Tag Archives: Equator

Imaginary Lines

We humans have divided up our world into blocks and boxes. Some of these are geographically defined, mountains  rivers and oceans make for obvious boundaries. Some are derived by ethnicity or tribe, possibly dictated by the latter. Still  others are purely imaginary lines in the sand. 

Today we will cross two such lines – although one is mathematically derived, the other is a line of whom and fancy, dreamt up (no doubt in a foreign country).

Our first imaginary line is the Tanzania/Uganda border a straight line running West to East from the DRC to Kenya, crossing Lake Victoria. A strange border which completely ignores any geography. You have to wonder how it was derived, what negotiations took place to decide it or what randomness decided it. Almost certainly it runs parallel to the second imaginary line we will cross.

Our second line is geographically more significant, although just as imaginary and takes no account of natural features. This is the equator. Today we will move from the Southern Hemisphere back into the Northern Hemisphere for the first time in over 7 months. Last time we crossed this line we were 30000 ft in the air, today we will be on the ground. Hopefully we will be able to stop and straddle this imaginary line.

The last such line I straddled was the Prime Meridian at Grenwich when we visted Grenwich back in 2013. This line, even more whimsical separates East and West, it’s a linear crossed many times without a thought as we travelled from Milton Keynes to Harlow to see my brother. It is commemorated at Grenwich and had historical significance as it was first used as a way of measuring time globally at a time when this had been impossible to do so. The Grenwich Meridian runs North South from Pole to Pole. All times in the world are derived from Grenwich Meriian Time (GMT). Here in Tanzania we are GMT+3. 

Carols on the Equator

It’s hot, sunny and 28°C AS I write this blog on the 5th December. I’m sitting on the verandah overlooking the garden and listening to Christmas Music on iTunes.
IMG_9685.JPG It’s all very strange as I sit just 2°S of the equator. After almost 50 years of cold northern Decembers my brain finds it hard to comprehend. It’s 4:45pm and broad daylight another anachronism of this time of year. Especially strange are the news reports of sub-zero temperatures and snow on the way in the UK.
I am happy here in the heat, even with a small amount of December sunburn from yesterday’s Sport’s Day, but I will miss the snow especially after last year’s snowless winter
It’s a surreal life perched on the equator at Christmas.

You can see videos of some of the Christmas tunes in various blogs each day in December.

Equinox Living!

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Today is NOT the equinox! Even though the length of the day today ( from Sunrise to Sunset) is almost exactly 12 hours here in Milton Keynes. Continue reading