Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Patronising Bastard Effect

Patroclus and I are wheeling the Blue Kitten into Falmouth, as is our wont most mornings. The Kitten is even Bluer than usual this morning*, as it really is particularly cold.

PATROCLUS: Ooh look, the river's freezing over!

ME: (kindly) Yes, well, the thing is, that doesn't really happen here, because the Gulf Stream brings warm water up from the equator, which accounts for Cornwall's characteristically sub-tropical climes, when compared to the rest of the United Kingdom. So even when there's a ridge of high pressure off the coast, bringing down Arctic air in a clockwise direction due to the Coriolis Effect (I've been reading the BBC weather site recently), there tends to be enough warm water to counteract this.

PATROCLUS: I see.

ME: Also, the estuary is really salt water flowing in from the sea, rather than fresh water flowing out, so really the salinity levels preclude the kind of 'icing over' effect you're talking about.

PATROCLUS: (calmly) Right.

A few minutes later we get round a bend in the road allowing a clear view of the river.

ME: Christ, the river's freezing over!

PATROCLUS: Yes.



*We've now put her in a rather fetching pramsuit, which makes her look like a tiny polar scientist. I'm thinking of fixing a small weather station onto her pram, next to the elephant.



ALSO: what looks like ice in that photo is actually mud, but there totally was ice there as well, take it from me.

I'm off to London now, where I will be discussing flintlocks.


5 comments:

BiScUiTs said...

It looks pretty chilly, in fact, in a way I think that photo looks like it could have been taken in Iceland rather than Cornwall!
Make sure you get one of those funny wind monitors with cup shaped things on. They are my favourite.

patroclus said...

An anemometer! Good call, Biscuits.

I saw the actual sea freeze in Scotland once. It was very exciting.

Fat Roland said...

You just made me look up 'flintlock' on Wikipedia.

Tim Footman said...

I'm of the age that when someone mentions 'flintlock', I think of the appalling band featuring Mike Holoway out of The Tomorrow People before I think of guns and stuff.

Same with Jethro Tull and seed drills.

Eleanor said...

If they give you grief in the Big Smoke talk Cornish at em! Go on, you know you want to!

(word verification "matoc". How cool is that!)