I do like to talk about the weather...
... and I know that in this country I'm not the only one!
The tail end of Hurrican Katia hit the UK earlier this week with much wind and rain.
This is what it did to my little hawthorn tree. I'd transplanted it as a three inch high seedling when we moved into the house and this year it was producing blossom and berries for the first time. It's not as bad as I first thought, there is a little split at the trunk but I've now staked it and am hoping it will survive.
The window boxes have had it for this year though.
Often our perception of good or bad weather (with the exception of extremes such as Hurricane Katia) is dependent on what we're used to. I do try to be positive about the weather here - I don't especially like hot weather, and I find the green countryside which results from all the rain very pretty, but sometimes such grumbles do make an appearance on my blog and also on the blogs of others who live in parts of the country which I think generally have much better weather than we do.
I find the following weather maps (available here, with lots of options to tweak) very interesting.
For example, looking at the above map, which shows the August 2011 rainfall compared to a 30 year average rainfall, it does indeed look like the east of Scotland and NE England have had a terribly wet summer, however...
...looking at this map which is the actual rainfall for Aug 2011, you can see that the rainfall for Scotland and Northern England is pretty much the same across the whole area. So for the same amount of rainfall east coasters feel that August has been wet and miserable whereas we west coasters feel it's just been a typical August.
Now to the temperature for August...
The anomaly map shows that compared to recent years August has indeed been colder than "normal" for the pretty much the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland.
The actual temperature map though shows just how much warmer SE England still is than the rest of the country - on average 4 degrees higher. So there you go.
Anyway, by Wednesday the winds and rain were gone and we at last had some beautiful September weather. I zoomed round the garden with my camera to record this moment while it lasted.
We've also had our first frost. It had melted slightly by the time I took the above photo on Thursday morning, but the dew is still pretty.
Jackdaws and the moon in the morning.
For me, a hopeful tray of bulbs. I hope I can remember where the gaps are in the garden to plant them, I hope we have more nice weather so that planting them is a pleasant job, I hope to have time to plant them before it's too late in the year (though it won't be the first time I'll have planted bulbs in December), and next year when they flower I hope that Spring and Summer will be here again soon.
Back to September - cows always appear in the field across the road in September, they arrived yesterday.
I made a cake and biscuits for craft night. The biscuits are my usual choc chip cookies (recipe link in my side bar) but with 1 oz less sugar (I'm cutting down on evil sugar!) and 2 tsps ground ginger as well as chunks of 70% cocoa chocolate. The cake is a cherry strudel cake from...
...this book. It's the first time I'd baked it and it was good. Everything I have made so far from this book has turned out well and as the book is intended for children all the recipes are easy. I'd thoroughly recomend this book and have used it more often than some of my more fashionable baking books.
Lastly, I've always wanted one of these. I found mine here. It arrived yesterday and was in use last night. Love it!