19 April 2024

That was a hot one…

I do hope you came through it unscathed, although on the coast it was, in my experience, significantly cooler because of the sea breeze. It’s never not windy on the East Yorkshire coast, is it?

When I left Withernsea on Tuesday evening the car thermometer read 24.5C, and when I arrived home about 10 miles away it was 32.5 – quite a difference. I was a bit worried about my two cats during those two crazily hot days, but, despite outward appearances, they’re not daft, and they took themselves off to shady areas for most of the time. I left bowls of water everywhere but I didn’t see them drinking from them. I never do!

I don’t really want to discuss climate science at length here, and I’ll scream if I hear anyone saying “1976” again, but if the experts are correct (and I’d rather believe a scientist than Dave on Twitter), then this is the start of a worrying trend. It clearly is not “just summer” when vast tracts of forestation are burning and people have lost their houses.

Anyway, on to less doomladen subjects. We had a famous visitor to these parts a few days ago, when Timmy Mallett came to our region during his mammoth round-Britain cycle challenge. It was great to speak to him on the phone while he was, quite understandably, taking a day off on that record-breaking hottest day of the year.

I later discovered, from watching the short videos he posts to his numerous social media accounts, that he cycled right past my house while on the rail trail from Ottringham to Hull! I’d have offered him refreshments if I’d known. I joked to Timmy’s wife Lynda, who arranged the interview, that I’m old enough to remember Wacaday and Mallett’s Mallet, whereas our reporter Rebecca wasn’t even born. Ouch.

Timmy had some interesting things to say about the condition of the rail trail, which in parts is really not conducive to cycling if you haven’t got a robust mountain bike (I certainly wouldn’t attempt it – it’s too rocky and uneven). He suggested that this part of Holderness has been forgotten in this regard, when it could be a magnet for cyclists.

Indeed, I did suggest to him that our wide, flat lands would surely be a cyclist’s dream, and he replied with two words: “Head winds.” Ah, yes, our region is well known for those, too…