Friday, 27 May 2011

Amber Alert

The UK was on Amber alert as strong winds up to 129km/h battered the country. A deepening low pressure system to the north brought very blustery winds with gales battering the area. Damaging gusts swept exposed spots of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England. High winds have brought down trees and power lines causing travel disruption in parts of Scotland.

We were warned to batten down the hatches amid fears of falling roof tiles, cracking branches and damaged power lines. I woke up to a freezing casa that I’d to put the heating on and it was the end of May!!! Then the dilemma of dressing for work. So I stick to my safest attire, cardigan and boots. It was quite calm on the way to work.

But during my lunch walk, I’d to hold on to my hat. WhoOOSH!!! I had to cut it short because I don’t want to be out and about under the trees in full leaf as winds of this strength can easily topple them. There were lots of flying twigs and debris aboutWarwick University D50   24-05-2011 12-47-23. So back to the safety of the warm office. These wind speeds would be noteworthy in midwinter, but for them to occur in late spring is most unusual. So far the Midlands escaped the full brunt. I spotted these cute cygnets huddling together to keep warm. 

Apart from strong winds, UK airspace was again braced for ash clouds released from the eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano. Different volcano. Different ash cloud. Same problems. It came just over a year after the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted and the resulting ash cloud grounded flights not only across the UK but through most of northern Europe. The Grimsvotn volcano started erupting on Saturday sending a plume of ash up into the atmosphere bringing the closure of Icelandic air space.

Thousands of airline passengers face travel disruption as dozens of flights were cancelled as the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland headed towards Scotland and northern England. I think it was for the best that carriers were cautious than to have aeroplanes falling from the sky. My cousin, Jajan and family, was in the UK for a fortnight’s holiday and he was watching closely the chain of events. They will be flying back to Malaysia from Glasgow and didn’t want to be stranded in a foreign land.

We planned to meet when they were in Oxford but we got our lines crossed. I thought we were meeting on Wednesday but he planned it on Thursday. I was working on that day and he has to be in London the same night. He was on a very tight schedule and I hoped he and family had a wonderful time in the UK. Since we couldn’t meet here, we made plans to meet when I’m in Malaysia. Have a safe trip home.

In Malaysia, landslides caused by heavy rains, have hit the Hidayah Madrasah al-Taqwa orphanage in the district of Hulu Langat. 16 people, all but one of them young boys, were buried under mud and rubble. An absolute tragedy to those who have very little in life to start with. It was even more tragic that the orphanage was built on a hillside, in a country prone to heavy rainfall. Where were the planning and health and safety authorities??? Al-Fatehah to those who died.

In the city of Joplin, Missouri, 142 people were killed by a massive tornado. America's deadliest single tornado, with winds of 322km/h, was one of the most destructive in US history carved a swathe of destruction through the city. It left a trail of devastation six miles long and half a mile wide, including flattened houses, ruined churches and grocery stores, mangled cars and splintered trees. The Joplin tornado was one of 68 reported across seven Midwest states over the weekend, from Oklahoma to Wisconsin.

The weather patterns were definitely changing. My heart and prayers go out to all the people who had been adversely affected.

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine

~Anthony J. D’Angelo~

At work, my colleagues and I cracked our heads to decide where to place a decimal point or dot in the classification system. I had only realised that some of us didn’t think that it was important where the dot is after the main subject related group. The dot is not a decimal point in the mathematical sense, but a psychological pause to break the monotony of numerical digits and to ease the transcription and copying of the class number. It also helps the shelving assistants when they shelve the books.

I have also joined a Zumba class at the nearby primary school. The classes run on Tuesday and Thursday but I could only managed the Thursday class. There were classes held in the university but their hours doesn’t fit with mine. This class started at 6.30pm which meant that I have time to change at home and then Babe gave me a lift to the school. I walked home after the class is over. Another 30 minutes of brisk walking. Not an easy feat after the class as my legs turned to jelly :-).

Zumba is a dance-fitness class performed to a thumping Latin American beat, with a party atmosphere. The word "Zumba" comes from a Colombian word that means to move fast and have fun, which was how people described the routine. Using upbeat Latin music together with cardiovascular exercise, Zumba is aerobic dancing that mixes effective body sculpting movements with easy-to-follow, fun dance steps.

The session lasted about an hour and incorporated several dance styles, including cumbia, merengue, salsa, mambo, rumba, flamenco, calypso, belly dancing and Bhangra. To give it a local flair, Bhangra and Arabic music was also mixed in. The music includes both fast and slow rhythms, allowing for a great cardio workout as well as body sculpting exercises. You tend to forget that you’re working out and everyone was smiling and having fun. There were about 30-40 of us, all women of different ages, sizes and colours having a very good time.

During one of my walks, I heard a harsh screeching call above me. When I looked up, I spotted this handsome Jay flirting from tree to tree. I stood there admiring the pinkish plumage, intense blue patch on the wings and the quirky black moustache. This was the first time I’d seen a Jay in the university’s grounds and what a pleasure it was.Warwick University D50   25-05-2011 12-21-19

“From bush to bush slow sweeps the screaming jay

With one harsh note of pleasure all the day”

~John Clare~.


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