Yesterday didn’t start well. An early morning walk in what the Met Office described as light rain showers was more of a battle through a solid torrential downpour. Here in the Lake District we should have a word for every variation of rain, but we don’t. Cumbrians are short of word and so usually, it’s just “bad out there”, or for the Met Office, “not so bad”. This was bad, but it was at least just rain. Spare a thought for those trying to put tents up at Solfest, the music festival which happens this weekend near Silloth in North Cumbria. I’m told it’s windy and not so dry.

After a summer without many dry days, the humidity here is now really quite high and is affecting my glass. I have some coloured glass tubes that I know to be temperamental. At the moment, the moisture in the air makes putting them anywhere near a flame an invitation to explode. Even the clear tubing, which is normally well behaved, is struggling. Sometimes I can see, having heated the tube, the condensation forming inside it. If you accidentally drop a mobile phone in water, you should apparently try putting it in a bag of rice (making sure the rice isn’t cooked first!). Perhaps the same will work with my glass?

On the subject of water and glass (and cooking), I was also reading this week about Pyrex’s switch from using borosilicate glass in ovenware to using tempered soda-lime glass, which is cheaper to produce. In most cases, this is fine. But there are circumstances where it is not, and apparently one of those is the rapid temperature change needed to make crack cocaine, as this article, and this one, explain. Interesting!