Make a point of visiting us weekly!        Tell a friend about us. Seasonal Reflections:  February (2)

Through 2020 – FEBRUARY

The mildness of the year so far meant that in week one of February, white blossom was appearing on a red-leafed ornamental cherry tree down the garden and the very first daffodils were out. February is clearly the month of the bulb and all around the garden this year bulb leaves were pushing up so that by the end of the month daffodils were appearing all over, hyacinths and the like were doing their thing welcoming in Spring (in March). As anticipated at the end of the month the Met Office announced it had been the wettest month in recorded history for this country.

If January was the month of fires in Australia, February has been the months of floods for the UK. Time and time again the TV news pictures portrayed the living nightmare that people in the west and north were suffering under acres and acres and acres of floods, again and again. So it was a wet month and an incredibly windy one, not with massively high winds (but often around 45-60 miles an hour) but continuous. Frosts were few and temperatures here varied mostly between 3 and 10 degrees C. And more wind! Near the end of the month an earthquake of 7.6 magnitude in the Caribbean seemed to hardly get a mention in the news. Too much else around I suspect. It is interesting we seem to be personalizing storms approaching the UK these days, presumably in an effort to highlight the numbers coming, and presumably to attribute them to global warming:  storm Ciara on 8th/9th Feb, and storm Denis on the 16th (with a record number of 600 flood warnings out). (Perhaps we should also note in passing a British Airways Boeing 747  made the fastest ever subsonic New York JFK to London Heathrow crossing, achieved in 4 hours 56 minutes, reaching ground speeds of up to 825 mph by riding the jet stream. Awesome! But did they then have to sit for two hours in a holding pattern over Watford I wonder?)

Almost certainly, not open for debate, the biggest news issue has been the development of Coronavirus, first in China and then in such varied places as South Korea, Iran and Italy, with lessor reportings elsewhere.  Initially, I suspect, back at the end of January we watched as semi-bored spectators as four Chinese cities went into lockdown watched by the World Health Organisation who praised China for its swift action. Not swift enough to stop this virus which, again seems to have initially been caught from animals, spreading to Japan and other places around the globe. Very much a case of watch this space.

One of the, therefore, lesser news items from  across the Pond was the Iowa Democratic caucuses, the first nominating contests in the Democratic Party primaries for the 2020 presidential election. This year this created more interest after a whole series of delays in counting and then in agreeing their results. It may appear a big yawn from this side of the Atlantic but you have to admit the cousins certainly know how to make a meal out of electioneering. More and more and more to come this year.  Along the way the President was acquitted on impeachment charges while the rest of the world went, “I don’t believe it!” Amazing how popular he is – at least among the Republicans.

On this side of the water, a cabinet reshuffle followed by the resignation of the Chancellor, raised a few eyebrows as did, later in the month a resignation of a high level civil servant in a row about bullying. And who said politics was getting boring?  The Irish election results raised a stir, breaking free from the usual two party system with Sinn Fein winning 37 seats alongside Fianna Fail’s 37 seats and Fine Gael’s 35 seats in the first-preference votes.   Indian rioting in the streets of Delhi as the Hindu majority persecuted the Muslin minority in the citizenship law changes.   

So yes, the world continues to fuel the media news channels (with so much more than I’ve picked out here). We’re on the verge of Spring and wonder what more the environment is going to dump on us this year.  Mildish, wet (very) and windy (very), has been the name of the game this month. Will it just be a vague memory lost in a year of health concerns? To cite the old Chinese curse (or so it is said), we are clearly living in ‘interesting times’! (May you live in interesting times”.)

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