My claim to fame

In 1990 the UK’s hottest day was recorded in Cheltenham, with a temperature of 37.1C (98.8F). I was in Cheltenham on that day, living at 131 Gloucester Road. The 1990 temperature has since been exceeded on 10-Aug-2003 in Kent with a scorching 38.5F (101.3F).

On 30-Dec-1995 the coldest UK temperature ever was recorded in Scotland at –27.2C (-17.0F). I was in Perth, just south of the weather station that recorded the record, and on that night I’d agreed to meet my brother Andrew at the Scone Arms. There was no transport so I had to walk four miles to get there. By the time I arrived the beard I had at the time was full of icicles from the freezing of my breath.

So my claim to fame, for what it’s worth, is that I’m one of the few people (maybe only the rest of my immediate family being the others) who experienced both the hottest and coldest temperatures recorded in the UK.

The way the weather is going at present I may also lose the only part of that claim still current. Temperatures are dropping below –20C in some parts of the UK, and with a prediction of high winds coming in from Siberia it’s going to get a whole lot worse.

To say the feathered fiends are not happy is a bit of an understatement. It’s thought chickens originated in India, and although they can survive temperatures into –20C they’re not ecstatic about it. My lot are certainly conserving their energy for body heat at the moment… can’t be bothered coming out of the chicken run and I’ve not had a single egg for days. Yesterday there was eggstensive evidence that something’s happened… a yellow smudge in the ice just as the top of the entrance to the coop. They almost always lay in the nesting boxes, normally accompanied by a marked call… well, wouldn’t you make a bit of a noise if you had to lay an egg, proportionate to body mass, the size of a large toaster? But it’s not unknown, in the excitement of my arrival and the chance to be let out for a good scratch around, for an egg to pop almost as an afterthought.

May be the egg was just too good an opportunity for refreshment for the feather fiends to resist, so they ate it. But may also be evidence of Mr Ratty helping himself to a free meal. One advantage of fresh snow is you can see the tracks of all the visitors to the plot. See the interesting photos below… but I could also see tracks indicating a rat nipping in from the pile of wood in my neighbour’s plot towards the feeding globe I suspend in mid air from a wooden tripod in the chicken run. Not sure how Mr Ratty would get food from there without some amazing acrobatics, but I put some planks against the chicken wire where he was getting in to block that access.

Wasn’t able to do much blogging in the run up to New Year since I was trying to finish the scaled plan of our allotments at Hill Rise. All finished now… click the link ‘Scaled plan of Hill Rise Allotments’ under the Welcome section on the top right, and then click ‘Download’ to view.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:48 am

    I used to live on Malvern Road, Cheltenham in 1994/5 - just down the road from you. You probably knew the house as it was the oldest residence in Cheltenham .... now turned into flats with, supposedly, its own residence ghost!

    I am fed up with the cold .... roll on Spring!!


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