We’ve had such a long and dreary winter this year. And spring was just an interlude – a momentary interruption of winter for just a few days. But, with fingers crossed and touching wood, I do believe summer has arrived. The mercury is doing its best to force its way out the top of thermometers, and much of the British population are doing their best to apply ridiculous red sunburns to their faces and arms. Which they will later view in the mirror at home, contrasting the difference against their Artic white torsos, causing either a little bit of self loathing or a bit of a giggle. Depending upon their outlook on life. I am a giggler.
Got a smartphone? Haven’t we all. Got a weather app? I’m sure you have. Have you got the best weather app? If you have Yahoo’s weather app, then the answer is yes. Or so I will have you believe. If not, you can get it for Apple or Android. The things I like about Yahoo’s weather app is the photography they use as the backdrop. All sourced from Flickr. You have to join the Yahoo Weather app group and submit some photos to get noticed. I did that about a year ago, and a couple of them were chosen.
But over the last few weeks, I’ve had dozens of photos of mine from Mexico added to their pool. Almost all are mountain or archaeological shots I’ve taken from across central and southern Mexico. So if you do have the app and are travelling to sites of interest in Mexico, have a look out for where the photo came from. There’s every chance it came from yours truly.
Yahoo’s latest weather app is a thing of true beauty. It looks to have taken a leaf (autumnal or spring, I cannot say) from the Windows Phone 8 book on aesthetics. Incidentally, I think Yahoo and Microsoft are a match made in heaven. The latter are looking for a new CEO. The former have one of the best. There probably won’t be a better time for a merger. Yahoo sources it’s photos from Flickr. Naturally. To do anything else would be ridiculous. I did wonder, though, exactly how they went about procuring these photos for their weather app.
So I Googled it. Because Yahoo search is rubbish. And I found my answer. Would you like to join in the Yahoo Weather Project and have your photos featured on the app? No problem. Go to their Weather Project Group on Flickr, join, upload some photos and hey presto. Just make sure the photos can be related to weather, that they are geo-tagged and that there are no people in the photos.
If you get any photos approved, then you’re prized snaps may soon be on a mobile device near you. I’m having one small problem though. I’m clicking on the Join Group button and nothing is happening. I’ve tried multiple browsers, and tried on my phone. No joy. Still, I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, I’ve prepared a whole bunch of images to add to the group. Mostly local to myself.
For three reasons. Firstly, less competition for space on Yahoo than if I started uploading loads of London photos. Secondly, I’m more likely to see them appear on my phone as I tend to check local weather more regularly. Thirdly, because it’s a social project, so why not try and ‘fill in the gaps’ rather than saturate an already over saturated part of the world already. What do you think? Do these tell you about the weather?
A recurrent theme in Mexico. Mexicans complaining about the heat. Me telling them how wonderful it was. I’d often get asked, with some incredulity, if I didn’t get tired of it being hot and sunny. Every single day. I’d explain to them what the alternative is. And that no, I never ever got tired of waking up to another beautiful sunny day. Even in a Mexico City winter when the evenings got chilly, I could be assured of a warm and sunny morning and afternoon. I loved it. It was also nice to be able to plan a weekend away, outside of the city, knowing that the weather would be hot and sunny. One of our favourite places was Huichapan, as featured in the photo below.
Most of my Mexicans amigos and amigas like the idea of snow. It looks beautiful in photos and films. Romantic, even, in the right setting. I would have to explain to them that snow is lovely to look at. In photos and films. And, I will grant them, for the first five minutes of the first snowfall of winter. After that, it’s just cold, miserable, slushy and troublesome. The accompanying gray skies tend to outstay their welcome when the snow has gone too.
As nice as that first five minutes of snowfall is, I wouldn’t trade it for all the sunny days in the world. Certainly not for all the sunny days in Mexico. All three hundred and sixty five a year of them. I’ll be happy to not see another snowflake again. It’s not like I can even make a snowman at my age. I’m a grown up now. Sort of. I’m more a snowgirl kinda guy these days…
Winters in Mexico City are much like summers in the UK. Blink, and you miss it. Which is just how I like it, when I’m living in Mexico anyway. This year has been the exception though. After an unusually dry and mild rainy season, we’ve had an unusually cold, wet and grey period in the dry season. High winds a couple of days ago were the latest test of Mexico City’s patience. Huge billboards didn’t fair well.
But today was bright, blue, warm and cheery. Normality has returned. Our three week winter is over. I hope. None are more pleased than my cold blooded turtle friends who live in the pool in the yard. It’s been a miserable, bitter time for them. They thrive on sun. It was so nice to see them all on their basking rock today, lapping up a couple of hours of direct sunlight to get the blood pumping through their shell encased bodies once again. They, and I, sincerely hope for plenty more days like this as we head into Jacaranda season.
Pity me. The temperatures in DF are plummeting and are predicted to continue to do so over the weekend, plunging below all known records. Or so they say. Even more to the point, pity my turtles. They live outside and look distinctly unhappy. I’d bring them in, but they always get ill when I do that. I brought the two littlest ones in last week, and one is already sick.
In fact it’s so cold, I even went out and bought a little electric fan heater to take the chill off the air. I know that anyone back home in England will scoff at the thought of temperatures that are ‘nearly’ at freezing level, which in some parts of the UK would require temperatures to rise considerably. But hey, they choose to live in a frostbitten country. I came here to escape it!