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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Wamfest

There are often things to do in Reading that you wouldn't necessarily expect, and I wouldn't have discovered this without a nod from my good friend Josie, who mentioned it a while ago.  How odd that the only person I know who seems to know about this lives in Australia?

Anyway, Wamfest is a festival about the weather, art and music, with the weather being the predominant theme.

I spent an hour of my time there, I could have spent more had I planned for it as it is always good to meet people who share my passions with a similar or greater level of passion as I do.  Maybe I will have to have a stall there next year for my local weather forecasting service?  I need to build a reputation first though and that takes time, a hell of a lot of time and I think I would get a lot of criticism from the scientific community as I am not a scientist, however I do have an ability and the balls to make predictions which scientists often don't have.

I had a chat with a lady from the Royal Meteorological Society, which I had heard of but don't really know much about, and moved on to speak to The Weather Club and signed up to be a member as I rather like the look of their magazine, and membership was a bargain at a special price of £10 (I think it is normally £20) and it came with a free Galileo Thermometer, ooh how nice.


I asked the young girl who was helping her mother out on the stall at The Weather Club what her favourite part of the weather was, expecting some response like "sunshine" but she told me that she was really interested in space weather.  Well, that took me back quite a bit.  I guess she was around 9-10 years old - wow this next generation is incredibly intelligent, I hope my generation don't mess up the world as much as the generation currently running it.  Space weather.  At that age.  Wow.

I then went on to have a look at a chart depicting weather events in Berkshire, and it shows a gradual warming of the climate since the late 19th Century, and suggested a continuing rise.  I discussed various recent weather events with someone who has been recording local observations since the 1970's, though I am not sure if he was representing any organisation in particular.

I did then come across the University of Reading and their Meteorology department but they did not seem overly like they were interested in communicating so I moved onto the Met Office, who also seemed a tad reluctant to communicate, I did try to engage in a conversation about climate change and whether it should be separate to meteorology in an organisational sense but did not get very far.

I think the event overall is an excellent idea, a truly excellent idea, a perfect place to have it, however it wasn't attended very well when I went which is not so much due to the nature of the festival but the type of place and society Reading is, in that it is quite difficult to connect to people if you just stand there, you have to go out and grab them and get their attention.

I hope this event becomes an annual thing because it really could turn into something very special for the town and the organisations involved, perhaps a bit more 'nowness' is required by the organisers to turn it from something very interesting and minimally attended to something more spectacular, engaging and worthwhile, and perhaps even internationally recognised in time to come.

The whole thing should really have been done over the course of a week or perhaps 9-10 days as it would have generated interest as it went along, it isn't really one of those things that you can just pop in and out as you feel and be totally satisfied.

I am really pleased that I went and I hope this is not a one off and that there will be more to come.