2013 and all that.

A belated and gratuitous Happy New Year to all, yes I know it’s two weeks in to 2013 but it’s the thought that counts.

Well it’s the usual lack of news at the beginning of the year, so of course ‘non-news’ takes precedence, with the some of the lead stories in all media not being worth column 4 on page 12 of the local paper. Still, they have something to get their teeth into today with the tragic news of the helicopter crash in South London, lets hope there isn’t too much tragedy coming out of it. I’ve flown down the Thames in a Gazelle from RAF Northolt in West London, and it’s an exhilarating ride. My thoughts are with those involved.

It can now be confirmed that my daughter Teresa and husband Kevin are off to Australia early next month for at least two years. He has got a great job in Melbourne so they are renting out their flat, having a two GROEP (Get Rid of Everything Party) and girding their loins to relocate to the other side of the world. It’s amazing how events affect you that you are not directly involved in. We had pretensions of going to Australia on a holiday ‘sometime’, now of course we have the perfect incentive to go out there, which we intend to do later in the year. The GROEP has been advertised widely and has been successful, people have come along and taken what they fancied from the household goods on display. I’m not sure if any money changes hands! I have mixed feelings about our youngest going off down under. She has always been quite independent, but she has lived away from home since she was 18 so I don’t suppose a move like that will faze her too much. The person it will affect more is Fran, my wife, who has said that the day after they leave will be the worse, and she will miss her terribly. We don’t see each other that often, maybe half a dozen times a year, but a weekly phone call is the normal method of keeping in touch. When they are out there Skype will be used a lot more, as well as an App on the phone I’ve bought called ‘WhatsApp’. I have no idea how it works yet, but I’m sure I’ll get instructions from the offspring. I applaud their efforts in getting this whole episode together, and I hope that it all works out for them, as you do. I will miss her very much as well of course, and am not looking forward to them leaving the UK, but the upside is we will see them later. Enough of this before I get all emotional.

It’s January, it’s cold and it’s going to snow or already has in some parts. Why then do some drivers go down the road as if there is no ice or other different conditions? I think some of these people are on a death wish. I offer this simple piece of advice: When the temperature is below zero, your windscreen ices up, right? So is there any reason why the same shouldn’t be happening on the road? Are tarmac surfaces treated so they don’t ice up? Yes but only after the gritting lorries have been through, otherwise the road surface COULD be icy. Have you tried to run on ice? Yes? Then you will know you can’t do it too successfully, and slip all over the place. Some car drivers seem to think they are exempt from the vagaries of ice affecting them and that they probably think they are shrouded in some sort of force field which protects them from skidding on ice. The trouble is when they drive like maniacs on ice, as if there is none, and then have an accident, they affect other people, who generally have been observing the conditions and driving accordingly. I wish they would think on, and if they can’t drive on ice, or are not willing to adjust their driving to take account of the conditions, I have a suggestion to make: Stay at Home and save lives!

The only redeeming factor about January and February is that you know the nights will draw out, so that at the end of January it is still light at 5 pm. Personally I like the different seasons we get in this country and even though winter can be a challenge at times, it is followed by Spring which is a lovely time of the year. The snowdrops start coming through, the daffodils are poking their heads through and some foliage starts to appear on shrubs and trees. I think it’s a magical time of year, when the sleeping fauna and flora start to wake up and get ready for the best part of the year. Now the snows have arrived with a vengeance and it looks all Christmassy!

Ta-ta for now.

About cliverh

Retired aerospace engineer, first with the Royal Air Force and then BAE Systems. Now enjoying a variety of activities and not getting bored. I was a Games Maker Volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics and a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. I was also a volunteer at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in Southampton. I intend to blog about what interests me.
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