16°C, rain

Three months of rain. The met-office say it’s the Jetstream running unusually far south this summer. Normally it flows north west of Scotland and sends to occasional storm down the northern approaches. This year it’s overhead. For those who don’t know, I ought to explain what this Jetstream is- think of a giant hosepipe in the stratosphere that is gushing water over our little island archipelago.
An image worthy of an animated visualisation don’t you think.

Erroneous weather

12°C, rain

The Weather was correct last year- early June days reached 24°C, and summer half-term saw me wading into a mountain lake for a paddle while walking up Nantlle Ridge. This year, the air is cool & rain has formed a strip across England & Wales. This is not the correct weather for June.  Weather sometimes errs.

To avoid this cold front, I may camp up in the Lake District instead of (my preferred) Snowdonia. Bank holiday weekend in the lakes is likely to be busy with English visitors. Getting away from this town is more urgent than usual this year. The local Bower fair has driven me away for the last six years at some cost. But to compound the repellance, England has gone Jubilee mad. Wales is probably a better escape from kitsch royal patriotism than Cumbria. I bet there is some daft sod with union-flag bunting on their tent as I write. Not so in a Welsh campsite I predict.


6°C, some veils of very dense mist


French teapot, really!

Superb French restaurant found by chance in Congleton, Cheshire. I ate the finest Risotto I can remember, and the place has a friendly, homely atmosphere. We didn’t choose the most exotic wine on the list- £255 per bottle, blimey. L’endroit comes very highly rated by me.

50% fail

24C, hot & humid.

Education panic: BBC 30% of 10 year olds fail to reach the “expected” level in maths & literacy. Erm, this is where I need to call on the services of a statics expert. Remember in the Labour Govt Ed Balls wanted most kids to achieve “above average (mean)” results? So with results scattered on a Normal Distribution curve, shouldn’t there be about 30%percentage reaching only the arbitrary “expected” level anyway? If you’re comfortable handling standard deviations, then perhaps you could post me an informative link. My competence with bell-curves falls below the required standard I have to say!

What I suspect here is that we are dealing with politicians’ stats rather than competently functioning data handling. (It’s not just me that feels uneasy)

I recall as a kid leaving primary school my own reading age test result was considerably below my chronological age. I’m sure I now have a reading age considerably above 46 years. So the problem was only really a problem for the school, not for me. On the other hand, statistics abuse is a real problem in journalism and politics in the last few decades.

And All Our Dreams Will End in Death

13°C, heavy rain. CK:36miles

Rain delayed enough for a decent ride this morning. I’ve missed riding that bike.

BBC Radio 4: they make good plays that are worth listening to on long motorway drives. Saturday. Howard Neal is the story of a US bloke on death row. The story wasn’t especially surprising, nor were the details, but the interest for me was the voice. Radio is entirely dependant on voice in plays like this. His accent was a mixture of deep south (US) and effects from his deprived background. Except not always; he seemed a little too articulate to me, his phrasing was rather conventional and it shouldn’t have been. Okay the whole play would have been more difficult, but surely, more rewarding.

Today was the story of Richard IIPlantagenet: And All Our Dreams Will End in Death. Okay, it’s not really fiction, well, no more than history is usually. Very good I thought, sadly, I missed the end. I did get the feeling that our past monarchs were largely a bunch of despotic gangsters. His relationship with Queen Anne was interesting, and touching. There are interesting parallels in the peasants’ revolt with The Tsars in Moscow in 1918 too. Both groups wanted an end to serfdom (slavery by another name) and concessions were given but even more asked for. Then the monarch backed off in fear. That, it seems is a pattern that has repeated a number of times in history. You can tell I have been following the BBC R4 series on Russia‘s history can’t you?