Tuesday, May 25, 2010

...and there goes the sun

After 4 warm days we are back to normal. Actually it is a beautiful spring day, with bright blue skies and just a few fluffy clouds, albeit some 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. But apparently we are in for a cooler than usual summer [source?: Ed], thus perpeptuating the sequence that begin with the dismal 2007. Is it a coincidence that this news matched yet another sharp decline in the world's stock markets? Could it be that the run of disappointing summers (in the UK at any rate) in the past four years is the cause of the financial turmoil which also began in 2007?

Some may blame sunspots, long held to do nasty things to agricultural cycles. Others might conjecture that magnetic anomalies are interfering with human rational and emotional systems. Or is just that duller weather makes us all depressed and jittery? I have long been a fan of Keynes' "animal spirits" theory of investment. Stand by for the pathbreaking combination of economics, meteorology and astronomy that I call "The General Theory Of Weather And Why Everything Goes Pear-shaped So Quickly". Available in all good bookshops the moment that it gets published (and subsequently distributed to all good bookshops).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Here comes the sun

Yes after a dismal winter and delayed spring, the temperature finally dragged itself into the upper 20s today. Indeed it was positively balmy to be driving through North West London, as I happened to be doing this afternoon.  And we only turned our central heating off a couple of days ago (and not for the first time this year, having been suckered by an earlier mild spell that failed to deliver).

A few years ago I was seriously worried about the prospect of a series of heatwaves in the summers to come, something for which us commuters are not well prepared. Well, that was then. Now it is rather pleasant, though what it may be like on the tube next week we shall find out in due course and you my faithful readers [shouldn't that be reader, arf-arf: Ed]  will be kept fully informed. They are supposed to be bringing new air-conditioned trains into service on the dear old Metropolitan this year - now would be an excellent time to give them a trial run.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bumping along

It's very odd. They close the Met most weekends to do maintenance. And the quality of the ride gets worse and worse. Between Wembley Park and Neasden, and through the tunnels toward Baker Street we are thrown back and forth, bounced up and down, ears are assailed by squeaks and rattles and the whole is punctuated with the occasional loud thud and jolt as though something has broken in the chassis.

For those of us struggling to listen to recorded radio programmes on the old Zen player, or attempting to fill in word puzzles, it's not pleasant. But will the new trains be better? we ask ourselves. Fewer seats but a more comfortable ride. It's a complex trade-off.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Waiting for the call

The coalition government is being formed even as I pen these words, and, given that this blog exclusively predicted the outcome of the election, surely a call to assume Ministerial office must be just hours away. My loyal readers must therefore forgive me for having neglected commuting-related matters recently. It is possible that I will be unable to reconcile my dearly held principles with whatever Messrs.Cameron & Clegg now subscribe to and that, once again, high office will pass me by. In which case normal service will be resumed. We shall see. [Some slight exaggerations above but I think we can get away with it: Ed]