We seem to have been experiencing an awful lot of meteorological lunacy lately, which has acted as a handy build up to this month’s theme: The Weather. Every time I look out the window I see a new item of weather has landed on the grass, reminding me of my After School Club month-holder-ship (is there a card for that?) My forecast for this month is sunny with a chance of Cher. And speaking of sharing (we pretty much were) here’s why I chose this fickle mistress of a theme, presented, of course, underneath a drawing of Michael Fish.
The weather acts as a classic anecdote of British life. We’re not a country of extremes and so we monitor the slight changes in our weather carefully. When it snows, Canada mocks “you call that snow?!” yet we take pride in digging our trusty plastic sledge out from the garage and watch helplessly as our transport systems fall apart around us. As soon as the sun peeks around the clouds, someone opens a can of British Summertime and flip flops are rediscovered; bodies untouched by the light suddenly walk about town topless in search of ice cream, burning carelessly. However an umbrella is the accessory of choice for a trip to the UK, with the Czech Republic even turning up to the London 2012 opening ceremony in wellies. Certainly not in the same league as countries that experience monsoons, hurricanes, tsunamis, it is the attention we pay to our limited climate that puts us up there in the weather league tables.
Since first discovering the writing tool of pathetic fallacy at school I’ve found myself conscious of the power of the weather to affect situations. A downpour has the ability to make everyday events feel a cruelly scripted scene. It’s raining, girl is late for train. No coat, a sorry excuse for shoes, she splashes desperately like a dying salmon struggling through the stream of office workers going the other way. A sunny morning instead conjures a vitamin-D-addled haze, and the mind seems only able to recall the loveliest parts of our lives leading up to that point.
Strangely the act of talking about the weather is a completely inert experience, predominantly used to avoid any personal or meaningful discourse. Perhaps through lacking the blessed ability to generate naturally convincing small talk, discussing what it’s like ‘out’ has become a universal comfort zone. Afterall, rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.