To quote the fantastic Crowded House, circa 1991/2….yes, I always take the weather with me, and it’s sometimes a pain.
The British are world-renowned for our predictable delight during conversation in referring to a) today’s weather b) yesterday’s weather c) the weather forecast for the coming days, or d) whether we will get a summer this year (prayers are appropriate at this point). It’s part of our DNA. We would be adrift without this reassuring anchor in our everyday lives. What on earth would we do for conversation if we lived somewhere with a steady, dependable, unchanging climate – like, say Dubai. Heaven forbid we’d have to think of something else to talk about.
Whole train journeys and telephone conversations have been known to never once veer away from the topic of the weather. And, oh! do we love a bit of drama, especially should there be something really unexpected like a mild bit of wind (read; “tornado”), rain (read; “monsoon”), snow (put it like this – one snowflake and all life within these fair Isles grinds to a dramatic, juddering, stop), and don’t even think about blaming the gritters or the council.
No, it’s fair to say that we are pretty lucky with our mild-mannered weather – much like the citizens – nothing too extreme, nothing too hot or cold. Kind of reassuringly middle-of-the-road.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the above, but I want to explore a different angle to this whole weather thing we are so obsessed with: How the weather affects our mood.
The mirror for our moods
Let’s take this blog post’s header picture as an example – I took this on June 23rd 2016 – an auspicious day as it turns out – the day we chose to leave the EU (don’t worry, this isn’t a political post!). Only at the time of this picture, approximately 7pm in the evening, no-one actually knew this. The point of this ‘point’, is that the weather on that evening (well, in mine and the dog’s particular corner of the universe) was a striking contrast between brilliant evening sun in the foreground, and a looming, rain-laden, thunderous sky on the horizon. I didn’t use a filter, this was just my lowly Iphone at its 8 mega-pixel best. It was quite a stunner.
The weather just seemed to reflect the mood of the entire country. It was ominous, brooding, threatening, and yet at the same time, sunny, bright and optimistic. Kind of like the post-Brexit mood if you could judge it, between the ‘remainers’ and the ‘leavers’…..
Check the isobars!
My own mood on any particular day can be greatly enhanced or brought down by the prevailing high or low pressure. I’m a high pressure kind of girl, generally, much preferring the calm, measured temperament of the widely spread isobars. Give me winter freeze if you like, but so long as the sun is out I’m happy. The one thing I can’t stand is rain and wind in combination. I actually find it really stressful and claustrophobic. Entire weekends can be downgraded by an unfavourable weather forecast. I can even manage to find the whole bad weather / Friday evening – Sunday combo ‘unfair’, even ‘deliberate’, as if the weather gods know my plans personally. Like I’ve been singled out for special treatment perhaps. No wonder we don’t have many outdoor social events at our house – I would drive everyone crazy at least 2 weeks prior, obsessing over the Met Office data charts hour-by-hour, wringing my hands and declaring impending doom. No-one would be left in the vicinity to come along to a BBQ should it even go ahead, nevermind that I would be way too busy phoning the ‘authorities’, or the council, to complain if it dared to rain cats and dogs.
I don’t think I’m alone in this – a quick straw poll of the random faces on the Tube, or even just folks walking along the street will confirm a definite an air of downtrodden mood if the weather’s a bit naff. Or maybe that’s just part of the British psyche and I’m misreading the situation.
I even able to remember what the weather was up to on certain memorable days, such as the birth of all my children (daughter #1: howling gales, lashing rain – it was January. Batch # 2; the twins – scorchingly, eyewateringly hot, like a record-breaking level of 40 degrees or something crazy).
On the positive side, today has been a great day, despite it being mid-February. The sun is shining and everything feels that little bit more optimistic.
Long may it continue…
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Originally posted 2017-02-13 14:00:20.Follow Me!