COUNTRYSIDE NOTES DECEMBER 2018 Review of Year and Thanks

What peculiar weather we’ve had throughout 2018! The so called jet stream did not behave according to the text book. It was cold right from the start of the year fluctuating between cold and frosty and cold and wet. The ‘Beast from the East’ arrived on February 24th bringing with it snow and temperatures as low as minus 7C. Similar weather persisted through most of March. The bitterly cold east winds continued well into April but then, all of a sudden, we had a brief taste of spring when temperatures for a few days got into the 20s. However, by the end of the month we were back to a very strong northerly wind and a high of only 7C! Throughout June and July we went to the other extreme with many days in the 30s although, surprisingly, night time temperatures in June were sometimes as low as 7 or 8 degrees. Gardens and the countryside were parched which affected crops already suffering from the cold, late spring. Predictably, for most of the school summer holidays, the weather was cool and changeable. Even though summer had returned by the end of September unusually there were a couple of frosts late in the month. Temperature reached 25C on October 13 and once again it had become very dry everywhere. The following day it rained and the thermometer dropped to 13C which came as a bit of a shock! Apart from a few odd days the mild weather continued well into November and the autumn colours were spectacular in the late autumn sunshine.
Apart from the extremes in temperatures and lack of rain another feature of 2018 was the number of windy days there were. It was interesting to see how summer flowering plants that had shut down in the drought conditions burst into life again in the autumn. In the vegetable garden tomatoes and runner beans, which normally would have been almost finished, were plentiful well into October. The rain in August seemed to give everything a new lease of life. I can’t help but wonder what sort of winter we’ll have. If there’s one thing we can be certain about with the British weather is that it’s unpredictable.
It’s coming up to that time of year when our thoughts most often turn to other people. Once again I’d like to remind everyone about the unseen band of voluntary workers in every village to whom we owe an awful lot. We shouldn’t ever take them for granted. There are those involved in producing and distributing our parish magazine providing information about everything that’s happening in our villages. There are those who keep our villages, churches and village halls neat and tidy and those who organise fund raising events, not forgetting all the ladies who make the cakes. It is these people who ensure that where we live is much more than just a group of houses – it’s a lively community.
Season’s Greetings to one and all.
Jill

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