Posts Tagged ‘weather’

The weather in Sweden

July 28, 2014

I was a bit worried about the weather when I was packing for Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. My friend, who lived in Sweden for many years, told me, “Sweden has two seasons: July/August, and winter.”

After all, I had this 23-kg limitation, and I couldn’t take too much warm clothing.So I packed one light jacket, a couple of shawls and scarves, and one ear-covering cap. I wore the heavier jacket on the flight.


I didn’t realize egg-jackly what my friend said when she mentioned “July/August.”.

The temperature for the past several days has been 31 deg C (that’s 84 deg F) and a humidity varying between 75 ad 97 (I kid you not) per cent. I’ve been using a small, one-speed, folding bike with tiny tyres to get around, and believe me, one feels every degree of the heat and every per cent of the humidity when one is trying to crest the Himalayas (er, they feel like them) in the noonday heat.

Another fact I have learnt. These buildings (in one of which I am staying) have heaters, which are switched on in winter. But they have NO air-conditioning in summer, because probably they don’t HAVE summer. And forget fans.

Forget fans? When every muggy night, as I lie bathed in sweat, all I can think of is switching on the fan in my Bangalore bedroom and going peacefully to sleep? When I went to a couple of stores nearby, I did find pedestal and table fans for sale. But not wanting to put my friend to unnecessary expense, and adding to the junkola accumulation (I am here for aother week!) I didn’t feel like buying one.

I went to Denmark, and standing in the sun to watch the Changing of the Guard,in Copenhagen, I got blistered AND fried at the same time. Never has an ice-cream tasted as good as the one I got on the pier. I wanted to have another one to put down my perspiring back….Well, we got back to Sweden after some more travels which were, lucikly, not too bad. Once again, the temperature soared. cycled to and from work like a trooper.

But…by yesterday (Sunday) , both of us had had enough. “Let’s go fly a kite!” I yodelled. My friend looked at me in surprise. “Sorry! That’s a famous song from ‘Mary Poppins’,” I explained, I wanted to use the tune to sing, “Let’s go… buy a fan!” So off we went. Cycled off in the muggy heat, with Old Sol beating down on our helmeted heads as fiercely as he could, as if to make up for all the snowy, sleety, frosty, rainy mornings when he’d gone off to get some chai and left all the Scandinavians in the lurch.

We went to five stores. Why did we do that? Were we very choosy about the models of the fans and the colours we wanted (the fans we’d seen the previous week were all the reverse of Mr Ford and his model-T story…they were all white.) Oh, no! There was a simple reason why we went to store after store after store after store….there were NO fans!

Stores do change their layouts often, the better to trap the customer with more unplanned purchases, so initially, we thought they’d put the fans Somewhere Else. But when we finally located a store employee in Store no.1, we realized that the Else where they had put the Somewhere was…in Other Customers’ Homes! All the fans were sold out.

Having, ofkose, chosen the hottest part of the day (from 11am onwards) to do the FBE (Fan Buying Expedition), we went to Store no. 2. Then Store no. 3. Then Store no. 4. Puff-puff, pant-pant. Pedal-pedal-pedal. Puddle-puddle-puddle (of sweat.) Sweat trickling down along my ears, along my back, moistening the waistband of my trousers. I suggested to my friend in Store no. 4 that we just climb into one of the display camping tents and stay in the store for a couple of days. He wouldn’t listen, law-abiding nutcase that he is.

I made a Wise Prediction. Murphy’s Law mandated that we would find a fan, probably beat-up and not working, in Store no. 5. I was wrong, as usual. “Zere is a vairee few flaktar (fans),” the Pretty-Young-Thing-Who-Looked-Like-A-Nordic-Wax-Doll at the entrance told us. There WERE fans. They were NOT beat-up old ones, but new. There were actually three models. But…..

One looked like the head of a Storm Trooper from Star Wars. Another one was so small I had to close one eye to be able to see it inside its small metal cage. The third one had no wire or metal mesh at all. In each case, when I put my face about 3 inches from the revolving blades, I felt a faint stirring of a gentle zephyr. The beads of perspiration on my face laughed nastily, and rolled down a bit more victoriously. No wonder the third fan had no grille…it didn’t need one! All I needed to do was to put my pinky finger gently on one of the teensy-weensy plastic blades, and the fan stopped, timorous and worried, and eager to stop.

I had just finished a blistering summer in Bangalore, and come to Sweden. I knew that from here I would be going to St.Louis in August…triple-H…Hot, Humid, and Horrible. So I was very happy to be going to Sweden and Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia, where the nip in the air would be very welcome.

Nip? Even the BUSES are not air-conditioned in the summer, they are only heated in the winter!…and remember..there are no water fountains…one has to BUY water, expensive Swedish Kroner water, everywhere!

Nip? The only nip I want to do is to NIP the rest of this trip and fly off to St.Louis, where at least everyone knows what summer is, and there is blessed air-conditioning, and my poor daughter bought me a table fan last year….

One thing you can say is very true…I am NOT a fan of the Swedish summer!

June 5, 2014

Adarsh Raju, Radha Rangarajan and Sangeetha Kadur put together this event on the 5th of June, at the Suchitra Film Society in Banashankari.

The documentary chronicles the work of James Balog, an award-winning photographer, who, along with his team, placed two dozen time-lapse cameras throughout the Arctic and other areas, to record melting and receding glaciers. Balog conducted the Extreme Ice Survey, a long-term project to preserve a visual legacy of how climate change and human activity affects glaciers. The film was directed by Jeff Orlowski.

(you can see a short bit here,it’s about 12 min)

Post the screening, Ulhas Anand spoke of the simple ways in which each of us can save resources. He said that if all the humans on the planet were given a 30’X 40′ plot of land with 500 sq ft of garden, next to each other, the total amount of land needed would fit into the nation of South Africa; and yet we only earmark 4% of our land for our fellow creatures.

Kalyan Varma then spoke, with illustrative slides, on the importance of not being stuck to old modalities of conservation which seek to separate wildlife from human beings, literally fencing them away from each other. With special reference to grassland habitats, he said that such measures were proving counterproductive. He also showed graphic video footage of the torture endured by elephants recently captured from the wild, and “trained” to domesticity. There was a little discussion following this, but since it was getting late, the evening came to an end.

The event also provided an excellent opportunity for those interested in these topics to meet and catch up. It was pleasant to meet several people who are well-known for their expertise in the birding and wildlife fields.

There was a strong NTP contingent: Adarsh, Anjali, Chirdeep, Kalyan, Kesava, Parimala, Poornima, Radha, Raji, Sreeram and Sumeet (and yours truly) were those who were there (I might have missed someone out inadvertently, with my bad memory!)

In fact, the meet-and-greet aspect was so pronounced that I did wonder if at such events, we are just preaching to the choir. Those who attend are usually those who are already well aware of the problems and challenges posed by the environmental issues of today. Perhaps a better way to look at such events is that attendees go back with further information to disseminate the message to others, as many of us are doing in various ways.

But whether it’s a discussion forum or a social occasion, (or both) I do hope there will be more such screenings! Thank you, organizers, for an event that was nearly punctual, and had a good turnout, even though it was a working day, and there was very heavy rain before the event started.

Varsha, Bhoomi, Prakriti

June 24, 2013

View of monsoon showers from Nandi Hills

Taken at Nandi Hills, 23 June, 2007…exactly six years ago! Right now, a storm is raging outside, here in St.Louis.

The clouds gather, and darken.
Heavy, bearing water, they scud along.
Low-hanging, in cottony shreds,
Higher up, boiling, as if
The water in them were
Hot, instead of icy cold.
The breeze stiffens, too.
Coolness, welcome after the heat,
Pervades the very air.
The trees sway in the rising wind,
And that eerie light, that presages a storm
Makes the whole scene glow.
Lightning forks down…majestic, awe-inspiring.
The thunder follows, scary claps, or distant rumbles.
The first big, fat, drops fall
And dry at once, on the hot footpath.
But more and more follow,
Until it’s a stream of water
Falling from the sky.
It sounds trite and traditional,
But the hearts of sundered lovers
Yearn to be together again.
Children, on the other hand,
Hold on to their parents
And try to swallow their fear
Of the elemental forces.
The monsoon’s begun…the wonderful, unique
“Smell-of-the-earth”, that comes with the first touch
Of rainwater, on the parched earth,
Raises emotions in our hearts,
Even as beasts and birds
Scurry for shelter, or stand patiently,
Drenched in the sustained downpour
With which Nature renews her annual promise
To her sister, the Earth.

Black and white, 240313

March 29, 2013

We say “black and white”…but it’s never just black and white. There are always the various shades of grey, the areas that are neither here nor there….but I can’t talk about fifty shades of grey any more!

So I’ll just be content with a couple of pictures, taken in Forest Park during the snowstorm Virgil, last Sunday…

B'nw snow fp 240313 best photo DSC02340.jpg

This the

Animals Always sculpture

at the gate of the St.Louis Zoo:

B'nw snow fp 240313 zoo gate photo DSC02337-1.jpg

Here are boughs bent beneath the weight of the snow:

conifer 240313 snow photo DSC02322.jpg

A lovely gazebo at a branch of Target:

B'nw snow fp 240313 target photo DSC02313-1.jpg

Steps on Enright:

B'nw snow fp 240313 steps photo DSC02295.jpg

Black, white, and all the greys are beautiful…

Snow and colour…

March 25, 2013

Snow is supposed to be white;
But many colours seen to hide in it.
The snow catches the band of the prism:
Indeed, it can even widen it.

colour even 240313 snow photo DSC02379.jpg

It’s a lesson to me not to assume
That’s anyone’s life is a bland white.
They may just be balancing, wisely,
All the colours of the light.


Looking out 240313 snow photo DSC02374.jpg

I opened the door to Spring.
But it was Winter that I let in.
I wanted the green and the flowers.
But it was all white in a few hours….

For other images of snow in colour,

click here

And for snow in black and white,
click here

house 240313 snow photo DSC02353.jpg

Cloudbow, or Ringbow, around the sun, St.Louis, 150313

March 15, 2013

I made a movie, using one of Picasa’s features for the first time.

This is for ….

I liked it when the aircraft flew across 🙂

March 10, 2013

This was the scene when I went to drop Boodi Ma at her daycare, a few days ago.

mist 060313 stl photo DSC01591.jpg

These are the words and thoughts it brought up in my mind….

How many scenes of life do we miss
Because of the mist and fog?
How many sensitivities lie buried in the mud
Beneath apathy’s log?
What do we pretend does not exist
Because we veil our eyes?
How many truths of life do we dodge
With avoidance instead of lies?

The green light of leisure

June 29, 2012

picnic muny 260612

In the green light
Falling through the leaves
The family outing
Relaxes and relieves
The tensions of the week,
The cares of each day;
In the green light of leisure
All these melt away.
To be together with loved ones
Out in the open air….
Nature’s the best healer
When the weather’s set fair.

New laptop!

June 29, 2012

After my laptop and I went flying over a granite surface last January, in Chambal, my friendly neighbourhood laptop repairman, and my dear friend


together brought it back to life, and it’s been performing creditably ever since.

However, I decided that, like in other areas of my life, I must make a new beginning, and for the past few days, has struggled to load a version of Ubuntu on it, too, to improve my usage.’

Here’s , opening up the exciting package (I waited for him to come home!)

ds opening comp  stl 250612

and setting it up…

ds and comp 2  stl 250612

Here’s on Gtalk, also looking at what is going on…

ga gtalk  stl 250612

So…here are the old one and the new one, sitting companionably together on the island in the St.Louis kitchen:

two comps funnel web   enright 280612

The new model (it’s also a Toshiba…this is going to be my third Toshiba, and each time it’s smaller and lighter….) is the Toshiba Portege R 835 P83…probably a dinosaur for all the techies and geeks, but very exciting for me!

Also, the old machine had used up all the RAM, and was using the disk memory, and hence had started working at, in DS’ memorable phrase, “Paint-dry speed”. It is a relief to see the prompt response of this new baby!

OK, since I feel very happy to have the laptop, here’s a lovely pic of roses for all of you….

roses funnel web   enright 280612

This pic is dedicated to all the Jhatgussas I know.


April 27, 2012

The sunlight streaming golden through the heavy clouds and the glittering rain and the Gulmohar’s fiery reds. Coolness in the air as the rain goes on. Slowly, the shapes of the scudding clouds change… I love rain.


Rain in Summer – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And here’s a video of a magnificient thunderstorm that I was caught in:

Rain…the giver of life.