rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Last weekend we made a family visit to the inlaws in High Wycombe, for some low-key hanging-out time together for the cousins to play together and the adults to gossip.  It was Too Hot, but at least every train on the way home had aircon, as did the taxi.  We experimentally departed from Cambridge North, as we are roughly equidistant from the two railway stations.  Advantage: not going through the centre of Cambridge. Disadvantages: only one direct train per hour to London on the weekend, no cafe or shops (yet), slightly more expensive by taxi.  But it was worth conducting the experiment to be sure.

We all struggled with the heat this week.  This house does a good cross-breeze when such a thing is worth doing - this week that was usually from approx 9pm to 7am, so a lot of opening and closing windows and doors according to temperature and people being awake.  We acquired a standing fan to help. I did a lot of waking up about 5am to open things and then droop back on my bed waiting for the breeze to help. I think I'd be a lot less resentful of the lost sleep if I'd been able to be productive with the time, but no.

I went out to a PARTY yesterday and enjoyed catching up with people, and being introduced to Subjective Guess Who?  This is played using the standard board game set, but you can only ask questions which have no objective answer - some memorable ones from last night included "Have they ever played World of Warcraft?" and "Are they a morning person?".  The kibbitzing from the audience is the best part.

Going to the party was utterly self-indulgent given the state of my studying since the election. Today will probably not include much studying either, as plans already include: taking C to see Transformers: The Last Knight, attempting to get some sandals beforehand, getting in my weekly call to my mother before she gets on a bus to San Francisco, and making the cheating version of Tudor costume for C's class trip to Kentwell this week.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I ran for the first time since breaking my toe - it's been just over 10 weeks, between the toe itself and then getting an evil cold. It was very gentle easy running but it felt really good.

I went to see a "back one day only" screening of Captain America: Winter Soldier, having got the toddler to sleep just in time. (For future reference, I can do my house to the ticket desk at the Vue in 15 min, including getting bike out of garage & locking it at the far end. But I prefer more contingency.)  I still love it, I could still watch it a lot more times, I'm still impatient with the long gap between leaving cinemas and DVD release.

Between the two, I got caught in another rainstorm on the way home from nursery. Less dramatic than yesterday, but I still got soaked to the skin. Again. At least it's warm?
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
A truly enormous amount of water landed on Cambridge just as I was leaving to collect N from nursery. I was pretty wet within a few minutes of leaving work, and decided I might as well continue to nursery rather than try to wait it out (better wet and on time than dry and late). It just kept getting heavier and heavier, and there was also excitingly-close lightning/thunder, with the flash-bang gap between 3 and 8 seconds for most of my journey.

Water was thick and heavy all around, people were huddling in tiny shelters offered by trees, or running or walking soggily onward, as I was. The roads were mostly draining, the pavements were mostly not, great rivers running along the gutters and drains clogging with debris.

I wrung out my clothes as best I could before going into the nursery but still left something of a puddle while catching up with N's day. As we left the building again, I hurried N out to the bike and got him safely inside the cover as fast as I could, though the rain was already lighter than it had been. Within a few minutes of us leaving the rain had stopped, and in a few places I saw it starting to steam off the road surfaces, which I don't remember ever seeing before.

On the last junction before home, a huge ankle-deep puddle spread across the entire cycle/footpath and road. I cycled carefully through it and got us home safely, then walked back with N to see if the drains were blocked. The gratings seemed clear but the water didn't seem to be dropping.

Ankle-deep puddle after sudden rain

When Tony cycled home an hour later, the puddle had disappeared, so we assume the drains eventually caught up.

The rainfall graph for today from the Computer Lab (next door to my workplace) is quite amusing.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Today was so warm I wore sandals. The children voluntarily went out into the garden. I took them to the playground this morning, an idea greeted with enormous enthusiasm:

Setting out on a sunny day
[Two children grinning at the camera in bright sunlight, in front of some crocuses]

They were especially keen on the swings, either with me pushing them both:

Round swing 2
[Same two children sitting together on a large round swing, one looking up, one looking down]

or with Charles playing big brother:

Swings 2
[The older child is mid-push of the younger in a baby swing; in the background all the play equipment basks in the sun]
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Last Thursday it was raining as I left work, and the sun was setting, and there was the most enormous clear rainbow over north Cambridge as I cycled to nursery.  One end seemed to rise vertically from the sunlit tower of a College chapel in the centre of town, the other dipped somewhere in the mass of houses around Huntingdon / Histon / Victoria roads.

I lost count of the number of people I had to cycle round (bah, shared use paths) because they had stopped to take photographs.  One of them, as I passed, sang triumphantly "DOUBLE RAINBOW!"  I looked again, and they were right.

I mentioned the DOUBLE RAINBOW comment at work the next day and several colleagues joined in enthusiastically with their own angles of view on it.  Such a simple thing, but beautiful, bringing happiness in the homeward commute.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
A couple of weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] fanf bought us two pairs of Yaktrax. We saw recommendations for them late last year, when they had sold out everywhere because of the snow. They're easy to put on over our shoes and look to make walking down an icy driveway or pavement a lot safer.

Earlier this year, small wheelybins full of grit appeared at the end of the alleyway nearest us, and at another alleyway nearby. They're chained to the alley barriers and sealed with quite serious tape to discourage casual access. They should hold more than enough grit to keep the alleys (both busy pedestrian/cycle routes) clear as well as some nearby pavements.

I was amused last week, catching up on my podcasts, to hear Costing the Earth devote an entire programme (mp3 link) to UK winter preparations this year, and lessons learned from the last two winters.

Finally, FixMyStreet have launched a Fix Before The Freeze campaign to get potential troublespots and accidents-waiting-to-happen reported now, while there's still time to get them fixed.


In a story-driven world, doing all this would mean an unseasonably warm winter and surprise snow in April. In the real world, I'm keeping a lookout on my commute for Fix Before The Freeze candidates.
rmc28: (happy)
I'm not sleeping very much at the moment: as well as not feeling sleepy at bedtime because of the heat, the sunlight is waking me up early, even through the curtains. I don't yet feel sleep-deprived, it just seems to be how my body wants to respond to the weather.

Keith went to Jesus Ball and I heard him coming home, and bringing in the milk. They got a free Telegraph which had one of the funniest Matt cartoons I've seen in a while.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

July 2017

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