Around our patch we have what is called in weather terms "a blocking high", that is a zone of high air pressure that does not move and there is little wind. One can last for days and has done. So the air outside now where we live stinks and this is bad for us being old.
But the BBC Weather and the Meteorological Office tell me that the Air Pollution is low in this area, that is 1 on a scale of 1 to 5. So is it us or is it them? Are some of the oldies being hauled off to A&E gasping just pyscho' cases as they croak and heave?
There may be a reason. The nearest weather station is at the top of a hill miles outside town and the measuring devices are in a box or up a pole. So it is around 400 or more metres above sea level. Up from town we are at 150 and down in town by the river not much.
Also, there is what is in the air that the station measures. If it is not the same chemicals that are causing us trouble then it will not register. So while for the officials and experts the air is relatively clean, for us what have to breathe it this is not the case.
There is a specialist forecast for pollen, great in December, but not for air pollution. Between us and the weather station and much nearer to us is one of the most heavily used motorways in the UK, day and night between London and Dover. This generates a lot of traffic around our town.
Apparently, it is only recently it has been realised that the fumes from diesels have a toxic element that has hitherto been ignored. In London, I read that they have now been putting devices in place low down at traffic level designed to measure this.
This suggests that there is a problem. Outside London, this has not happened. So between the motorway and the number of trucks etc. on our local roads we do not know just how much pollution we are getting.
During the day we like to have the windows open for a time and during the night, if not too cold, to have a little air coming in. We have not been able to do this now for days and are fed up with it. And there is no answer.
But for the Department of the Environment, the BBC etc. and the experts there is not a problem. Because the source of their information is up the pole and cannot and does not measure what needs to be measured.
Mind you, it is much the same at The Treasury.