RICK JACKSON: Orange skies, pungent pongs and trumpets from heaven – what a world!

Jabba the Hutt's palace on the inhospitable Tatooine
Jabba the Hutt's palace on the inhospitable Tatooine
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This week’s weather has again proved how weird and wonderful our planet really is and how much we still need to learn about it.

After a very busy weekend I got home from work on Monday and fell asleep on the sofa after lunch.

I wasn’t asleep for long and woke at 2pm. I thought it was evening as it was incredibly dark and I was very confused when I checked the time.

How could be it 2pm and so dark?

I went into the garden. Was I still dreaming? Had I been transported to Tatooine, where Luke Skywalker was brought up in Star Wars?

I looked up and the sun was glowing dark orange. As in the movie, I looked for another, but nothing.

I turned to social media. Luckily I wasn’t alone in my confusion. Thank goodness for the likes of Facebook and Twitter confirming I hadn’t been transported to a galaxy far, far away.

What a strange phenomenon. The winds of Storm Ophelia had carried sand from the Sahara and smoke from forest fires that are ravishing parts of Spain and Portugal now.

Coupled with this were the strange, gas-like smells reported across the south on Sunday.

I was in Ryde and almost called the gas board, thinking there was a leak.

Hampshire Constabulary received plenty of calls. Was it Fawley oil refinery or something the French were sending our way?

We still don’t know, but strange smells are not uncommon. Remember the foul smell often reported off junction 5 of the M27?

Some passenger aircraft made emergency landings after smoke was smelt in the cabin. One such flight was bound for Jersey. Turns out this was also caused by Storm Ophelia.

Obviously the conspiracy theorists are going into overdrive, but my favourite, bizarre phenomenon is the strange, groaning, trumpet-type noises from the sky.

Many from around the world are posted on YouTube, search ‘strange noises in the sky’ if you dare.

What could possibly explain these eerie noises?

Plenty still to discover on planet Earth!


At last a TV drama with a fantastic end. I was gripped by the first series of Doctor Foster on BBC1.

The perfect family rocked by a husband’s infidelity which his wife slowly discovered. Even her friends knew of his double life.

The second series got more and more far-fetched. So much so that in the end I didn’t care what happened to any of them.

But Liar on ITV was a different matter.

I found it gripping all the way through. I won’t ruin it for you, but wow what an ending. And, yes, I will be looking forward to the second series, which surely cannot be as lame as Doctor Foster.

Our telly is hot right now!


I’ve joined a gym. Well, my wife has and I have been press ganged into joined too.

Basically, I am lazy. I will put off until tomorrow something I cannot be bothered doing today.

So have we made a good investment?

I hate treadmills, rowing machines and bikes, I’d rather be out there on the streets, no matter what the weather.

I’d like to do some weights, but I’m put off by men working on their ‘guns’ while checking themselves in the mirror. Don’t worry, I’m only jealous, but this doesn’t bode well.

I might sign up for the Tums & Bums class though. That looks like something I might enjoy!

Pilates looks good too. Bet I’ll be the only ‘plank’ in there?