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British Expat Newsletter:
29 September 2004

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: Hurricanes
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

This week

How’s your weather? Here in South East Asia we’re still in the rainy season, and out of our window the thunder’s rumbling gently in the distance as the latest shower passes. For the most part it’s pretty benign and fairly predictable; the usual pattern is a gloriously sunny morning, followed by gathering clouds in the afternoon and then a breaking storm in the evening. Occasionally we get rain during the day, and sometimes it doesn’t rain at all, but broadly the pattern’s been the same for the last six weeks.

Others have had a far harder time of it recently. Anyone who’s seen or heard the news in the last three or four weeks will already know all about the hurricanes and tropical storms ravaging the Caribbean and south-eastern United States – and the death and destruction they brought with them. It may come as a surprise to hear that this year’s activity is not necessarily out of the ordinary, at least in the longer term. Recent research suggests that hurricane activity goes in cycles over many decades. So the 1950s and 1960s saw many major hurricanes each year, while the 1970s and 1980s were relatively quiet. Since the mid-’90s we seem to have moved into a more active phase. The hurricane season doesn’t always make the headlines – in 2003, most of the hurricanes stayed out at sea. What made the difference this year was that many of them made landfall – with devastating effect.

Talking of hurricanes, Michael Fish is due to retire next month after over 30 years of weather forecasting with the BBC. His most famous moment, of course, was when he allegedly failed to forecast the Great Storm of October 1987, which blew down trees across South East England (including six of Sevenoaks’s seven oaks) – though in fact he did warn people to “batten down the hatches”. But according to him, his most embarrassing moment was when he missed a broadcast after the handle on the outside of the office door fell off in his hand…!

Virtual Snacks

Just a couple of suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

After hunting round the Web for decent websites on the weather, we were hard put to beat the BBC Weather website. (Yes, I know we feature the BBC a lot here, but it is hard to beat.) Lots of stuff on how weather conditions come about, historic weather events, retrospectives of UK weather, fun stuff, advice on how to forecast the weather for yourself… Oh yes, and detailed weather forecasts for the UK and major cities around the world.

A rather more weird one here: All sorts of stuff, much of it strange (“Tasteless Topic of the Week: Does it hurt when your head is cut off?”), some of it downright silly (“News Flash – Australia gets drunk, wakes up in North Atlantic”). Definitely not for the tiny tots.

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • sharp bedrooms (7)
  • jorney of eggs (4)
  • being smacked (3)
  • history of double glazing (3)
  • email contact of barry classified ads (3)
  • what is the birds and the bees (3)
  • mop currency (2)
  • natural treacle lake (2)

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

British Expat Magazine


“Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm.”
– Thomas Fuller, clergyman and writer (1608-61)


Although he was a qualified meteorologist, Hopkins ran up a terrible record of forecasting for the regional TV station. He finally lost his job when a newspaper began keeping a record of his predictions and showed that he’d been wrong almost three hundred times in a single year.

So Hopkins moved to another part of the country and applied for a similar job. At the interview one of the panelists asked him, “So why did you leave your previous position?”

Hopkins replied, “The climate didn’t agree with me.”

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