4 January 2014

Storm

This dramatic picture from Saltcoats, Scotland has appeared in several British newspapers this morning. It shows a train travelling along the Ayrshire coast by the Firth of Clyde. In recent days, our national media has been filled with tales of meteorological doom and gloom as our country has apparently been battered by  a succession of winter storms surging in from the North Atlantic. In contrast, here in tropical Sheffield I am happy to report that the weather has been unexceptional and at times positively balmy.

Not for the first time, it has been interesting to observe the BBC generalising from the particular. Down in the south east - home to BBC people, politicians, Arabian sheikhs, bankers and the like there has been flooding and stormy weather. Rather arrogantly, news teams have concluded that this bad weather has been a nationwide phenomenon. It hasn't. The same thing happened during the so-called "Great Storm" of 1987.

It's the same when a street murder occurs in London. We hear all about it but if an identical murder happened Up North, it would be either overlooked or given minimal airtime. The London bias is often blatant but sometimes subtly endemic.

Meanwhile, in The Pudding Mansion, I am alone with a mug of tea. Shirley is doing a rare Saturday morning shift at the health centre. Frances is back at her flat in Leeds and Ian travelled back to London yesterday afternoon. It was so lovely to have them both at home this Christmastime. We feasted and relaxed and they met up with old friends. We are lucky to be blessed with two such kind, morally decent, fun-loving and hard-working "kids" - though they are not really "kids" any more. Ian will be thirty this year and Frances will be twenty six. How time flies.

16 comments:

  1. This is a great image. This and another location somewhere near Exeter is an oft used location for storms and trains.
    It's good to hear you had a good Christmas. It must seem quiet now.

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    1. It does seem quiet but at least we''ll no longer need to worry about when they're coming home.

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  2. Have the same problem in Wales and you are bloody invisible

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    1. Wales? You mean that former coal mining village near Kiveton Park just east of Sheffield?

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    2. No he means Whales. Those creatures one can spot from the Severn Bridge.

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  3. It's a hell of an image!

    Has there been bad weather in the UK? There was nothing about it in the Jornal de Angola.

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    1. Yes Cap'n, look at the BBC News website. It could be the end of the world!

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  4. For the past 4 or 5 days, German newspeople seem to think that everyone wants to know how Michael Schumacher is doing. Well, here's my personal newsflash to all of them: I am NOT interested. Of course I do not wish an accident like this on anyone, or having to spend one's 45th birthday in a coma, but I'm afraid I couldn't care less. I have no personal ties to the Schumacher family, and political decisions of our new government matter a lot more to me, since they have a direct impact on my daily life.

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    1. I care far, far more for the children of Afghanistan, Somalia, The Central African Republic, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangla Desh, Syria, Pakistan than for one rich former F1 driver. But those millions of children haven't had a smidgeon of news coverage this Christmas compared with the thousands of words devoted to Mr Schumacher

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  5. As you age, you will discover that time flies ever faster. My three will be fifty, forty-eight, and forty-six in 2014.

    The photograph is stunning. Was that a passenger train or a freight train?

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  6. Sad that the bbc continues to sensationalise the news when it has no obligation to a government and commercial sponsorship that demands lots of viewing.

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    1. I guess you are right disv2002 but on the whole the BBC provide brilliant services and on my world travels I have never seen any other broadcasting organisation that even comes close to it.

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  7. And so they should. It's uniquely funded and not like any other broadcaster in the world.

    Think they should scrap News 24 and World News (not World Service) and all the banal cable channels in the UK (perhaps even BBC2 and put all the better BBC2 programmes on BBC1) and ensure BBC1 and therefore all the overseas BBC channels have quality not a diluted quantity that tries (for no apparent reason other than to pacify the licence payer) to compete with the commercial channels.

    Perhaps then licence payers would get 'more' for their money and non-sensationalised news that satisfies its unique charter.

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  8. You know, they do the same here. If something bad happens on the east coast.....well at least from Canada to North Carolina.....or something happens on the west coast.....well, what I really mean is ONLY California....then we get 24/7 coverage. The rest of the country ? ..... forgetaboutit!!

    We have heard a couple of snippets about your storms this week. But, that picture says it all!!!

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  9. I do agree with your comment re Mr Schumacher....and your Christmas with 'the kids' must have been as lovely as ours was...aren't we blessed to have good kids?

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