Friday, June 24, 2005

East Devon redux - a wonderful break in the sunshine

How did we manage it? Six nights under canvas in East Devon and it never rained but the sun shone just about all day every day. And on the 22nd we never saw a cloud at all! Who needs to drive all the way to the Mediterranean when its weather patterns occasionally move north?

Most days were spent on Weston Mouth beach. At first the water was quite cool but as the days continued to be warm and the pebbles heated up during low tides the ocean gradually warmed until we were swimming without any "immersion shock" at all. The rock pools at both ends of the bay were most interesting at low tide, while the clarity of the water was just as good as on any white sand beach in the tropics.

It is interesting to observe how such "heatwaves" are celebrated by the media. Pretty girls in bikinis are always good front page material, even in the "quality dailies". I thought Radio 2 had an interesting if slightly bizarre line on the weather during the afternoon of the first hot day of the year - how are you struggling to keep cool? - in my case I had to admit that the pleasant warmth of the sun on my aching lower back felt far too good to complain about! (FWIW the back pain has completely gone). For the first time since October 2004 I feel warm.

So how will this past week impact the politics of global warming? It will possibly stoke a few flames under Tony Blair's manic desire to control global warming while President of the G8. However, I would hazard a guess that the actual weather in Gleneagles will have a far more influential impact on the politicians' rhetoric. Scotland has not been enjoying a lot of good weather lately (according to the weather forecasts, at least) so if this pattern continues, expect African aid to jump to the forefront.