We’ll always have the weather

Our weather obsession is a bit like our food obsession - know more and do less, Liz Breslin writes.



How's that weather out there? Nice weather for ducks is what my dad used to say.

Mostly all of the time in England it was nice weather for ducks.

Which was awesome weather for running in as well, hair plastered to your face, mud splattered up your legs like Jackson Pollock's had a field day. Weather so you know you're alive.

Times have changed. And conditions. Our weather obsession is a bit like our food obsession. Know more. Do less.

It's easy to sit and watch, waiting for a break in whatever.

And if you're over checking the forecast, there's always the tele.

Storm Stories, Britain's Got Extreme Weather, Deadliest Space Weather, Freaks of Nature, When Weather Changed the Planet.

I think I made only one of those up.

Hooray for the Weather Channel.

I suppose it's a bit like a travel channel.

There are other countries out there. There is other weather out there.

Never mind the levelling influence of you under yours.

How's that weather out there? How's the forecast shaping up for the ski season?

I haven't heard anything from the Moon Man this year and I'm not curious enough to pay the $33 to unlock the secrets and "know when snow will come''.

Dancing snowflake graphs, obscure Norwegian weather websites - friends get their isobar analysis from a wide range of sources.

I like the way the bars line up, I have to say. Pretty.

But for me, the midrange of weather predictions sits somewhere just above horoscopes for relevance. Better to look out of the window than down at the page.

How's that weather out there?

The weather outside will be weather, sure.

It's often a safe bet as a shared commonality.

Though increasingly, not.

Because a bitterly cold inversion day is experientially different in a self-screen-clearing latest-model plush ride, snug in your fur-lined new season shoes and streamlined downy puffer jacket.

So I've heard.

How's that weather out there?

And those homeless.

And an extra $20 billion on defence.

So that's good.

Hell of a storm cycle.

Pass the halloumi hors d'oeuvres.

How's that weather out there?

Dangerous, by all accounts, if you listen to the chiefs of police in Toronto and Chicago.

In both cities they've made the breathtaking conclusion that because the winters have been milder there have been more people out on the streets and "violence increases when people are out and about and that happens more when the weather is better''.


Because sunshine is clearly to blame for gun crime now.

And not guns.

Wind, too, is a dangerous one.

Whether it's the Sirocco, the foehn or the Santa Ana, they've all been implicated as mitigating circumstances in murder cases.

And those are big, powerful winds that cover basically an awful lot of the planet.

We're all at the mercy of the weather and the mercilessness of each other.

Wind plays an unduly large part on my daily weather radar and not just when it's swirling outside.

Inside, my husband has the bar pressure and hectopascals at his fingertips, like a veritable Tempestarii.

Except his magical powers lie in meticulous and rather delicious meteorological explanations before jumping in the car and heading off to wherever the perfect storm of winds and waves are currently colliding. He has me at hectopascals every time.

How's that weather out there?

It's the one thing that can universally disrupt the best-laid plans.

All our mighty flight technology can't get us up past frozen raindrops or pea-soup (as my dad calls them) clouds.

And so what if I've been up since an icy dawn, baking for the children to go to a sports tournament?

If the weather doesn't play ball, they don't either.

No point crying over spilled precipitation.

It's an everyday thing.

It's inescapable.

It's what we've got till the day the sun doesn't rise.

So no wonder it's so pervasive.


Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative. So said Oscar Wilde.

Thanks Oscar.

So, umm, how's that weather?


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