Merton College, Oxford. The plan of action some governments adopt fly in the face of sobering reality, nakedly reversing the Paris Accords. Other governments, thankfully, are taking actions to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Go Greta! Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg came to England yesterday to take part in a youth climate strike in Bristol. The environmental movement calls for global action and 17-year-old Greta serves as a relentless global leader.

The other global news concerns Coronavirus (Covid-19). Two weeks ago the UK had 9 cases, right now it’s 20. Worldwide there were 50,000 cases two weeks ago, as of today there are 83,000. The message is not to panic. Practice good hygiene. Use and bin a tissue, or sneeze into your sleeve. Wash your hands or use hand gel. Wash your hands properly. That means extended, at least 20 seconds worth of washing with soap and water.

This may be counter-intuitive, unless you have a cold or cough, do not wear a mask. Masks are for people with colds or flu, not really a sustained protection for healthy people. The advice goes on, avoid handshaking, keep a greater distance in communicating with people who are unwell, and pointedly, stay home and call a doctor or medical hotline if you have a fever and dry cough.

Here I go, talking about the two leading news items people are already aware of. And how have I avoided saying anything about Brexit? Only that it’s a done deal with the details to be worked out by the end of 2020. Someone referred to the negotiations that affect the 500 million people in the EU as the UK and EU working to unscramble an omelet.

It’s time to move on to a recap of the week in photos. Be cautious. Be positive. Be well!

County Cornwall. We spend most of our time in West Cornwall: St Ives / Carbis Bay, Penzance, Falmouth, Truro.

The week in photos

We attended the Shrove Tuesday Pasty and Pancakes, with Quiz, evening at St Anta Church. The BBC Morning Breakfast news program featured the pancake making part of the day, but said nothing about Lent, where Christians remember the events that led up to and culminated in the death of Jesus Christ, Lent being the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Saturday.

Teams work on answers to the quiz before enjoying pasties and pancakes on Shrove Tuesday at St Anta Church. Our team of four, came in third, five points from first. Our score would have been improved were it not for brain freeze on some “obvious” answers. Sure, sure.

iNews gives this succinct summary, What does ‘Shrove Tuesday” Mean? Origins and meaning behind Pancake Day, by Rhona Shennan (February 25): “The expression ‘Shrove Tuesday’ is derived from the old middle English word ‘shriven’, which referred to going to confession to repent for “things you have done wrong. Because Lent always starts on a Wednesday, people would go to confession the day before. , , ,”

Also, “Shrove Tuesday comes from the old English custom of using up all the leftover fattening ingredients in the house before Lent so that people were ready to fast. The ingredients that people tended to have in their houses were eggs and milk.

“To ensure that these ingredients didn’t go to waste, pancakes became the perfect way of using them up, by simply mixing them with some flour.” There you have it. Thank you Rhona Shennan.

Carbis Bay Beach looking east as we’re walking west into St Ives.
Approaching St Ives on the South West Coast Path.
Porthminster Beach and beyond, St Ives. We stopped at Porthminster Beach Cafe for lunch, witnessing as we ate full sun, then a lashing of hail and return to sun.
Spotted in the Hayle Estuary wildlife sanctuary as we walked to Hayle.
Gorse, coming into bloom earlier than last year.
Hyacinth at Penlee Gallery in Penzance.
Fine exhibit of 130 photographs from 150 years of local life. From the museum guide: “The exhibition is a celebration of work and play in West Cornwall. Although there are instances of the negative side of work there are also plenty of examples of the conviviality, camaraderie, challenge and creativity that can make work meaningful.”
The Admiral Benbow Inn in Penzance, opened in 1696, offers boatloads of history, fine food and drink in 2020.
This winter robin kept its eye on us, even as it sang, as we walked from the Carbis Bay train halt to our nearby flat.
May every February 29 birthday celebrant not be forgotten!

Just brewed a cup of tea. Waiting for the day when I can take it out on the terrace. I could right now, but I can wait, too.

-John

6 thoughts on “It’s the weather, right?

    1. Fond memory, despite the terror of UK-centric quiz. Would you believe, our quiz partners were Neil and Jude, last year’s winners who gave you and Steve the big chocolate rabbit. We came within five points of winning, thanks to a brain freeze on answers Marty and I should have been able to come up with. All good fun, nonetheless.

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  1. Oh to be near water. Calm water that is. I hope none of these fierce storms land upon your doorstep. The flowers blooming are such a joy to see.
    Still lots of fresh new snow here but the sun is shining brightly and the snow sparkles. I hope the crocuses realize it’s March and will soon appear. I wonder what the weather was like when mom was born, her birthday being tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures this coming week.
    Kaye

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    1. Yes, the joys of a seaside seat on the sofa. I’ve been reading yesterday’s massive newspaper, The Observer. In the matter of four hours we’ve seen full sun, sea-view-obliterating cloud, sun again, rain, sun out the kitchen window to the west, menacing cloud to the east, now pretty clear. We’ll venture out for lunch at the Badger in Leland, seeing how the rain has affected the footpath partway there. Meanwhile, having a cup of tea. Good to be here. Cheers!

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  2. Lovely, Grace says. Especially enjoy the pictures.
    Don says interesting, very fascinating.
    Keep the posts coming!

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    1. The photos do capture what we’re seeing (loveliness all around) and doing (interesting, even when we’re kept inside by wind and rain). The sun has made frequent appearances on this Monday morning, between lashings of rain. We’ll soon venture out, camera in hand, breathing sea air, careful of mud, lunch in mind.

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