Monday, February 28, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Ooh it's the highlight of my day - weather forecast time.  Though I don't really have anything interesting to offer.

The next couple of weeks, look likely to be dominated by high pressure, but wind light winds mainly from the east or the north, it will feel cool at times.  Some days will be cloudy, some days will be sunny.  And there is a chance of something a bit wintry coming from the Arctic in a week or so, but it isn't a likely outcome, just a possible one, say 20-30% will more likely be much to the east of the UK.

Today only reached 4.4'C in Reading.

Tuesday will be mainly cloudy, perhaps some light rain, chilly, 6'C.
Wednesday should be a bit sunnier, after a chilly start to the day, still a chance of a light shower, 7'C.
Thursday should again be a bit sunnier than the previous day, and a bit less chilly, 8'C.
Friday might even be quite reasonably sunny, after a chilly start, 10'C.
Saturday perhaps cloudier, 8'C.
Sunday probably sunnier, 8'C.

And that is the general pattern for probably the first 10 or so days of March.

Maybe something briefly more pleasant around the middle of the month, fingers crossed.

Cool & Cole

I want one of these phones:

Also of amusement, to my slightly current juvenile tastes (forgive me it is a Monday), is a post on a Hull City message board describing what someone would like to do to Cheryl Cole, namely "I would suck a fart out her arse."

This kind of offer is the most acceptable way to pull in Hull.

Roll on 5pm (ish).

Pleasantly Average

Good morning, folks, how are you?  Not sure why I bothered asking as I hardly ever get any comments added!

I had a pleasantly average weekend, a few drinks yesterday at the Oakford, and a few at this little bar called Up The Junction, at the famous Cemetary Junction, perhaps quite a few as I don't recall getting home.  Though I do remember watching a 1.5 hour documentary on the Afghanistan cricket team when I got home.

It is bloody freezing in the office today.  All my efforts are in trying to keep warm.  I have manned up and reported it to facilities.  Apparently, there are health and safety laws setting a minimum working temperature of 16'C.  Sadly I cannot find any requirement for management to send staff home if this is not met!

I don't really have anything else to say.  All I need to do is make it through to the end of the day so I can have some gravy...or maybe some fish?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Being a Dickhead's Cool

I don't have much to say.  It has not been a hugely exciting or inspiring week.  I'm tired and perhaps marginally below average on the happiness scale, but nothing that cannot be rectified by a good night's sleep tonight, and a couple of beers and a bit of socialising tomorrow.  I'm dreaming of those days of sunshine, those long summer evenings.  I just want to sit in the sun, with a beer, feeling good.  Just for a few hours.  I am craving sunshine so badly!  Patience is required though.

I do however have the Visionquest night at fabric coming up next Saturday, which I am very excited about.  Really looking forward to seeing Seth Troxler and his bats next Saturday, along with Lee Curtiss, Shaun Reeves and Ryan Crosson.

And the week after, of even more excitement, is the chance to see Ricardo Villalobos at fabric.  Last March he totally blew me away.  Just too good.  I absolutely have to go again.

This is after all, what I live for.  With a bit of luck, once these two fantastic nights are out of the way, then the weather might be starting to look a little more promising and we go into my favourite time of the year which is spring and early summer.

Until then, I have a week or so to plough through.  Until I can join the 'dickheads' of East London in trying to be cool.  Seth Troxler is cool.  He thinks all the cool kids are in London, so he must be cool.  I don't mind not being cool, as my thighs are too fat for purple leggings.  This video parady song of the East London 'dickhead' scene thoroughly amused me, it is less than three minutes, you might enjoy it.

Have a pleasant weekend x

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

I promised you a bit of early spring, and that was it.  Not quite as much, nor quite as 'warm' as I had originally expected - there is a lot of cold air nearby though, so this should not be a surprise.  I believe that we reached 13.4'C today in Reading which was pleasant but hardly unusual for February.

I also suggested that March would be colder than average, and it may even turn out to be colder than February?

But on the plus side, I think it will be quite a sunny month.

Friday will be increasingly cloudy with a band of rain coming down from the north-west in the evening, still mild, 13'C.
Saturday should be brighter but potentially with the odd sharp shower developing perhaps with a little hail and thunder, 10'C.
Sunday also has the potential for showers, more especially in the morning, and they may have a wintry flavour to them, 7'C.
Monday will see high pressure building from the north, dragging continental air in, it will be dry, unsure on sunshine amounts but there will be some, chilly, 5'C.
Tuesday and Wednesday will feel cold, with an easterly breeze, it will be fair, and there is a chance of a wintry shower, 4'C at best.

And the general trend from there is the weather to come from the north or the east, so, yes, expect something wintry.

March really could end up being colder than February, at least the first half of it anyway.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Cheryl Cole of Reading

There are some news stories that are too irresitible for me not to comment upon, even in the Daily Mail.  In these revolutionary times, I do feel the urge to comment upon such tragedies as the massacre of civilians in Libya, however I am resisting such urges as I am trying to keep my blog relatively light-hearted and amusing.  Instead, I focus my attention on persuading the government to take action/stances against such abuses, and leave such reporting to professional news reporting outfits.

However, abuses of society, such as the so-called "Cheryl Cole of Reading", I cannot help but comment upon.  It is too easy to blame the young girl herself, who is the product of UK society, circa 1997-2010 (thanks Labour).  I will leave that to the Daily Mail readers who seem to think that she looks more like Mark Owen in a wig.

She walked out of several jobs because she had to get up too early, or she got bored.  Hello.  Welcome to the real world, love.  I did say that I wasn't going to pass comment upon her, didn't I?  Oops.  Thinking back, when I was 20, I also thought the world owed me a living so I am perhaps being a tad hypocritical.  Although I kept my job and found ways to amuse myself through the boredom of repetivity without requiring the state to pay me £800 a month to keep me in a nice flat.

The real questions have to be around the state though - why do we give benefits to someone who walks out of jobs because they are bored?  And why do we give benefits to someone whose mother gives her £1,200 a month to live?

Thankfully, I see two ways out of this.  Either the current government's benefit reform will resolve such anomalies in the system, or she will now become a television star.  Given the state of television, I expect the second is the more likely outcome, especially as she has come to light on a show about to be broadcast on BBC3 called Working Girls (3rd March - get it in your diary!).  I have this feeling that I might strangely end up admiring her after watching the show, we shall see.

Speaking of which, does anyone think Andrew Marr is really worth £580,000 a year?  Apparently he works very hard, and if he worked for a private broadcaster, such as Sky, I could perhaps understand it.  Firstly, he is immensely dull, and quite a lame interviewer.  But, more importantly, the state broadcaster, the BBC, forces this upon us, and if you do not accept to pay towards his lucrative salary, you can be fined or put in jail.

Hardly Libyan standards of dictatorship, I appreciate, but surely this is not right?  The license fee should be scrapped, and replaced with a pay-as-you-watch system to download BBC programmes (many of which are of excellent quality).  Such programmes should also be made available worldwide.  Then I believe that the BBC would be able to flourish even more.  Yes, this is a privatisation model of the BBC, but one which I believe would work.  I think out government has too much reform on its hands at the moment to dare suggest it, but I reckon one year, they might just suggest some BBC reform.  But for now, we are stuck with our dear monolith.

One final thing, a potential bit of good news, in my opinion, is that the government are considering bringing clocks forward an hour.  Which in the summer, will mean an extra hour of light - and an extra hour after work to enjoy the sunshine.  I think this is a truly excellent idea.

Themes From Vapourspace

Do you ever wake up in the morning and think, "Why did I buy that?".  This time, I don't even have the excuse of inebriation, given the parlous state of my finances.

No, but I can blame Sven.

I found this video of Cocoon (Frankfurt) from New Year 2010/11, and it is typical Sven Vath at his typical suspense building, thunderous techno best.

The track is by Vapourspace, whom I have never heard of.  Probably for a good reason, seeing as their album came out in 1993.

After being inspired by track names such as "Gravitational Arch Of 10" and "Degaussing Atmospheric Charges", and also seeing a picture of the producer, Mark Gage (below), I just knew that I had to add this album to my burgeoning CD collection.

Take note, Sven, above is how a techno god should look like.

I have nothing else to say.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's All Gravy Baby

I don't have a huge amount to say yet today.  Went to Hull for the weekend for my father's 60th birthday meal, he seemed very happy to see me - my family duty is done for a while now!  I do intend on trying to get to Hull a couple more times this year.  I enjoy my trips to see my family though 2 days is enough and I am craving to get back to my life in Reading.

And my life in Reading is now more complete thanks to my lovely mother ensuring that I have enough gravy - hopefully until my Easter visit (though I doubt it).

Happy gravy day.  Sorry I don't have much to waffle on about, but the return of the orgasmic gravy granules really does require a post on it's own, and has taken up all the space in my mind.

Oh yeah, it's all gravy baby.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

So, the cold blast from the east never quite arrived in the UK, yes it is quite cold, but not as cold as it could have been.

My expectations for March were always on the cold side, with perhaps an early spring before it.

The early spring may be this week, and we might want to make the most of it.

Tuesday sees high pressure trying to build from the south but with Atlantic moisture around, it will mean a cloudy day, 7'C.
Wednesday looks like it will rain for much of the day, but be quite mild at around 13'C, maybe brighter later on.
Thursday we can be hopeful of some sunshine, and it should feel quite pleasant and almost spring-like at 13'C.
Friday will see the last of the mild air, before a cold front pushes down overnight, sunny to start but cloudy to finish, 13'C.

From then on, I am unsure what is going to happen - I am expecting more cold weather to follow this brief glimpse of what it could be like.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Love Nick Clegg

One of my favourite things to do when I feel like a few minutes procrastination, is to wind-up the Nick Clegg haters that spend all day on his Facebook page.

Simple short paragraphs like "Thanks for continuing to repair our fragile society and destroyed economy. Please do all you can to ensure that the disgraceful, selfish, lying, cheating scum of the Labour Party never ever get back into power in this country. Never again should the likes of Blair, Brown, Mandelson or Prescott be allowed anywhere near power. You might not be perfect but in comparison you are amazing." seem to cause a fair amount of upset, especially to all those poor students being forced to go to university.

I especially admire him for lying to the students.  Easy for me to say when I only had to pay £1,000.00 tuition fees a year.  Ho ho ho!  Though perhaps if I had had been charged more, I would have thought a bit more sensibly about what degree to do in the first place (seriously, why did I choose Maths?), maybe taken a year out first to work and save up some money, not spend so much on vodka and weed during those two years and maybe actually got a degree at the first time of asking rather than dropped out.

No regrets at all though, I may not have ended up in Reading had I not chosen Maths, and may not have ended up doing what I became interested in a few years later, Business Studies & Economics, and may not have ended up with such an amazing group of friends gained over the last few years.

Amusing Myself

I'm sleepy once again today.  Why do I spend all day consuming caffeine to keep me awake but as soon as I get home, sit down for 10 minutes, I feel like I have a million things I want to do and end up staying awake until 2am and end up even more tired the next day?  I nearly went to bed at 9pm last night, I was honestly about to go, but I became too obsessed with discovering new music...and now I am suffering for it.  Thankfully I cannot afford alcohol so at least it is just sleepyness, and no hangover effects!

Of amusement today, is this video of a chav on a train.  Absolutely hilarious.

Only 7 people have read my last weather forecast.  Rubbish.  After all the effort I put in!

I'm not going to let it get me down.  I have found something to put a smile on my face.  And yours, depending on your preferences.  Fancy guessing the country?

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Ooh it's that time of the week that a dozen or so of you look forward to, where I predict the weather for the weekend and try to convince you how good I am at weather forecasting.  By the way, I am open to questions for future forecasts - if you have any weather-related question I am happy to try to answer it.  I make no promises as my knowledge is good, not excellent, but I am up for the challenge.

Those who have read my recent forecasts will know that it is all about the battle between mild air to the west and very cold to the east, at the moment, for the UK.

This is nothing compared to the difference in temperature in air masses over Oklahoma recently, -33'C was recorded last week in a snowstorm in a place called Bartlesville, 22'C yesterday!

Wouldn't 22'C be nice right now?  Not going to happen though - 19.7'C I think is the highest temperature ever reached in the UK in February - the earliest 22'C has happened in the UK is 9th March.

That said, I think I can offer something promising for next week, as previously suggested.

Friday, more cloud than sun, dry, 9'C, rain overnight
Saturday, rain to start, which will hang on all day the further east you go, 9'C.
Sunday should be reasonable, though it may become rather cloudy in the afternoon, between 8 and 10'C depending on cloud amounts.
Monday looks like rain at times, probably two bands, one crossing in the morning and one in the afternoon, 9'C.
Tuesday, high pressure should start to build but I'm not hopeful for sunshine, and there may be a weak band of rain crossing during the day too, 11'C though possible.
Wednesday should brighten up and looks like 14'C.  I don't rule out 16'C being reached if there is more sunshine than currently projected.  This is your early spring!
Thursday is quite far away to be sure of, but at the moment there may be a band of light rain crossing, 12'C - but it won't be much of a feature and if it dies out before it gets to the south of England, then maybe there will be something in the way of sunshine and 14'C instead.

Current projections then show a week of high pressure just to our south-east - a perfect position, so there should be some sunny days if this comes off.  Some cloudier days too.  Temperatures should be between 12'C...and maybe, just maybe up to 18'C on one or two days.  Something around 14'C to 15'C is more likely as a maximum...but if the high pressure places perfectly then 18'C is a possibility for the beginning of March.

However, this may not happen.  The high pressure could align itself to our west or north instead allowing for much colder air instead.

But I favour the pleasant and mild outcome to the cold one.

Shame it doesn't match my long-range forecasts...but I'll be quite happy to have a little vague warmth and be wrong!



I have 7 alarms set now to wake me up in the morning, albeit all on my telephone which is perhaps where my problem arises - not one of them went off the other morning - very strange.

Thankfully I did manage to wake up in time - somehow.  Quite scary though that I could easily have slept through.

The other day I came across a leaving speech for when I worked at Natwest, circa 2000-2003 (I keep all sorts of sentimental/amusing crap) - in it was quoted my lateness record for the first 4 months probationary period which was 6 occasions - not the end of the world, unless you take into account that the average period of lateness each time was just under 3 hours.

This was just after coming out of university so perhaps to be expected, seeing as I hadn't quite worked out that a bottle of vodka and some hash-cakes at a random student party on a Wednesday night was not condusive to a successful career (please forgive me for the hash-cakes - if Barack Obama can do coke as a youngster and still become president, then I can eat hash-cakes when I am 20 and still achieve in life - not my cup of tea nowadays due to the lethargy it induces, much prefer a beer or three - I have things I want to achieve in life other than getting the munchies and fawning over Bob Marley).

Also quite alarming is that they are planning to replicate the London Eye - in Hull.  I guess this will be a tourist attraction - just like Hull's other famous tourist attractions like The Deep (the world's only submarium!) and the Tidal Surge Barrier.

And not forgetting the annual Hull Fair - Europe's largest collection of chavs, sound-systems playing happy hardcore and intelligent upper class travellers shouting "scream if you want to go faster".  Not forgetting the many stalls selling brandy snap, ladies telling your future fortunes in life and the stray religious guy trying to tell you all not to live a life of sin any more.  Yes - Hull Fair has it all.

Who is up for the road-trip to Hull?

Oh and another thing, in true Hullite fashion, I have figured out how to get some things through the self-check-outs at Sainsbury's for approx half the price - I think it only works for things that need weighing, not sure yet.  Anyway, if you weigh for example a bunch of bananas, weigh them half off the scales - it will only price it up partly.  This will bring up a double weighing error, with an option of "Are you using your own bag".  If you press the button twice quickly, it will accept it.  This is advice from someone who works there, so I assume it is legitimate.  5p a banana, thank you very much.

Another alarming thing is that Fifa and Uefa have been trying to take away the right that our government has set for the World Cup and Euro's to be guaranteed to broadcast on BBC/ITV.  They argue that this diminishes the amount of TV rights they can earn.  Yet another disgusting action by those who fraudulenty run the world of football.  I would like to see the English FA withdraw from Fifa competitions - yes I know this means that we would not be competiting in the World Cup (of fraud) but I think our national pride is being destroyed by allowing such corrupt bodies to rule our national game.  Thankfully the European Union have blocked them in their attempts so the World Cup shall remain on BBC/ITV.

Finally I have started my own group on Facebook.  I have no idea what I am going to do with it, if anything.  It may just be as pointless as my fan page.  I have 7 fans - 1 of whom isn't a friend.  1 of whom though is me.  And my group has 1 other member than me.  My online presence is growing all the time!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ricardo Villalobos

My hero.  Oh yeah.

January's Top 5 Tunes

You may know that I have another blog, my top tunes blog.  I have decided that I would like to list each month, the most popular tunes, by searches to my top tunes blog, so here goes:

Benoit & Sergio - Walk & Talk (207 views)
The Gathering - In My System (Jef K Remix) (11 views)
Deniz Kurtel - Yeah (Jamie Jones Shower Aquafunk Mix) (8 views)
Nicolas Jaar - Student Hairstyle (6 views)
Blehorkestar Bakija Bakic - Fizheuer Zieheuer (Todd Terje Edit) (5 views)

I think it is quite interesting how one tune has got way more people to my top tunes blog than any other - and probably all others put together!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

I have been suggesting for a while now that there was a distinct possibility of a cold and snowy spell, which would have backed up my long-range winter forecast.

I would have loved to have seen this come true, but it seems my heart is set to be broken.  There is however, hope of something even better than snow...dare I suggest the possibility of t-shirt weather in February for a day or so?  Again, same as this snow thing, I cannot promise, only suggest it could happen.

Forecasting is about probabilities at times - for example I can say that there will be showers on a specific day, but you might miss them all and have a lovely day, or you could be 10 miles away and get a constant stream of showers all day.  So when I say there is a chance, it is just that, I am alerting to the possibility of somewhat remarkable weather, I am not promising it.  When I am not certain of the weather, I will always try to give my estimated percentage chance of my favoured outcome.

So the battle of mild and wet Atlantic, and snow and cold from the east, which I have been talking about for a while is going to see the slight favourite win out, the Atlantic, which is a bit boring really.

Tuesday will see a band of rain coming up from the south during the morning hours, followed by showers, which could be quite lively for this time of year - possibly with a rumble of thunder, ooh!  8'C.
Wednesday will be fairly cloudy, rain will push in during the day though most of this will fall to the west, 7'C.
Thursday will be a similar kind of day, chance of some showery rain, especially to the west, but it might stay dry, 8'C.
Friday, mainly dry, chance of rain later in the west, slightly milder, 9'C.  This was the day that the cold weather should have come in, were it to win, I really cannot see this happening now.  I don't rule out snow to the north-east of the country.  But it is looking increasingly unlikely.
Saturday should see high pressure building from the south, though there will likely still be this band of rain to get rid of first, it could end sunny and pleasant for many though, 11'C.
Sunday, high pressure starts to assert itself and the air circulation is being fetched all the way from central Africa, eventually - if it were July then the coming days could see temperatures of 35'C easily...however, it is February, so 13'C, assuming it is sunny, as there could be a fair amount of cloud around too.
Monday looks cloudy with showery rain, but mild at 12'C - if there is sunshine then it could be 15'C?  But I expect more cloud, that is the way it looks right now anyway.
Tuesday and Wednesday should see something more in the way of sunshine and the warm African air will have reached us by then, so 14'C if cloudy, perhaps 16'C, maybe 17'C, possibly 18'C if we get a really sunny day (fairly cloudy is more likely).

I remain convinced that there is more cold and wintry weather to come in March.  I did allude some weeks back to the possibility of an early spring (albeit after a cold snap which is now almost definitely not happening), and next week could be it.

So time to get your spring clothes out.

But don't put your winter clothes away yet - there is a lot of cold air to our east and north - it wouldn't take much effort for it to come flooding our way when the Atlantic switches off again, which it inevitably will at some point.

Valentine's Rant!

What goes up, must come down - this time last week I was full of joy, but today I am destinctly not.

The chaos that a blocked kitchen sink brings to life is not helpful, nor am I particularly appreciative of being back at work, or the fact that it is Monday.

But what lurks at the back of my mind is that society is reminding me of my failure to find love.

I have always despised Valentine's Day.  I would probably despise it more if I were in a relationship though, with the expectations of gifts, treats, surprises, etc.

Though I have to say Halloween, a celebration of the scary which encourages the idea of begging to children, is a celebration I have come to despise more.

Perhaps this is because I have come to accept in recent years that being single actually isn't a bad thing - I did use to hope to find love but I have concluded that this is not a goal I should set myself as it is not something easily possible to achieve.

I have learnt to love myself, for all my faults (minor, of course!) and as such am just really not that bothered any more about finding the love thing.

I can achieve happiness in many other ways and don't need this difficult and seemingly impossible idea to come true to be happy.

Society seems set to try to upset me today with pointing out that everything is apparently better in a couple.

I appreciate that there is a sound economic argument for sharing rent and bills, and also perhaps love could replace a little of the partying, but I am reasonably happy as I am and do no longer feel the need to try to meet this particular societal expectation.

However, I still don't like 14th February and I would rather it didn't exist.

On the positive side, I have found out that Ricardo Villalobos is playing fabric on 12th March - however, whether I will find anyone to come with me to see him is another matter.  My heart might end up being broken.  Or maybe I will just go by myself - after all, I am getting quite happy being on my own!

Please allow me to be miserable today, as a perenially single person, I am supposed to be miserable today, that is what Valentine's Day is all about.

I shall endeavour to have something more positive to say tomorrow.

Lots of...actually, save the love thing for another time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Believe it or not, it looks like this winter will end up being less cold than the last one, assuming you take winter to be December 1st to February 28th.  So much cold air early on, and plenty of mild air afterwards.

I remain convinced that we are not finished with winter.

There is one almighty deep pool of cold air far to our east which is desperate to get here, but at the same time the Atlantic is very active and there are some major storms in the ocean, and a very intense blast of the jetstream is expected to our west.

It really is quite a battle - usually the Atlantic would win but I remain convinced that eventually the beast from the east will win, perhaps only briefly, but that is a victory.

Friday looks mainly cloudy with some outbreaks of rain, it will be mild, perhaps 13'C if we get a little sunshine which is possible but not especially likely.
Saturday sees a little ridge of high pressure building so it should be sunny, perhaps starting cloudy, 9'C.
Sunday, a band of rain will cross the country, and it may drag its heels, nothing too heavy, starting to feed in some of the cold air from the east too, 7'C.
Monday I am not overly sure about, the approaching low pressure may slip south towards France, giving us some showers perhaps, 7'C.
Tuesday, dry, increasingly cloudy, and perhaps a slight chill in the wind, 6'C.

Wednesday looks like being the key day to decide the weather for the rest of the month.  Another low pressure approaches - the track it takes will determine whether the cold air can flood over the UK.  I suspect that it will dart to the south-east towards Spain and then allow colder air in behind.

This does depend quite a lot on the behaviour of the jetstream, if it goes south then definitely we are in for sustained cold, if it splits and goes above and below, then we will probably get a cold snap.

Currently, it looks like there will be a frost on Wednesday night, and Thursday it will be sunny but chilly, 6'C.

If we are going to get this cold air, then Thursday will be the day that it really starts.  And there will be a potential for snow if it comes off.

It might do, but it might not.

I am still expecting a wintry March.  Lots to be interested about.

Oh and by the way, global temperatures have dropped significantly in the last couple of months.

James On The Radio!

My very good friend, Rick Maia, has a radio show 6-8pm every Tuesday evening on Global1FM, playing a nice, fairly deep house groove - this week he not only had the excellent Matt Powell as a guest DJ, but also his excellency himself, yes me, James Winfield - though not as a DJ (I only DJ in Ibiza, sorry), but as a weather forecaster.

Click here to listen to the whole show - my forecast is around the 1 hr 47 minute mark.

Fame at last!

Also worth a mention is Ricardo Villalobos who I think has to now be my favourite DJ (sorry Sven) - I have discovered an hour set (or probably an hour of an 8 hour set more accurately) and surprise, surprise, I know none of the tracks on there and they all blow mind mind.  Totally recommend it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Happy Tuesday! And Happy 60th Birthday Father!

I know it's naughty but I'm going to take 5 minutes out of my working day to say what a wonderful day today appears to be.

It might be cold but the sun is shining and it looks glorious outside - I just have to get a few words out of me!

Secondly, it is my father's 60th birthday today and I am increasingly immensely grateful for his influence upon my life, I'm not sure that he is going to be too appreciative of turning 60 but I think he should think of it as an achievement - ever close to being able to retire and do whatever the hell you want - the world can finally become your oyster.  That'll be going to the horse racing every week, following Hull FC and Hull City more...sounds like a good life to me!  And maybe by time he retires he will be slightly more adept at using the internet and may even dare look at my blog and discover this post from 5 years ago?

I've also seen that one of the weather websites I frequent is going to run a competition to go storm chasing in USA - that is like my dream holiday, two weeks driving around strange towns full of people like George Bush chasing dangerous but often frustratingly elusive tornadoes.  The chance of winning is probably low especially if there is actually some work to do for it as I am very much an amateur in the world of meteorology, but I cannot afford the £2,000.00 or so that a storm chasing holiday would cost, so this is my only chance!

And I am still in such a good mood after a fantastic weekend in London with several wonderful and truly loved friends - Friday night at the Horse & Groom in Shoreditch which was a disco delight (though it was supposed to be Cargo for Ketoloco but someone, not me may I hasten to add, made quite an elemental mistake upon trying to enter said club and I had to go rescue them as they couldn't be left wandering the streets of London by themselves), by all accounts I had a better night than those at Ketoloco as the music was apparently a bit gash.

Saturday we made it to fabric, which was exceptional as always, shame I died on my feet unusually early for me at 630am.  Every trip to fabric puts a huge smile on my face, and this was no different.  I had no expectations for any of the DJs but they all impressed.  I rather enjoyed the boumpty bump house of Derrick Carter, also the Freak n Chic guys in room 2 were very good, sometimes a little dull but then suddenly excellent - some good minimal classics thrown in too.

So of course I am in a good mood, I can laugh off any shit thrown at me, and I have a feeling that better things are just around the corner for me too with a little work and effort on my part.

All is good and I hope it is for you - back to work as I have a deadline to meet and I need to be out fairly sharpish to get a train to see two of my most wonderful friends (I have quite a few of these!) x

Monday, February 07, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Last week when I made my forecast, I was getting a bit excited about the prospect of a return to some real winter weather, and the prospect is still there.

There is a huge deep pool of cold air coming towards us from the east, it is thousands of miles away at the moment, but it is starting to gather itself and gain traction and will soon sweep across Russia.

At the same time, the Atlantic to our west is also much more energised than it has been over recent months.

These two forces are set to collide somewhere, and if they collide over the UK, there could be a proper winter blizzard for us.

It is only at the possible stage at the moment - I say 40% chance.  Overall the trend for this week is fairly dry and fairly mild.

Tuesday will be fine, probably sunny, 9'C.
Wednesday will see a southerly breeze pick up (great in the summer!), I am expecting more cloud, maybe enough for a spot of rain, 10'C.
Thursday it gets milder, 12'C, again plenty of cloud and I expect some showery rain, nothing too significant though.  Maybe some sunny breaks too.
Friday still mild, maybe even a 13'C if we get a little sunshine, however there is likely to be some rain to the west of the country and it probably will rain at some point.
Saturday I am hopeful of sunshine, though back down to 8'C.
Sunday and Monday will probably see a band of rain coming across - it will be quite thin as the cold air from the east will be trying to push its way in at this point, so the rain could last 12-24 hours when it sets it, but I don't think it will be heavy - it may stay fine on Sunday during the day.

Once the rain clears, I expect the cold air to start to filter in, and temperatures to drop to around 2'C, with cold nights.

And then the fun and games begin - around Thursday 17th February, cold, proper cold winds and with an increasing chance of snow.  Still too far out to work out any details or have any confidence though.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Bit of a waffler this one so if you need weather facts (well, expected facts), scroll down.

My long range winter weather forecast thoughts were for a rather cold December, a milder interlude towards the end, an unsettled January with some colder bits with a return to winter proper in February - and I had February down as the most significant of the months for wintryness.  I did also say that this winter would either be colder or snowier (or both) than the last one...I couldn't quite work out which.

December I am happy with though I didn't expect it to be quite that severe on my long-range forecast, my milder weather for Christmas took quite a bit longer to arrive than expected and January I'm ok with.

To be happy with my original long-term winter forecast, I really do need a cold and/or snowy February.

Going into February with temperatures about to reach 12'C - it wasn't looking too good until I looked at my favourite model this morning which suddenly showed -10'C Siberian cold with loads of snow over the south of the UK by Valentine's Day - I started to get excited!

Now I have seen models predicting severe winter weather so many times over the years that have just not produced anything for the UK - they do for much of Europe but it never quite gets this far west.  The last couple of winters and this one have been a bit different from the normal though.

I like to think I am too wise to get excited about one or two models matching my long-range expectations, as they have let me down so many times in the past.

So, I am just going to say that my confidence in a significant spell of wintry weather in February, which was around 80% originally, and had dropped to 30% until this morning, has now risen to say, 50%.

Something is definitely brewing. But it won't be here until mid February, perhaps not even until March.  It might be as I expected originally - it might just be a glancing blow.  Monday's update should see more confidence in the solution.

But for now, the jetstream is heading straight towards us (please can you let me know if you experience increased stress levels around you or within yourself over the next few days...just a theory I am working on) which means wind and rain, though the rain probably won't reach the south of the UK - the midlands and the north could get quite a soaking.

Friday - cloudy and noticeably windy.  Perhaps some bits of light rain but mild, 11'C.

Saturday - still windy, Reading should be to the south of the rain band and if the sun comes out which is possible but not especially likely, it could actually feel quite ok, I don't rule out a 13'C!  Equally there may be some patchy light rain too though.
Sunday - very similar to Saturday, perhaps with an increased chance of some light patchy rain, less chance of sunny breaks, 12'C.
Monday should see some more organised rain and slightly lower temperatures of 9'C.
Tuesday sees high pressure building, so it could be quite sunny, 8'C.
Wednesday might see us picking up air from north Africa but don't get excited - during summer this would mean hot and potentially thundery, in February it means nothing like.  8'C, probably dry, probably some sunshine.  I'm not especially confident on my forecast for this day but it will be something like this.

Then it is a question of where does this big deep pool of cold air coming from Siberia go.  Will it reach the UK?  If so, when?  Or will it travel further south towards Italy and Spain?  Monday - I should know better.

Either way, still expecting more wintry weather in March.

Anaesthetising Women

According to scientists, women can be anaethetised from painful symptoms by looking at a photo of their loved one.

So, seeing as women seem to cause all the painful moments in my life, and for some bizarre illogical way that makes no sense to me I still love women (I admit to all my female readers you are a source of delight too), I thought I should do something positive, given the above scientific advice, to try to ensure that I receive more delight than pain in the future.

So, here goes:

I trust that this will be enough, though the article does go on to say that hugs have an excellent affect too, and I do like a good hug, and I won't let my male readers down either - I offer hugs and man hugs (those ones which are less of an embrace and more about patting the other's back in a manly fashion).

I have my one to one this afternoon at work which could be interesting, especially seeing as I have to admit my performance isn't up to my usual standards at the moment in one or two areas, like my punctuality for example which is very strange seeing as out of work I pride myself on it.  I think it all boils down to a lack of motivation, which stems from being unhappy at work.  I hope for a positive and fruitful discussion, but equally I am aware of the potential for something not positive, given my frustration from going from a job where I met and normally far exceeded all expectations to one where I am not meeting all expectations and I don't understand why this is the case.  It isn't exactly as if I like making my life easy!

I daren't even promise to improve my punctuality given how hard I am finding it to get out of bed in the morning.  I don't trust myself to be able to do it even though I really want to!

Although my confidence at work is much reduced from normal, I'm not overly worried as I know that despite my imperfections, I have been successful for the majority of my career so far and it will come back.  It would be nice if it happens whilst in my current role as I don't want to let myself down let alone the company I enjoy working for, but there will always be other opportunities for me if one day I finally admit defeat and look for something else that I can once again be a success in, and get my motivation and desire to do my very best back to what it used to be.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mere Imperfections

I have to say humans are really irritating me a bit this week.

Yesterday saw the highest number of people criss-cross my walking direction at unusual angles forcing me to slow my pace or avoid walking into them - in the space of about 10 metres at Morrison's last night, 4 staff members cut in front of me without looking where they were going.  I know I tend to walk at a faster pace than most people, especially the dithering snails in shopping centres/supermarkets, but this is no reason to walk with eyes closed.

My bus driver curse struck again this morning.  When I get on a Reading Buses' bus, I put my £1.70 in the hopper thing and say "single" (note I do not say please or thank you to Reading Buses' bus drivers due to previous lack of customer service and politeness - any other company I continue my fairly high level of good manners) - this morning the driver pulled me up to have a slightly heated discussion as to whether I had informed him of what ticket I wanted.  Most people normally understand me - and surely he could see what coins I had put in the hopper.  If not, then perhaps I shall just put 30p in there from now on and say "single"?

Then this morning, I went to the fridge to have a sausage roll which I had left there yesterday - only to find it has been replaced by umpteen bowls of salad, etc.  My sausage roll is nowhere to be seen.  Everyone who works here could afford to buy about 25,000 sausage rolls a year so I am not quite sure why anyone would steal it.

So I went down to buy over-priced breakfast only to find the bacon cold and shrivveled.

Happy days.

And I don't have much work to do at the moment - the main system is awaiting edit access whilst reports are being run so I am left to twiddle my thumbs a fair amount - though this is the first time for a few weeks, perhaps since the beginning of December where I haven't had that much to do, pleasingly my job has improved in that respect.

I think the reason why I am moaning a bit is a lack of sleep.  Yes, I know this is my fault.  My thirst for information gets the better of me, especially late at night.

In reality though, I have plenty to be happy about and look forward to - I like a little moan and it makes me feel better, or at least put things into perspective.  This weekend will see a trip to London and my first spot of clubbing this year (an hour in the awful Mango with tinny distorted music blasted into your ears and obstrusive security in your face does not class as clubbing) to a rather excellent night called Ketoloco - for those that don't know, it was started as an after-party in a basement flat in Leeds, inspired by Circo Loco in Ibiza and, erm, perhaps something else one can find in Ibiza.  Or most after-parties.  Now throwing parties across the country and quite regularly in London too - the last one I went to in May was absolutely top-class fun, and a tiny bit messy.  All on a Sunday too.  OK, the Monday was a bank holiday - I am not so cool after all.

And I have my Dad's 60th birthday with a trip to the beautiful Hull to look forward to.

And a couple of trips to fabric at the end of February/beginning of March.  Fingers crossed that Ricardo Villalobos is playing there at the end of March like he has done the last few years - that was the musical highlight of my year, so inspiring.

One thing that is much interesting me at the moment, and one of the reasons why I took about 4 hours to go to bed from the moment I decided that I should (along with more weather research) is uprisings against oppression in the Middle East.  Egypt is the main one of interest as that is the one where it looks like a dictator which is responsible for subjugation, torture and death of it's own citizens - and in particular it's bloggers for dissent against the leadership (thankfully for me last year Gordon Brown was just incompetent and destroyed the country - in many other countries I would have been arrested and beaten, or worse, for blogging my disapproval of the running of the country) - now things seem to be changing, and I suspect that the confidence that the opposition gets from being able to communicate through blogs, Facebook and Twitter, what is going on, is proving a major factor.

I am quite inspired.  Whether it will spread to even worse regimes like Sudan or Iran is another matter - but a few weaker ones would not surprise me.

Certainly puts any mere imperfections in my life such as stroppy bus drivers into perspective...not that I really needed it to, I just fancied a little moan.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week - halfway to the weekend now.

Apologies that my guest writer has not followed through on their promised writings.  I know they read my blog.  I was very excited but it doesn't look like it is going to happen.