Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Oh, the wind, THE WIND!

Hobart's weather a couple of days ago
One hundred and six kilometres per hour in the city, one hundred and thirty on Mt Wellington. That's how the wind blew a couple of days ago, with those strong northerlies pushing the temperature in the city up to just under 28 degrees centigrade. Pretty warm for this time of the year, as the mean maximum is only 18.7. Nowhere near the highest ever recorded temperature for November though, which is a whopping 36.8. Yes, we do have strange weather here in our outpost at the end of the world.

The wind has continued to blow pretty strongly for the past forty-eight hours, although as I type this I note that it has eased back into the thirties, with gusts "only" in the fifties. Not so bad as it has been, but spare a thought for the riders in the Tour of Tasmania, who are time-trialling to the top of Mt Wellington right at the moment. To add to the mix, a bit of rain started to fall an hour or so ago, so things will be spicy for them. Check out what they're getting on the summit of Mt Wellington right at the moment, especially the Apparent Temperature and the wind ...

Conditions on Mt Wellington

So, yes it's good to be home. I've had a couple of bike rides since I've been back, but I'm glad I'm not in the saddle riding up Mt Wellington just at the moment. This morning we had breakfast out on the way to the supermarket, and I remarked to Di how lovely it is to be home, at our favourite café and see the some familiar and friendly faces that we've been seeing over a number of years. We'd like to take some out-of-state and overseas visitors there when they come to visit ...

The wind has been playing havoc in the garden with the broad beans. They were looking so good when we returned five days ago, standing in a phalanx over a metre high, proud and covered in flowers with a few small pods already starting to appear. Many of them are now wounded - hopefully not mortally - and resting on the ground. Let's  hope that's all for such strong winds before the beans fully ripen.

Wind is a fact of life here in Hobart, especially in the spring and autumn when the weather patterns are readjusting themselves. It has got me to thinking about how in some parts of the world the wind seems to really be a part of the collective psyche. Some of you - if you're in my age bracket at least - may remember this great Cat Stevens classic from almost forty years ago ...



Compared to Hobart, I don't know how just how windy it is in London where Cat Stevens/Steven Georgiou/Yusuf Islam grew up, but a Google search suggests that it is plenty windy enough.

Our relationship with the wind does seem to bring out lots of creativity, and the theme seems to feature prominently in the arts. Given the title of Ken Loach's great film about the Irish War of Independence - The Wind That Shakes The Barley - one can only conclude that it's pretty windy in Ireland too. If you haven't seen the film it's something that's worth checking out. Here's a short trailer (sorry about the French subtitles, but I particularly like this trailer) ...


Of course, film takes its name from the Robert Joyce song about that war that finally broke the chains of English rule. There are many covers of that song, but I especially like this one by Loreena McKennitt ...


What a voice, eh!

Something completely different but equally powerful is the iconic version of "They Call the Wind Maria" from Paint Your Wagon ...


The sound in this clip isn't as good as for the McKennitt tune, but you get the picture, so to speak. And if you have never see "Paint Your Wagon" but love classic musicals, then it's something you really should get hold of, along with a big bucket of popcorn, before you die. I just realised how much I really am showing my age today. That great film was made 45 years ago. Whoa!

Of course it's not just artists that are inspired by the wind: there are also scientists inspired by artists inspired by the wind. And it's been going on for years!

Once again, Bob Dylan, another face from the distant past comes to the fore ... from over fifty years ago! (Don't worry, I am starting to wind this up ...)





Di's making rumblings about it being lunchtime. We've got the fixings for a couple of Reuben sandwiches about the place, so I think I'll get on and put them together. Enough rambling for the moment ...

Catchya later!

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