I think the current wave (sic) of storms and the effect on sport deserves to be mentioned.


Despite the inclement nature of the climate at the moment there have (so far) been no cancellations in the Aviva Premiership – at the same time there have been quite a few postponements in professional football and other sports because of the state of the grounds.

The reason for this seems to be the development of a system which is used to cover pitches.

All the Premiership Rugby clubs now use the MacLeod system – a huge pitch cover with a central inflatable tube which allows warm air to be blown underneath to protect a pitch from freezing, getting waterlogged or to defrost the ground.

It’s expensive apparently but the clubs feel it is worth it to stop the season becoming clogged with either unplayed fixtures or mud.

In view of the success of the project I am a bit surprised that it isn’t sponsored – they could make the cover red and gold and put a bloody great Big Mac photo in the middle! The system’s name seems made for it.

In the American NFL they need more than a bit of bad weather to cancel – last weekend in the game at Green Bay the Packers played the 49ers in a near record low temperature of minus 14 degrees – most of the players were wrapped up like Eskimos but one still insisted on his traditional short sleeved jersey (probably used to be a prop for the Newcastle Falcons).

I have to say we could have used some of the rain we’ve had here last week in Sydney (and before that in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide) – if every game had been washed out we’d still have the Ashes – thank you God – thank you very much – right conditions wrong bloody hemisphere!

Finally a word about the Qatar World Cup – seriously – did no one at the presentation happen to ask “I was just curious, what’s the weather like in July here?”

They also appear not to have bothered with a peek at the official Qatar Tourism web site which states that it can get to 50c (that’s about 130 degrees in real money) during July and August with a 90% humidity. The good news is that from December to February it drops to a mild 25c – around 80 degrees. So that’ll be alright then!