Thursday, February 23, 2017

'The rain, it raineth every day'

What a change in the weather! From almost spring-like to howling winds and pouring rain. Typically British I suppose. It's what makes this country the way it is, green, rolling hills and dales. Lushness. Verdant. There is a warning from the Met Office that we're in for severe storms. They've named the storm Doris. So, it's a Doris Day. Nothing to do with the sweet and sugary American actress and songstress of the 1950's and 60's. Snow in Scotland and whirling winds across the rest of England and Wales. Batten down the hatches and settle in for the worst of it.

I've entitled this post using a quote from William Shakespeare. That's from one of Feste's songs from "Twelfth Night" which is one of my favourite plays. There are many more references to weather throughout the Canon. Look at 'King Lear.' 'Blow winds and crack your cheeks.'  At the beginning of 'Macbeth' we meet the Three Weird Sisters. The mood and tone of the play is suggested by their mention of the weather in the opening lines 'When shall we three meet again/ In thunder, lightning or in rain?' In Lear the weather suggests Lear's state of mind. When he's on the heath with the Clown, he's wandering about in a state of madness and the raging wind suggests his state of mind. We are obsessed by weather in this country, probably because the weather is so central to our lives. My father was a farmer and was always going on about the weather, because it was so important to how the farm was run. No good trying to get in the grain harvest if it was pouring with rain. There was one of those old fashioned barometer in the passageway at the rear of the house where we lived. He would go out and tap it and then you'd hear him mumble something on the lines of 'ruddy weather!' or 'Better weather.' Or whatever. I never understood what that was about as a child, but he could be extremely moody and I think now that this was down to the weather. I think I'm similar in some ways. I'm better when it's sunny and bright but become somewhat more moody when it's rainy and wet. Well, if it means you can't get out and about when it's grey, wet and gloomy, it's bound to effect your mood. Also, I think I'm effected by seasonal variations, particularly when the clocks change in October (usually around the time of my birthday) when the clocks go back an hour. It's generally darker and colder which has something to do with it.

As I write this the sun has come out. It's bright and streaming in through the window. I've had to draw the curtains to stop it shining in my eyes. It's shining through the trees along the Redway behind the house and as the branches move it's making the light flicker somewhat annoyingly. Which is why I drew the curtains. It was pouring with rain as I took Carol to work at Milton Keynes Academy earlier but, as I say, it's bright sunshine now. I think the wind has dropped. It just shows how quickly the weather changes.
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