Peter Rhodes on dodgy weather forecasts, fast-tracking detectives and bare-chested balderdash

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

BEER, Devon

Yeah, but how tough?

ANOTHER perfect day in paradise. This long, dry, hot and sunny spell has been with us since May 12. Any day now, I expect the Met Office to tell us it has been the wettest, coldest period since records began.

IF this early summer has taught us anything, it is that new, improved supercomputer-assisted weather forecasting is quite accurate for the next 72 hours but beyond that it’s not much better than seaweed and pine cones.

“SHIRTLESS Poldark Gets Everyone Talking” (BBC headline). Not in this column, it doesn’t. It is all nipples and nonsense.

WE were here in Beer a year ago when news broke of a terrible fire in London. Within hours the agreed line on Grenfell Tower was that all the dead people were poor, all the guilty people were posh and anyone in a fire-brigade uniform was a hero. So much for first conclusions.

WE are told that Trump’s sharp words after the G7 were intended to make him look tough before the North Korea talks. If so, it was a high-risk strategy. What if Angela Merkel had pinched his nose and made him cry?

MINISTERS have announced a new project to turn graduates into detectives in just three months. As long as that? How much training does it take to say over the phone: “We can’t get anyone there until Wednesday. Have you contacted Victim Support? Here’s your crime number. . ..” It’s not all Sherlock.

MORE mysteries of the digital age. Friends came to visit us down here in Devon and texted us from Honiton, just eight miles up the road. They got here before their text arrived.

ANOTHER digital mystery. Having accidentally dunked my camera in Loch Lomond last month, I am using another old one which takes photos, displays them briefly but then seemed to consume them without trace. Turns out it has been filing them away in the section of its memory dated 2012, possibly because Beer, Devon in 2018 is almost identical to Beer, Devon in 2012. Or in 1812, for that matter.

AND before the techies among you rush to say it is possible to save a camera after it has been soaked, it really isn’t. There may be online accounts of cameras being brought back to life by total immersion in dried rice, by the extremely quick-thinking and well-prepared but, as a rule, the battery is knackered one nano-second after hitting the water and the electronics a nano-second later. You can try the dried-rice remedy on your dripping camera but the misted lenses, like the eyes of a dying animal, tell the true story. The kindest thing is to put it in the wheelie-bin.

LIFE among Guardian readers is as fraught as ever. One writes to an agony aunt “My girlfriend wants a polysexual relationship. I don’t. What should we do?” Isn’t it obvious? Shoot the parrot.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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