Posts Tagged ‘ice’

Weather Update

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Word on the street is that it is cold – and I concur. Last week, it was with great pain and general disgruntlement that I put on my winter coat for the first time. I hate admitting that it is cold but chilly winds had made the temperature drop from a balmy 12 degrees to a knuckle-reddening 4. This morning on my run, I went past the SUPER ELECTRONIC signage outside Manchester University on which, through the wonders of technology, it announces the time, date and temperature in a rotating sequence. It was 1.8 degrees Celcius and my wet nose and numb hands believed this to be accurate. It was also the first morning where I almost lost my balance as I ran onto invisible ice. Damn invisible ice… It is very tricky to see. Probably because it is invisible to eyes that are watering due to cold winds blowing into them.

I am currently sitting on my own in my office space avoiding going home. It is raining outside and I don’t really wish to get wet. I have had an unusually productive day considering last week I spent 60 per cent of my time procrastinating and the other 40 per cent eating. Today I went for a run, had a meeting, did some work, payed bills, did some more work, and started writing a hopefully convincing description of why I should be allowed to study a masters degree next year. Does anyone enjoy writing about themselves? I certainly don’t, particularly when I need to explain why I have spent the last four years of my life avoiding responsibility and career paths. Being a travelling nomad sounds romantic and fun but it isn’t academically sound. No one really believes in the School of Life, except for perhaps myself and my dad.

I have no exciting adventures to write about this week as the weekend involved a lot of cooking and the painting of skirting boards at Sir Pubert’s ‘Renovator’s delight’ house. That was fun as it involved a visit to an even bigger B&Q and we went to the Tameside Environment Centre, a poetic name for the rubbish tip. Another highlight of Greater Manchester for me to tick off my list of ‘must visit’s.

Ok. Enough blabbering. It’s time to go home.

Ice Water

Monday, December 17th, 2012

This morning while on my run I realised I never wrote about my morning-run experiences of last week when the temperatures dropped to below zero on some nights. Most mornings now when I get ready to head out, I check La Météo to see what the temperature is. If it is above six degrees I won’t bother with a jacket because after ten minutes of running I need to take it off. Anything below six and I will wear the jacket and anything below two requires extreme measures. I was hit with a bit of a conundrum last Thursday morning when I woke up to discover it was -2 degrees outside. What to wear?! Jacket and gloves are part of my usual kit but the day before I had found a head scarf I had been given as a complimentary gift for doing the 10km race last year. PERFECTO! I have since learnt that by covering your ears, you can keep in at least ten times as much body heat. I’m making these statistics up, but trust me – I was very pleased with my head scarf when I saw the ice floating on the canal.

It was so cool (both literally and Americanly.) I had already completed two kilometres when I started running along the eastern edge of the canal. I run past a movie cinema that looks on to the canal and there are always tourist boats in the water at that point. The canal water was beautifully still and then I noticed that along the edge of the canal and particularly in between the tourist boats, the canal water had frozen. It was very exciting times for this Australian who is learning so much about the physical properties of water, ice and snow.

I was able to survey the ice quite well for most of my run as I had to go reasonably slowly due to slippery conditions. There was a ROAD SAFETY ALERT out for all of the Parisians who freak out every time there is some sort of slightly-more-extreme-than-usual weather. My observations revealed to me that the canal had only frozen on one side – the eastern half. My little non-scientific brain attempted to work out why this was but failed. All I could boil it down to was water flow and the fact that there were boats. Not very technical so if anyone reading this can shed some light on this freezing phenomenon I would love to hear the REAL reason.

In a slight aside, there was snow in some areas outside of Paris and the television screens that usually tell you which line is down as you entered the metro had a huge warning for POTENTIAL SNOW that might affect the train lines. WARNING! WARNING! ALERT! ALERT! It’s worse than how nervous everyone in Perth gets every time there’s a sprinkle of rain – HAIL!

That was the coldest of my morning runs so far. I have now run in -2 and +38 degree temperatures. I’m not really sure which was worse… I wanted to die and regretted my decision more after the 38 degree run but running in the cold is rather painful too.

La Neige

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Friday morning saw scatterings of white stuff on car windows, roof tops and lawned areas. It had apparently snowed earlier that morning, although it was a typical Parisian attempt – just enough effort to say it was done, but nothing more. I went for a run through the centre of Paris and learnt a lot about what road surfaces are more slippery than others and that my concept of large bodies of water maintaining a higher heat level and therefore bridges being not slippery is COMPLETELY WRONG. In fact, it is the complete opposite! All of the bridges across the Seine were covered in a solid block of ice and I had to use my exceptional ice-skating skills to get to the other side. Luckily, my ice-skating skills = sticking as close to the edge as possible so that I can grab hold of something before I fall over, which is exactly what needed to be done in the bridge crossing attempts.

My other interesting discovery was when I reached the Tuileries and thought, “Oh, it’s that sandy limestone stuff. It will be soggy but not slippery.” Again, WRONG! The ground was covered in puddles of water that had frozen and so the garden was a giant ice rink. I had to get across one large section of icy sand near the Louvre and I must have looked like a duck-footed camel, loping across while avoiding puddles.

Having spent the last two years asking the weather Gods to send me snow in Paris, they finally did and I was extremely disappointed. So I am asking again. Only this time do it properly please.

Snow in Paris

It had melted a bit when I took this photo but still. That doesn’t count as snow.

Brain Wave

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Clearly all I’ve been thinking about this morning is Christmas and food and weather because I’ve just realised what we should all eat for christmas lunch this year – Christmas flavoured icy-poles. Imagine the possibilities – so much Christmas deliciousness without the heat. We’d be cool as cucumbers. You could have turkey flavoured, fruit mince pie flavoured, ham flavoured, salad flavoured… Endless.

Christmas food

Imagine all of this in ice-version

Christmas pudding

You could end the meal with one giant ice-pudding that you shave into people's bowls!