Not bad weather, bad attitude

“I have never been a weather-fetishist,” claims Laurence Inman.

A bit of cloud on the horizonWe are planning to spend New Year in Scotland. Not just any old bit of Scotland. No, we’ll be at the extreme north-west point: Cape Wrath.

It wasn’t my idea. I don’t really have ideas any more, not ones that can be taken seriously. ‘Dad’s having another of his ideas,’ one of them might say as they notice my face screwing up in pleasure or anxiety. And that’s enough. They chuckle and turn back to their screens.

I’m so looking forward to it. Cape Wrath! I hope the weather matches the promise of that name. I hope the mere English word ‘weather’ proves unable to sustain any purchase on what awaits us in the sky up there.

I have never been a weather-fetishist. I cannot believe that moisture and air-movements carry with them an intrinsic value. No; to talk of ‘bad weather’ is the surest sign of you being a crap-for-brains self-centred cretin.

What’s happening, I think, is that The Man, the One Who Guides Our Thoughts, is tilting us towards insisting that there is a perfect weather, compared to which all other weathers fall short. It is weather-as-commodity, which we can complain about, as if it were a product which doesn’t quite fit our requirements.

This Platonic Weather is feather-breezed Californian sunlight. Or the tall heat which clamps us to the dusty roads of the Mediterranean.

Insipid. Promising nothing but more of the same.

Most, all probably, of my fullest memories of joy were amid scenes of rain, or under the pewter skies November brings.

The whole of October 1968 in Manchester: swirling drizzle, all day and every day. The pile of autumn leaves in Millais’ painting. The dankness which is swallowing my back garden, today, right now.