Wednesday, 14 November 2007


The rainy season has begun.

A few years ago, I claimed that Siargao was the wettest place in Asia, based on a highly unscientific experiment.

Last night we had a shower, one of many over the past few days, so, this time, I set up a rigourously-controlled scientific measuring device, at about 9:45pm.
- A bucket, placed in the middle of the lawn.

This morning, the bucket was nearly full, so I measured the depth of water in it - 25cm.

Then I did various abstruse calculations to correct for the sectional conical shape of the bucket, but the difference was minimal.

That's right; about 10 inches of rain - overnight

Added - 14/12/07 - a bit later:

1 inch rain = 6.25 inches snow

This is an average value though. Colder areas will have a lower number while warmer areas will have a higher number.

But, earlier on, in the same discussion, someone wrote that his grandfather reckoned 10 inches of snow for every inch of rain.

Either way, you will get our equivalent:-
10" * 6.25" = 5 feet 2 inches of snow
or 10" * 10" = 8.3 feet of snow

Thank God it doesn't snow here. Five feet of the damned stuff would entirely cover Shedney, my 'companion'.

W Somerset Maugham wrote a classical story Rain
which starts out:
"It was nearly bed-time and when they awoke next morning land would be in sight. Dr. Macphail lit his pipe and...."

But even before that, Rudyard Kipling wrote: Mandalay:
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

I really don't think, now, that Kipling ever went to Mandalay, in the very middle of the country, or to the old Moulmein Pagoda, about 400 miles away. China was near, but never 'crost the Bay. It was, and still is, due north where the dawn is unlikely to come up, let alone noisily.

But the bit that really got me (although "There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me; For the wind is in the palm-trees..." does ring certain sentimental bells) was:

I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,
An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an' grubby 'and --
Law! wot do they understand?

I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

And that got me into this mess, where I came to avoid the world-famous English climate .

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