greentapestry : "I Don't Care What The Weatherman Says....."

Saturday, 16 September 2017

"I Don't Care What The Weatherman Says....."

But I do, I do and regularly check multiple weather forecasts, keep up with a local weather related Twitter feed, monitor my own little weather station as well as cast my eyes and nose to the skies for the sign of imminent rain or the smell of snow depending on the time of year. Yes you can smell snow before it arrives! Thinking about it my interest in the weather was piqued at an early age when I was appointed as a weather monitor at primary school. This exalted position involved a daily venturing out on the school roof which was exciting in itself and would certainly not be allowed in this day and age. Once out there were temperatures to read and record, a rain gauge to peep into and I'm convinced that my duties involved the far from scientific technique of waving a hanky about to establish the wind direction. 

Spending some time traveling on trains last weekend gave me the chance to catch up with some of that backlog of garden magazines, including the September issue of the RHS magazine 'The Garden' (July and August are still in the to be read pile). My eyes were drawn to a snippet in the news section (page 8, if you have a copy) entitled 'Weather Watching', with mention of a free online course starting this month,"open to to anyone interested in, or wanting to learn more about, weather and its forecasting. Participants do not need any science or weather knowledge".

This is a course that has been devised by the Met Office in conjunction with the University of Exeter under the umbrella of FutureLearn, an organisation which runs a variety of online courses. This particular course runs for four weeks and involves two to three hours of learning each week. The last week of the course includes a "gardening module with content supported by the RHS Gardening in a Changing Climate report, and covers a topics such as frost, and adapting your garden for climate change. There are also options for photographers and walkers".  I'm hoping that it might be possible to do both the gardening and the photography modules but still need to check that out.

Further investigation revealed that you can study at your own pace and that there are bite sized sections. Well with the darker nights setting in I made the decision to enrol. I have just dipped my toes into the water and am slowly navigating my way through week one. So far so good. A good starting point is the really friendly discussion board before moving on to the more serious stuff. I will report back at some stage, but if the idea of such a course appeals it is not to late to join me on this journey. The course only officially started on the 11th September with a completion date of 22nd October. After that you can no longer access the course material unless you pay for it. All you need is some free time and internet access. You can find out more detailed information here.

I've had one eye to on the sky whilst I've been writing this. It's looking brighter than yesterday but it's cool out there. Shopping calls and a coat and umbrella are the order of the day methinks. At least it's not too windy to put an umbrella up. What's the weather like where you are?


  1. This post did make me chuckle, Anna! How cool to be the weather monitor! I think we all check the weather constantly, although I don't if I'm already outside. My barometer (inherited from my grandparents) sits opposite the bathroom door so that I can check it regularly! I really like the sound of the course that you're doing. I'd heard of Future Learn before (can't think where) but it's good to be reminded of them. Will check it out, thanks! Cxx

  2. Hello, me again! I've just looked at the course you mentioned. Looks fascinating and I've joined! xx

  3. Hi Anna - I wonder where you have been gallivanting to...?! I saw this too and wondered about it, particularly knowing that one of my Tai Chi friebnds has done a range of FutureLearn courses and talked very highly of them. For my weather knowledge I have been mostly relying on the Climatology I did as part of my Geography degree, but that was more than a little time ago although I have to confess to having my old notes in the loft (but only for the Climatology and Geology parts of my degree!) ;) I must make the time to look at details of the course this w/e and make a decision - thanks for drawing it to my attention again :)

  4. Have fun Anna, I was tempted when I saw that advert too.

  5. I am sat in the summer house reading this, the afternoon sun is warming Murphy ( the dog) and me, topping up our vitamin D for the winter. The birds are busy feeding on thesunflower hearts, also preparing for the colder weather.
    Good luck with the course.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.