14% less rain under Brexit

Today is the June solstice, officially marking the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. Predictably, here in the UK, it's raining.

Not to worry: the Brexit campaign assures us there will be 14% less rain if we leave the EU. Summers will be 17% longer. Furthermore, the force of gravity will be reduced by 3%, meaning any rain that does fall on England's green and pleasant land will fall more softly—just like it did during the Battle of Britain. Better summers for hard-working British families!

Brexit aren't against rain, you understand. Oh no. But enough is enough. Our water-management systems can't cope with all this foreign precipitation. Once we've left the EU, pesky foreign weather-fronts will be prevented from moving into British airspace. British reservoirs for British water!

Don't believe a word of the scaremongering R[em]AIN campaign and their so-called meteorological experts. We are Great Britain.

Union flag

Long may we rain!

27 not out

I made my 27th consecutive Christmas Eve ascent of Moel Famau earlier today, accompanied by four dogs, Irish Mick, and almost an entire soccer team provided by Carolyn (some of whom I had never met before). This wasn't so much a walk as an expedition.

Group shot on top of Moel Famau

A large number of people and dogs on top of Moel Famau earlier today.

As usual, it was very windy on top. So windy, in fact, that one of our team got blown away:


A teenager getting blown away this afternoon.

One particularly large gust even caught Carolyn off guard:

Carolyn cartwheeling

Carolyn caught off guard this afternoon.

As I've said before, you will stop me if this becomes boring, won't you?

More photos »

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Guardian: Hurricane Norbert batters Baja California and heads north-west

Do you think they're starting to scrape the barrel when it comes to hurricane names? Norbert: what sort of name is that for any tropical cyclone worth its salt? I mean, it's not even a real name. Have you ever met anyone named Norbert? Me neither.

Apparently, Norbert means ‘famous in the North’. Not in this bloody North he's not. Up here, I guarantee, you won't hear tales of the legendary Norbert, who famously did something famous for which he is now remembered throughout the region. In fact, I can honestly say, I have never even heard of anyone named Norbert, let alone actually met someone with that unfortunate monicker. It's a made-up name. It's a joke name. In fact, I've just consulted the Famous People Named Norbert web page and it only lists five men, all but one of whom are dead, and absolutely none of whom you will have heard of. Not even Norbert Leo Butz, the ‘#1 person named Norbert’, who famously graduated from Webster University and the University of Alabama before beginning his career as a Broadway performer, and who then went on to appear on such television shows as The Deep End, Law & Order: SVU, The Good Wife, and Smash.

Do you think that Norbert Leo Butz, in an attempt perhaps to turn the inevitable topic of conversation away from his surname, tries to impress strangers with the fact that, according to the Famous People Named Norbert website, he's the #1 person named Norbert in the whole world? I suppose it's a claim to fame of sorts. But, as with the hurricane names, it smacks of barrel-scraping.

I mean, just imagine if your house got flattened, and you had to explain that you had been made homeless by Hurricane Norbert. Where's the dignity in that? People would just piss themselves laughing, or think you'd made it up.

No, enough is enough! You can't have a hurricane named Norbert. Whatever next? Hurricane Robin? Hurricane Keith (no offence)? Actually, no, it turns out these things are planned in advance. The next Eastern North Pacific hurricanes of the 2014 season, if there are any, will be named (I'm not making this up): Odile, then Polo, then Rachel, then Simon, then Trudy, then Vance, then Winnie, then Xavier, then Yolanda, then Zeke.

Actually, perhaps Norbert isn't such a damn stupid name for a hurricane after all.