Friday, 20 November 2009

Friday 20th November 09

I got up in time to get to Pauline's for 10am. But whilst I was eating my breakfast I was watching the news, about the 'freak' rain and devastating floods in Keswick and Cockermouth in the North West of the UK, I heard someone say that this was a 'one in a thousand year event'. The floods which affected the same region in 2005 were apparently a 'one in a hundred year event'. So I changed my facebook status to:
2005 'one in a hundred year event'
2009 'one in a thousand year event'
c'mon folks, when are we going to understand that something is going on?

I just hope some good comes from this horrible time, with houses and property trashed, four bridges swept away, at least one life lost. If it takes a tragedy to get people to realise that we have to change our ways, or suffer much much more of this kind of thing, then it is worth it. But we have a long way to go before we can reduce our CO2 levels back down to 350 parts per million, which scientists suggest is a 'safe' level which will only increase our average global temperature by about two degrees Celcius. However, the level of CO2 today is 385 ppm, up a third since pre-industrial revolution levels of about 280 ppm. The current level of CO2 will give us an increase in temperature of possibly 4 degrees, and as the levels of CO2 are still rising, we might expect an increase of 6 degrees, which would probably give us runaway climate change due to amplifying feedback loops. This CO2 count isn't the only greenhouse gas which is increasing. Methane is probably the best known 'other greenhouse gas' but there are quite a few others, see green living tips for a good simple overview, and Micheal Bloch's other website carbonify has lots of information too.

Anyway, I cycled round to Paulines to help her remove her exuberant potato vine tree, as requested. Her delightful 4 year old great grandchild was there, and she helped in a cute way. As per usual with Pauline, I was rewarded for the work by a good 'real' coffee and soya milk plus chat. I regard Pauline as one of the 'wise women' in my life as she often gives me sound and sensible advice.

I came home via Country Fresh and Freshways and had lunch. As it then started to pour with rain here I did a wash up, and went outside once it had cleared up a bit. I split the logs I collected yesterday and then, as I wanted to stack these, I needed to move the bricks that the chimney removers had left where my logpiles normally are. There were about 60 whole bricks, most of them with mortar still attached. If we're going to reuse these bricks, they have to be mortar free, so I found a hammer and did about 45 bricks in an hour and a quarter. Four of them broke but these might still be useful as hardcore in the wall/fence build foundations. But, as my concentration perhaps wandered towards the end, I hit my thumb nailbed with the hammer, and although it broke the skin, it wasn't painful at first. But a couple of hours later, the pressure under my thumbnail was very painful. I think the nail might come off.

But a happy family evening with good food (yummy fruit salad!) and telly watching together.

Started a game of Scrabble with both my lads... both of whom look like they're going to be good players. I was pleased with how well they did. We didn't finish the game though, but left it on the table to finish tomorrow.

Later, had a lovely long phone chat with a friend whom I've met through facebook, not in 'real life', and it was good to do this. We may never meet but that doesn't mean the friendship is any less enjoyable.

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