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Here & There, but not Everywhere

As I reported in the comment I fired off last night, it was as if a switch was flicked and storm winds started. Mom and I disagree, although in fairness she has a chimney in her room so it will always sound worse, I reckon this storm was actually less strong than Thursday-Friday's. It was also considerably quicker.

Here it is coming. It's an infra-red picture because, obviously, the better-looking visual picture is not much use at night!

Infrared satellite imagery of Hurricane Xynthia - it doesn't look especially impressive like this...
[image source:]

And... well...


AfterStory - Here

The sun peeking through a troubled sky.
Nothing. The power never failed (it flickered a few times), and I was online the whole time. I stayed up all night (until 9am) in case anything happened. I watched some movies... nothing happened.

I got up about four(ish) as the sun was starting to get low in the sky. I walked up the lane and back looking for stuff on the road. Nothing to report, so kitten and I sat outside and watched the sun set.

A kitten watching the sun set

Damn soggy fields!In fact, about the only thing to report, which isn't that unusual in the winter, is the rain has made walking across the field to feed the cats to be something that requires a little bit of care... as demonstrated by the picture on the right here. I can imagine this will get worse before it gets better as we now have a weather advisory for heavy rain.

I was able to get a nice moon shot, complete with timestamp so nobody thinks I cheated and took it in the afternoon. It was an 8" exposure with an Agfa (plawa) DC-8330i. For some odd reason, long exposures always take twice as long as they are supposed to?

Moonlight shadows


AfterStory - There

Luchon, with trees snapped all over town [Hurricane Xynthia]
Looking at the news, hurricane Xynthia hit the Vendée hard. It is a low open area. Above you can see a picture of the town of Luchon where it looks like all the trees were snapped. Winds gusted at 150kph through the town. [image source:]

There is widespread flooding, and around 50 people dead. 29 of them drowned along the Vendéean littoral, which is along the coastline.
Two deaths reported in Loire-Atlantique were old people (77 & 83) parked their camping car at the end of the port by the beach. A high sea coefficient, plus the hurricane, meant the vehicle was quickly underwater. They apparently died trying to get out... I say "apparently" as who the hell parks beside a beach in the path of a known-to-be-violent hurricane?
A woman was out in her garden and was killed by a flying bin lid. Perhaps she didn't recycle and the bin took revenge.
When the power went out (and it went out for 900,000 homes), two people dragged a generator inside and started it up... and gassed themselves.
Coastal caravan parks... well, I'm sure you don't need a description.

It looks like we (as in our region) got off lightly.


Nozomi, sayonara!

There seem to have been a number of changes at JapanRail recently. The first is the older style "Nozomi" bullet train has made its final journey on the Sanyo Shinkansen (Osaka to Fukuoka). Article here, from JapanTody.
Nozomi was the fast one that only stopped at important stations.
The Kodama (stopping service) will operate. It is unclear if Hikari (in-bwetween) will continue.

Secondly, the overall website at has shut down and is pointing you to the various regional offerings. Good luck finding a schedule on the JR West site... it looks like the JR Central's timetables may cover it?

I think this was part of the point of a centralised website, guys? Not having to work out what and where?
The British, for all their trains may be accused of not running on time, have a very clear and easy to use website (
I can take a train from Ash, tomorrow (1st March) at 8h24. Change at Reading, and again at Taunton. I will backtrack up the line a ways and arrive in Bridgwater at 11h13. Walking will get me to the middle of Bridgwater for about half eleven, so I can stop at the Admiral Blake chippie for lunch.
As it is off-peak, it'll cost me £38 (standard class). I don't believe it... this site will even create a customised pocket timetable (as a PDF) for you to download.
So, Japan... where's your one-stop rail schedule?


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