I'm thinking of hiring out my services to the drought-hit countries of the world. Indeed, my reputation for causing major blips in the local climate of foreign destinations is legend among friends and family.
Last year, I visited Tenerife in January. Not too hot, not too cold that time of year. Usually, that is. For my trip it was the coldest winter in living memory; gale force winds whipping off the coast from Africa, locals wandering the streets in overcoats, and a bit of rain in the evenings. With that mad-Englishman-determined-to-enjoy-himself approach, the shorts and T-shirt came out of the suitcase and I perked up a little, although it was a bit chilly round the knees. So, must not grumble too much: at least the sun did come out and I was able to get some good shots of the island (see the UKpix home page).
SNOW AND MORE SNOW
On to Provo, Utah, from London for business in March this year. It was pretty cold, but I expected that. Afterall it was still the skiing season. What I didn't expect was the snowstorm. Warm coat, but no boots!
Business complete, I decided to fly down to Las Vegas for a week while my colleagues struggled to make their way home to London via Chicago. The jinx continued for them... this quote from a weather blog for March sums it up nicely: 'Twisters and severe thunderstorms tore across 8 states to Chicago’s west Thursday even as city residents basked in the year’s warmest weather.'
IT'S A GAMBLE
What about Vegas? I thought it was supposed to be hot! 'Unusual weather this year with winds coming off the mountains,' said a local. 'That's because I'm here,' I replied. Oh, and I nearly missed my connecting flight home because of a massive snowstorm in Salt Lake City.
HERE WE GO AGAIN...
June, and Venice beckoned for a short trip to increase my portfolio. Nice easy flight from Gatwick ... guaranteed good weather? Ha, as I stepped off a river bus for the short walk to my hotel on the Grand Canal, an almighty flash lit up the tiny streets, thunder rolled down the canals and the heavens opened. There wasn't much shelter and who on earth packs an umbrella for a short trip to Italy?
LOOK WHAT THE CAT BROUGHT IN
The hotel receptionist raised an eyebrow as the bedraggled tourist stepped in from the downpour, cream jacket spotted with rain. 'Think I've brought the weather from London,' I said, as if an explanation was really necessary. As he showed me up to my room, he threw up his hands in horror... there was a puddle on the marble flooring. Not directly my fault, I hasten to add, water was pouring in through an open skylight. So they were, clearly, not expecting such heavy rain.
Thankfully, Venice was pleasantly warm for the rest of the trip and I was beginning to think I had broken the spell. However, London was basking in a heatwave (hotter than Italy). That all changed, of course, when I landed at Gatwick a few days later wearing the same cream jacket... it was freezing.
BACK AT WORK...
'Tell me again where you went,' said a colleague.
'Not very brown, are you?'
My other holiday disasters include:
1) Snow in June on a sailing trip to Scotland.
2) Fishing trip to Ireland. It rained so much the rivers were too high for fishing!
3) Snow all melted on a skiing trip to Austria.