Alistair’s “Random Rambles” (46)

By Kathy Martin…

Written March 2015

The weather – is the climate changing?

Now that March has (just) arrived, we (in the TRNC) have been able to enjoy a couple of sunny days after a drab, rainy and cloudy February. During February (especially towards the end of the month) we, that is ourselves and various friends, frequently muttered “this is the coldest and wettest February in living memory”! As my lovely wife has been keeping records of the weather on a spreadsheet for a number of years I was able to check whether this statement was true or not.

The average midday temperature, according to our rather amateurish records, during February this year was 16c, whereas in 2011 it was 14.8c and 2012 it was 15.2c, so it wasn’t actually the coldest February in living memory!

OK, I appreciate that readers who live in countries with a colder climate may think that temperatures in the region of 15 degrees centigrade are (almost) acceptable for a summers day, but all buildings and furnishings here are designed for the (almost guaranteed) nine months of warm or hot weather!

To analyse the impression that February this year was the “coldest in living memory”, I must put it into perspective. Firstly, we had snow, yes, on two previous occasions we have seen the peaks of the mountains to the south of our flat covered in a “dusting” of snow, but this year we had snow falling outside our flat!

Admittedly, the ground was too wet and warm for it to settle, but we have never seen this phenomenon here before!

Secondly, and this will possibly be a more graphic comparison, February this year compared with February 2014.

This year we had 10 rainy days, 7 sunny days, and, (rather obviously), 11 cloudy days.

Last year we had 4 rainy days, 17 sunny days and therefore only 7 cloudy days.

So I leave it up to you to decide if our climate is changing or not?

Recently, part of my ramble was about the recent provocative and aggressive attempt by “the West”, (America, NATO and the EU), to successfully de-stabilise the Ukraine, which was governed by a democratically elected (but pro-Russian) government.

Now, (shock, horror!), the UK press has reported that Russian military aircraft have been “spotted”, twice off the southern and once off the western coastlines of Britain. The “hawks” in the Ministry of Defence have demanded that trees must be cut down, so that the last remaining squadron of Sopwith Camels can have the struts between the lower and upper wings replaced, and that all British households must donate all of their aluminium pots and pans, so that a Spitfire or two can be put back into service!

Sopwith Camels

Seriously folks, if these aircraft had “suddenly” appeared, then, yes`, there would be cause for concern, but I am sure that they were “tracked” by (say) Scandinavian radar stations before entering or even nearing “British” airspace.

I appreciate that, with late 20th/early 21st century technology an aircraft can be built to be “invisible” on radar, but I believe that the aircraft involved in the scary Russian “invasions“ were propeller driven “bears”, a NATO designation, which would surely have been continuously visible on both civilian and military aviation radar screens.

While I accept that even an ageing “bear” aircraft can deliver a bomb or missile, what tactical or strategic advantage would Russia gain from “nuking” a Western/EU country? Indeed, if Russia had seriously been intent on delivering a devastating hostile attack, surely it would have used more modern and sophisticated equipment to do so?

Hornet’s nest

Face up to it, Britain, (and presumably other EU countries); poke a stick into a hornet’s nest, and you will get the response that you deserve!

I believe, three “straight A” girl students have travelled from the UK to Syria to be “Jihadi brides”. Apparently they did so after being “groomed” on their “twitter accounts”. I don’t know anything about “twitter” except that I understand that it is a social network system, not dissimilar to Facebook, and I assume that “groomed” is newspeak for “brainwashed”.

Brainwashing is, of course, a science, but to be successful in forcing someone to do something against their nature, surely this is only possible under “laboratory conditions”. Therefore, rather like (as I understand), a person under hypnosis won’t do anything that they wouldn’t do if fully conscious, in my opinion the underlying want or desire must have already been present in these “groomed” girls.

The mention of “girls” above leads rather neatly into the next part of my ramble. By the time this ramble is published, this year’s International Working Women’s Day (March 8th) will have passed. I am not a misogynistic male chauvinistic pig, but I question why have it?

On this day men (and also presumably women) are meant to celebrate love for women and show respect and admiration for their achievements in the home as well as in politics, industry and commerce.

My question is not that these emotions and feelings shouldn’t be shown, but that surely they should be displayed on a daily basis throughout the year!

After all, neither my wife nor I have ever had to wait for St. Valentine’s Day (February 14th) to come round before we can say that we love each other!

Ku Klux Klan

Recently my wife and I re-watched that excellent (in our opinion) film “Mississippi Burning”. For the information of any readers unfamiliar with the plot, it is a film that condemns the racist actions of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960’s against the black population in a small town in (rather unsurprisingly!) the State of Mississippi in America.

These actions were carried out with, at worst, either the full support of the “white” community, or at best, its passive acceptance of the goings-on.

Recently there have been other films that have high-lighted the fact that “good old USA” only became “the land of the free” to all of its population, irrespective of skin colour, within living memory.

These “apologist” films include “The Butler”, “12 years a Slave”, “Selma” and “The Help”.

While I am impressed and pleased that “the modern generation” has been informed or reminded that some parts of America were recently as racially bigoted (if not more so) than the much maligned apartheid South Africa at that time, the cynic in me wonders if these would have been produced if the American electorate had elected a “white” president?

Just a thought!

Meanwhile, back in dear old Blighty, I understand that the national government is soon going to introduce a law that allows motorists a 10 minute “free” period of grace after the expiry of a time limited permit before a parking fine can be imposed by the traffic wardens of the local councils.

This, according to the rather fubsy Local Government Minister, Eric Pickles, will end the “war against motorists”!

Pardon? Does this mean that motorists (obviously a protected species) who are incapable of returning to their cars within (say) sixty minutes after paying (say) one pound will be allowed 70 minutes, an increase of something around 16%?

Extrapolating this “free” 16%, will the government also introduce legislation which will allow shoppers to arrive at the check-out with £100 worth of purchases in their trolley, but only pay £84 because the check-out staff are “waging war” on the purchaser? I don’t think so!

There is, of course, another thought that has sprung to my brain, the local councils, having potentially “lost”  revenue from parking fines, will simply increase to cost of parking from (say) one pound an hour to one pound twenty pence!

Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles

These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum