Following up on my previous meteorological observations from two decades of writing a blog I have to conclude this was just the most astonishing summer. I am afraid to say global warming is without a doubt alive and kicking and did we reap the benefits in Northern Europe this summer ‘oh yeah baby it was da’ bomb’. I do feel terribly sorry for the polar bears and the Inuit’s working along the fractured ice caps at the poles but from a purely selfish standpoint and living in London it is marvellous. It was pretty much 25-33c full sun and blue sky for 3 months non-stop and when you live in a country that is normally grey, raining and drizzly something magical happens when the sun shines down. The gorgeous girls in London wear very skimpy outfits, everyone is glowing with happiness, health and good looks, no one cares about work, you can smell BBQ’s every night and the sound of laughter across the neighbourhood and beer bottles clinking together is the sound of music to my ears. Perhaps because I don’t need to take public transport for work I reap the benefits even more with daily trips into the garden to feel those warm rays. Yes I know the heatware caused widespread droughts, hose pipe bans, crop failures, wildfires, trouble sleeping at night, increased stress, but come on folks did you forget about all the fantastic moments sitting with a cold beer enjoying the company of friends smelling that delicious food on the BBQ. Hot summer days with continuous BBQ’s are great as long as you are not a pig, chicken, cow, aubergine or courgette. I love the sun and finally I can say that my Vitamin D is overflowing and when the heatwave ended on August 7th it was actually quite nice to see grey skies, feeling the cooler weather and after a few days of rain my garden looks as green as I can ever remember it.
Photos that remind me of Heatwave in 2018
Every three years my in-laws come to Europe for some adventure and since our last convoy in 2015 where we visited 7 countries in 10 days it was time again for the Great Dane to be travelling on the road not travelled with 3 sleeping Malaysian Chinese passengers and two half-baked ones on the back seat. This time it was minus my brother in law who remained in KL with his other half and our dog Miro was watching us from doggie heaven wishing us safe travels. He was a loyal and dependable co-pilot but the girls didn’t miss his breath and smell I am of course referring to the dog and not the other passengers. There was a sense of cold case files on this trip. My in-laws had a church wedding on the 25th of August 1973 in Salzburg but this was during a time with no mobile phones, no digital photography, it was 10 years before PC’s and as a result they had lost all evidence of where this event took place. But we did have three old photographs with wild hair, bell bottoms and Asian Abba lookalikes. So our detective work began could we find the church based on those photographs?
I am quite ruthless when it comes to driving trips. The waffen SS would envy my efficiency. My father in-law is 77 years old and my mother in-law is 70 so they are not exactly spring chickens and I kept them on a tough travel regime with strict routines. I only allow each passenger a small amount of water so we don’t need to stop for regular breaks, secondly I feed passengers plenty of animal protein so I stop their digestive system from functioning so they don’t need the restroom for 3 days for a number 2. Each stop at a gas stations looks like a McLaren F1 pit stop, I jump out of the car and fill it up as quickly as possible, rush everyone around with loud commands to ensure maximum efficiency and minimum waste of time – each passenger checks the tyre pressure on their side. I want to get to the destination as quickly as possible. In laws from Malaysia always nag about the importance of drinking lots of water so for them to get into my car takes a lot of courage and I keep telling them the human body is not a human toilet – don’t flush it too often you will lose all the good minerals.
We travelled 16-17 hours from London to Berlin, set off at 4am and 1 fresh Viking arrived with 5 emancipated Malaysian Chinese passengers at 20.30. The next three days we did between 14,000-20,000 steps daily to explore Berlin during a 35c heatwave, this was followed by 3 days in Prague with even more walking in even hotter weather. At this point it didn’t really matter how much water they drank they were dehydrated so never asked for me to stop the car – All I heard was “We love the car’s air-con, please don’t stop again, the old building looks just fine from the car”. After those two great cities we arrived in Austria 65 km south of Salzburg where we had a beautiful chalet in the Alps. The Austrian’s are wonderful and clever too. They managed for Hitler to become German and Beethoven Austrian….enough said. We went hiking, swimming, ate Wiener schnitzel and the fresh Alpine air was a most welcome break. On our second day in the Alps we began the detective work to locate the church in Salzburg? Was it still around? Had it been demolished? 45 years is a long time in urban planning but law and behold the Austrian’s had left Salzburg untouched since Mozart was born there and we found it on our first try along the beautiful river. By studying one of the old photographs we could recognise the two large columns on a staircase. The priest had died a long time ago but the church stood in its splendid glory looking more beautiful than ever. In that old photo you could see the hopes and dreams of a young couple just married and here we were half a century later with three generations on the same stair case – La vita e bella.
Kids are brilliant but so is school which takes them away from home. Stressed-out parents want summer to end after just 13 days, according to new research. The pressure to entertain is great. In fact, 64 percent of parents have felt like they were letting their kid down because they wanted them to do, see, or have something one of their friends had. So what kinds of things are causing parents to be filled with guilt? It turns out that the number one reason for PSG (Parental Summer Guilt) was when their kids stayed in the house rather than getting out and about. Honestly, what’s wrong with a dark cold basement, no running water or electricity? 1 meal a day, no ipad and a regular clip behind the ear. My old man’s stories are getting a bit tiring for them……You should be thankful for above scenario……Imagine if you were a Syrian refugee with polio in both legs walking across Europe in flip-flops with a string made from barb-wife between your toes. Imagine if when you were born the brain surgeon removed part of your brain so you lack imagination and easily get bored. Only children that had that surgery at birth gets bored, unfortunately I think they are starting to understand my stories are baloney and they can see right through them. If I use granddad’s analogies then the stories are even more black and white. “Only boring people get bored”. I have to say last week the kids went back to school and we miss them, they never once said “I am bored” during the summer holiday because they know better if that word gets used around here it’s all over.
On that happy bombshell, I hope you and your loved will have a wonderful autumn.
All the best,