Archive for November 26th, 2011

Downpours aplenty

So, the rainiest and coolest start to summer for years continues. Perhaps I’m mistaken, as even last year was a very wet and variable summer, yet I don’t recall such unseasonal weather since January 2000, when I returned from Cambridge for a three and half week “reality check.” Reality didn’t check out, incidentally, and I was rather pleased to be back in England in the end.

I do feel a little perverse in celebrating this weather and acknowledge that most people love sunshine and warmth. I too love sunshine and warmth, within reason, though I used to love it a whole lot more. When I first moved to the UK in September 1999, I felt a quite incredible longing for the summer on which I was missing out, one of the principal reasons for my reality check. After some time in England I began to adjust and came to realise that there is no such thing as “bad weather.” If asked to define it, however, my inclination would not be to say rain and grey skies, but unbearable heat and humidity. The cold I can do something about, and in England, it’s not even really that cold, but when it’s sticky and forty degrees and I can’t go to work nude, life sucks. So long as it isn’t hostile, and generally I find heat more hostile than cold, and so long as I can achieve a level of comfort, the weather is welcome to do its own thing.

In truth, for me, weather is all about aesthetics, mood and comfort. The wet sheen of freshness that rain brings; the cool crispness of a mild autumn or spring day; the bracing chill that presages a frost; the sheets of ice on roadside puddles; the tendrils of cold across window glass; the eternal wonder of snow; the patter of rain on a roof; the electric, bruise-hued sky of a thunderstorm; the surreal clarity of a rich blue sky, the massed clouds of a rolling weather-front… There is so much pleasure to be had from interesting weather, such a range of moods and themes to indulge, such wonderful sights to see. I could watch and listen to rain all day and not get bored; waking up to a downpour seems even more beautiful than dancing sunshine, and lately, there have been many downpours indeed.

And so, above is another collection of photographs: some heavy skies, some graffiti art, sunsets, architecture, people – the usual subjects. One of these photos I consider to be the best I’ve taken for a while, namely, that titled “Watchful”, from the sculpture by the sea exhibition. The fortunate arrangement of the figures around the great conceit of a gigantic tap was a very lucky strike indeed. Either way, you be the judge, and for now I shall sign off.

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