A quick glance at my analytics is revealing. Over the last three weeks, visitors to soilman.net coming from Google were most likely to have searched for:
- “Continual rain”
- “Why won’t it stop raining?”
- “Fucking rain”
- “Endless fucking rain”
…. and, inevitably, “fucking in the rain” (sorry guys: not one I’ll be catering to).
Clearly, then, the current meteorological situation weighs heavy on the collective UK mind.
I hear ya. I really do.
Posted on 9th January 2014
Under: Rain | 1 Comment »
There is no gardening going on, as you may have inferred. Reason: It is still winter (even though it’s spring).
Here in the UK, the Gods appear to have cancelled spring. We have snow, floods and below-zero temperatures. March has in fact been colder than both December and January, which is quite an achievement. It hasn’t been this cold since 1962.
But hey, records are there to be broken. If it’s a stinker of a spring, it’s just the inevitable suite to a stinker of a summer and a shitty autumn. Of late, we have not had good luck with the weather.
The thing to remember, though, is that This Shit Happens. From 1310-1330, northern Europe suffered appalling weather. Millions starved. By 1325, the population was 25% smaller than 1310 – and all before the Black Death had killed a soul. According to contemporaries, it just rained and rained and rained. For 20 years. Unremittingly.
Let’s hope history’s not repeating itself.
One bright thought: This time last year it hadn’t rained for months and the UK authorities were imposing hosepipe bans. All I can say to that is: Ha ha, ha ha, ha bloody ha ha.
Posted on 23rd March 2013
Under: Rain, Rants | 2 Comments »
I love blue hydrangeas. They’re gorgeous… er, when they’re blue.
But keeping them blue is a bugger. I have neutral soil, so it’s extra hard. But even if you grow them in a pot of ericaceous compost, you have to shovel in absurd quantities of aluminium sulphate – regularly – to stop them reverting to pink.
I’m failing with this one. There’s been so much rain [soilman.net 2012, passim] that the colorant is leached out of the pot almost as fast as I can pour it in.
Anyone got any tips for keeping ‘em reliably blue?
PS I’m beginning to fear the corn will fail this year. It’s SO fucking cold and wet that it’s put on pathetic growth. I can’t see it having time to fully grow, flower and form ears before the frosts.
Posted on 8th July 2012
Under: Flowers, Rain | 2 Comments »
They’re running out of rain metaphors and adjectives on the radio.
They’ve done ‘torrential’ to death. Now they’re casting around for something more sensational. ‘Stair rods’ and ‘monsoon-like’ are undergoing a renaissance. ‘Record-breaking’ is a favourite.
As I write, great swathes of northern England are under flood warnings. By tonight, many Yorkshire folks will be floating on their sofas.
It’s all so grim I feel the urge to make light of it. But people have already lost their lives, and I fear there will be more by the weekend.
If you’re in the flood zone, stay safe.
Posted on 6th July 2012
Under: Rain | 7 Comments »
I was quite excited when I got these in on May 20th. Clearly it was safe to plant them out – it was during the hot week, and frost was definitely no longer an issue – and I thought to myself: “Smart move, Soilman. You’re about a week ahead of the game, and your sweetcorn is off to a great start. You’ll have a marvellous crop in August.”
Three weeks later, they’re the same size. Not an inch bigger… oh, and now a rather ill-looking yellow colour. They’re drowning (and freezing).
So now I’m thinking: “You cock, Soilman. You should have sown them last week and be thinking about planting them out at the end of June. You’ll get shit crops – if any – in August, September, October or any other bloody time.
In gardening, the difference between Hero and Zero is a frost, two weeks, three inches of rain and/or half a dozen pigeons. In any combination thereof.
Posted on 13th June 2012
Under: Rain, Sweetcorn | 10 Comments »
It’s raining like buggery.
Started (again) at 7pm yesterday and poured throughout the night. Still pouring.
I drove to work through shallow lakes. Folks on bicycles tottered precariously as they strained to make headway through hub-high water. One man, whose weekend noddy boat was parked on the drive next to his car, was standing between them, clearly calculating which vehicle would best suit his journey.
This is without a shadow of a doubt the shittiest spring and ‘summer’ I’ve ever experienced in this wanky country – and I’ve experienced a few.
Why, oh why couldn’t I have been born – say – Italian? I’d make a good Italian. I’d be like that bloke in the Davidoff advert, with six pack and bronzed torso, cavorting about in my smalls with attractive young women under a scorching sun.
Not cursing my plump, white English flesh in the pissing rain.
Posted on 11th June 2012
Under: Rain | 15 Comments »
Yuck. We had our moment in the sun (er, 8 days). Now we’re back to what Britain does best: Wet, wild and windy.
It’s always a pain in the arse, but this time it could have been fatal: Poor old Prince Philip obviously got sick standing out all day in the rain on Sunday. No 90-year-old should be expected to endure that. Why couldn’t the poor old bastard sit at home with a cup of tea and a Hobnob?
Gardening is back on hold. After 8 days of lusty growth, every plant on the plot has gone back into a sulk. As have I.
Is there anything this country’s weather can’t spoil?
Posted on 5th June 2012
Under: Rain, Summer | 6 Comments »
I’m building a fucking ark.
PS I’m having a Spring clean of the site, which includes my blogroll. Any site that’s been inactive for more than a year will be deleted I’m afraid – I’ve already removed a few. At the end of May, I’ll be deleting anything that’s been inactive for six months or more. So if that’s you, and you wanna keep a link on my site – get posting!
Posted on 9th May 2012
Under: Rain | 12 Comments »
Wouldn’t it be great if it, like, stopped raining?
I know. Hard to imagine. In the part of the country where I live, the sun has absented itself now for – what? – about 11 months. Seriously. The last warm, sunny days were in early June last year. Since then, it’s been gloom and rain non-stop.
Although I’m used to this – Brits are all used to this – I don’t find it any easier. In fact, I reckon it’s harder. Folks from warmer climes often enjoy the novelty of cool cloud and rain. I’m to the manner born… so I’m fed up to the back teeth.
This is why UK citizens will do anything – really, anything – to get a bit of sun. Holiday in Syria? Sure, great. Sod the bullets. Just gimme some rays.
I’m reduced to germinating my sweetcorn in the house. It’s not even warm enough in the greenhouse.
God give me strength. And please, please, please… stop this fucking rain.
Posted on 7th May 2012
Under: Rain | 8 Comments »
Apologies for total silence on these pages. Reason: Some moron made the predictable error of claiming Britain was facing a terrible drought, and might face water rationing for years.
Consequence: The wettest April since records began. I’ve hardly been able to set foot outside for three weeks.
They really should know better. Look up the name Dennis Howell and learn from history.
Because they’re mostly morons, human beings forget that there is no such thing as an average year. No year is ever average. It’s above average in certain indices (sometimes well above) or below average (ditto). The average is an approximate halfway point between the normal extremes.
Sure, we’ve had two dry winters. But the year I moved into my my current home, the lawn was underwater from November until February. It will be that way again sooner or later. Probably – because of the law of averages – sooner.
Posted on 3rd May 2012
Under: Rain, Rants | 4 Comments »