Offbeat 19 August 2016

I quite enjoyed the first season of Game of Thrones. I didn’t fancy waiting for the second season, so I jumped into the books. The books were a bunch of minutiae, difficult to follow, but like a box of chocolates, once you have one, you need to eat the rest.
Season seven on TV is arriving before books seven and eight. Apparently, George RR Martin is struggling to get to the end of the books. I don’t blame him much though. It was difficult enough to read the things. I can’t imagine writing all that detail. Maybe he can use season seven of the TV show as a crib sheet, but then he gave the plot points. I won’t bother with watching season seven though. I’ll wait for books seven and eight.
The thing that strikes me about the books is the idea that ‘Winter is coming’. I rather like winter, so the theme stuck with me. I had to wade through about five volumes of family trees, battles and politics for winter to actually arrive, so I was really glad that it finally showed up, with its monsters.
I also made a prediction that ‘winter is coming’, in about February of this year, when I was getting a bit sick of the heat. I predicted that it would arrive in about six weeks back then. Unfortunately, winter took its time getting here, but at least it arrived, for a bit.
I wore shoes and socks and trousers for about a week, early in late July. The cat moved back into bed with me as well. My old heater, a plastic fan number, burned out last year. I had an idea that if it stayed cold for a while, I would go and get a new one. Unfortunately the cold didn’t happen for long enough, and the extra blanket was enough.
What I most enjoy about winter is the cold, the ability to get warm. It is far easier to get warm in winter than it is to get cold in summer. This year, I feel a bit robbed. Winter is one of the promises of the seasons, sort of like rain. Unfortunately the promises aren’t being kept.
One of the signs of my personal winter is that my mouse hand becomes stiff and clumsy with the cold. That is because my right arm rests on the desk, which transfers its own cold to me. For the last few years that was a major phenomenon. It led to me holding cups of hot coffee, or washing the dishes, to claw the warmth back. This year, I only had about three days of cold hands.
I find myself in shorts again. There is an alert out that this weekend might be cold. The weather site I visit in search of hope, rain or cold weather, says not. The ants that have re-awoken, and are making forays into my kitchen, say not. The cat is snuggling with the dog again.
Meanwhile, I find my envy arising when I look at flood-stricken parts of the world. Cruel and insensitive as it seems, I instinctually feel that they could send some of that rain to us. Drought also happens in winter, and the standard winter shower that happens every year, was very meagre this year.
The world is changing. I suspect that we are saying goodbye to winter for a couple of centuries at this point. It’s not just drought. Once again, the reports are coming in of global heat. July 2016 was listed as the hottest month since records began (note, not the hottest July, and also note as El Nino was fading). August 2016 is to follow.
An article I read said that scientists are beginning to talk about carbon sequestration now, filtering existing carbon from the air. If that can happen, they project that climate may begin to return to normal by about the 23rd century.
The trick of the matter at this point is to consider the jagged peaks of a rising growth curve. The process has its own momentum. There may be months that are slightly less hot, but those will be blips in the rising trend.
My mother died on a very hot day. I suspect the heat added to her existing frailty. I find myself wondering how well I might manage a daytime temperature of 54ºC, like they had in Kuwait?
Winter I suspect, is not coming. I think it has gone. I think that winter may be one of those fictions that we tell our children about in stories.

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