Tag Archives: Wootton Bassett

We must wether the weather

Why do you think it is that some people luxuriate in the sun, and others hide from it?

Most people dislike rain, but I like everything from mizzle to fine rain. I don’t like cold, wet rain, straight from the heart of an ice-cloud, but soft rain is lovely. Gentle rain, blessing my skin, garlanding my hair.

Trains, too, it seems have a preference for one kind of snow over another.

Fog, I am not fond of but I am entranced by mist. I used to live just south of Swindon, and the low lying fields (presumably once water-meadows) between Swindon and Wootton Bassett would have mist lying three or four foot deep, the sun shining down on hedges growing out of soft white numinous fields.

The one who is exhilarated by wind is – as already mentioned – exhilarated by wind. But I fear wind. I dislike its relentless and random violence. Its noise. Its intrusion into my house.

When I was a wee thing, I remember seeing the fitted carpet on the landing in my parents’ house bulging up two or three inches in the middle. It surged like a restless sea.

Wind is a thief, stealing dustbin lids and deckchairs. It is a vandal, turning umbrellas inside out and tumbling rubbish down the street. It destroys trees and property.

I remember driving once down to Plymouth (or was it Portsmouth, or Portishead, perhaps) and counting the broken trees, overturned lorries and barns and houses with their roofs ripped off. We scored 1 for a tree, 3 for a lorry and 5 for a roof. I ended the journey with 87 but he got 93. A shocking desolation.

Winds have names. In Provence, men and women go mad because of the Mistral. And these are European winds. I cannot imagine the careless brutality of a typhoon or hurricane.

Perhaps the reason I like mist and mizzle so much, is that they form in stillness and in silence.