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4.1 earthquake in Devon?!

British earthquake

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is reporting that an earthquake measuring 4.1 hit Devon at 1:21 p.m. BST today.

Tremors were felt in areas including Dartmoor, Bristol, Taunton, Swansea, Llanelli, Barnstable, Gloucester and South Molton.

What in the world is going on? I’m still trying to get over Devon images like this. Waves hitting our favorite quiet seaside Devon town of Teignmouth:

Devon waves

And the flooding in Dawlish:


* Sigh *


Paddington Bear’s “Singing in the Rain”

At long last, after a record drought in Sacramento, we’re finally getting some rain.

Not rain like the U.K. has gotten rain all winter long, mind you, but at least it’s a start. And on that note, Ruby posted this delightful video of Paddington Bear “Singing in the Rain,” following my post last week about Gap’s Paddington Bear line. Enjoy!

Best shoes for traveling

I’m giving some serious thought about what shoes I should take on our upcoming trip to the U.K.

I was in complete spring mode, until I realized that the weather actually could still be wet and cold – particularly considering that they are getting fresh snow falling this week.

Read the rest of this entry

Snow! Then rain! Then sun!

snow in UK

Snow has hit the U.K. big time this week, with as much as six inches in some parts, creating traffic gridlock.

Heavy rains are expected to follow this evening (with flood warnings in effect in the Midlands, the South West and East Anglia), followed then by uncharacteristically warm weather by Thursday. Temperatures are predicted to reach 54 F in the South West, 52 F in London and 48 F in the North, Midlands and Scotland.

Talk about temperamental weather. The only thing missing is the heat wave! Maybe next week?

Severe weather warning this weekend

Flood warnings have been issued by the Met Office as high speed winds and heavy rains are forecast to hit England, Wales and Northern Ireland this weekend. This is June, right?

I found this on the UK’s Nice ‘n Easy Facebook page and it’s so fitting:

Rain, rain, go away!

There is no sign that truly summery weather will arrive before the start of July. Photo credit: PA

You’ve heard that the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. But this year, it seems that the rain in England stays mainly … well, everywhere.

Last month, the country reported a record heatwave. Now, only a few weeks later, they’re calling it “European monsoon” weather, with hurricane-force winds and heavy downpours.

Experts are already predicting that this weather will continue through June. Summer, it seems, will be postponed until July.

The Californian’s definition of cold

This week, we’ve had terrible rain in California. And by terrible, I mean about 3/4 of an inch of rain in a day. Highs in the 60s Fahrenheit (around 17 degrees Celsius). Nothing crazy. Certainly nothing to warrant the medley of parkas and ski caps that I’m already seeing around here.

Last week I blogged about how Brits put on their summer’s best when the weather reaches a balmy 70 degrees. By the same token, Californians are guilty of dressing like New Englanders the moment temps dip into the low 60s.

One of my favorite parts of LA Story is an LA weather report from Steve Martin’s character Harris Telemacher:

Harris: And when the weather dropped down to 58 degrees this weekend, how did you cope?
Man on the Street: I went to make sure all the windows were shut.
Harris: And, what about your pets? Were they outside? What happened?
Man on the Street: Well, the cats were out till around ten. But it got a little too cold for them and they came in.
Harris: The cats were out till around ten. But it got a little too cold for them and they came in! Well, that’s how LA coped with that surprise low of 58 degrees that turned the weekend into a real weenie shrinker!

And on that note, may your weekend be warm and rain-free! Have a good one!

Hot fun in the … autumn time?

A heatwave has hit the UK. It's sizzling at 84 degrees!

It is positively balmy in the UK right now with temperatures reaching the mid-80s. South Yorkshire reports the hottest Sept. 29th (or should I say 29th Sept.?) on record with temps at 29 degrees Celsius (that’s 84 degrees Fahrenheit for Celsius-phobes).

For those of us who are don’t blink an eye unless it’s triple-digits, let me gently remind you: That’s HOT, people! Most Brits don’t have air conditioning and opening a window just doesn’t cut it. Most Brits strut around in shorts at the first sign of sunshine. If you look up the word “balmy” in a British dictionary, I’m pretty sure you’ll find a description of a temperate 70 degree day.

One thing I do find funny is that the heat doesn’t affect their consumption of hot tea. I’ve been told multiple times over the years that hot tea actually cools you down. It’s counterintuitive, they recognize, but they swear by it.

Now I’ve had hot tea in Britain on an 84 degree day and it has not cooled me down. But then again I’m not British so I don’t question. Nor would I dare suggest iced tea with lemon. Just let sleeping dogs lie. Even if those dogs are lying in sweltering temperatures sipping hot tea.