Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Interesting Climes

We're all a bit bored, here in Blighty, with this endless cool dampness punctuated by torrential deluges and half-hour slots of weak sunshine. The tiny bursts of tantalising sunshine are just to remind us that it's summer before they are snatched from us again and replaced by rain and cold.

Today I was working on a student doctors' exam in Leeds University Sports Hall and at one point the rain was so loud I couldn't hear what the candidate was saying.

Yesterday, as I left the hospital after visiting the Communist, so much rain fell on me on the way back to the car park that I was actually wading through water two inches deep on the pavement and the phrase "soaked to the skin" had its literal meaning for once. It was so wet it was almost interesting in its very wetness.

So, rain rain, grumble grumble, British hobby. But unless you're one of the people whose houses have been invaded by several feet of water, it's no more than an inconvenience.

On the other hand, it could be much worse. Checking the weather in various parts of the world, so as to add ammunition to my grumblings, I noticed the weather in Kosovo. The reason I looked at Kosovo is because my friend John is currently Summer School Director for the Kosovo Youth Education Project, for children who were orphaned during the war about a decade ago.

Here's the weather forecast there:

Thursday SUNSHINE 38 degrees Centigrade, 100 degrees Fahrenheit
Friday SUNSHINE 39 degrees Centigrade, 102 degrees Fahrenheit
Saturday SUNSHINE 40 degrees Centigrade, 104 degrees Fahrenheit
Sunday SUNSHINE 41 degrees Centigrade, 105 degrees Fahrenheit
Monday SUNSHINE 38 degrees Centigrade, 100 degrees Fahrenheit

I have only once been in forty-degree heat and that was in France four years ago, on the day that many people died from the heat. We arrived at our campsite and couldn't get into the caravan as they were mending the shower: and we couldn't get into the pool as all our swimming things were packed in the cases in the car.

I lay in the semi-shade - the best I could find - under some pine trees, just astonished by how hot it was.

In Kosovo they are running lots of interesting activities for over a hundred children - a wonderful project. But working in that heat - - no! I can't begin to imagine it. Tomorrow, when it rains here, as I'm sure it will, I shan't grumble.


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