Now I am thoroughly re-tuned and unsurprised to discover that in spite of having the best part of a hundred channels to select from, I still have difficulty finding much I can be fussed to watch. Lucky, then, that there is no shortage of alternatives to the (not so) little black rectangle in the corner of the room. Top of my list just now has to be weather watching; probably not what News Corp and the other stakeholders in BSkyB had in mind when trying to entice me to subscribe to Sky, but a whole lot more entertaining.
|Spot the glider!|
|Storm moving across Fife|
Some of these effects have been quite localised. They require being in the right place at the right time and with a camera to hand. I haven't managed either of these particularly well and sadly have no pictures of these phenomena of my own. However, there is a wonderful shot of the noctilucent clouds over Portobello beach on the website Talk Porty. I was out of town when the Edinburgh storms came although a week earlier I did witness something similar in Dundee; no mammatus clouds but midnight skies in the middle of the afternoon and the city bombarded with hailstones the size of hazelnuts. This picture of RRS Discovery was taken on my mobile phone shortly after the storm passed, about 4pm on a midsummer day!
Unstable airflows have been moving across northern Britain for months now. They may not make for ideal summer weather but the visual effects have been dramatic. As our great painters of clouds, John Constable and JMW Turner, knew well, there isn't a single colour on the palette that can't be found in the sky in the right conditions. It makes for great viewing day and night. It is a Sky worth subscribing to, except of course we don't need to.