Talking About the Weather

July 29, 2018 by Ray Morgan

"I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the weather..."

"Have you ever seen the rain?"

"Here comes the sun..."

Weather is surely one of the greatest inspirations for lyricists - weather and love. I was recently at a conference and one of the speakers said that on average, we spend roughly five years of our lives talking about the weather. FIVE YEARS.

But it's believable, isn't it? We come into work on Monday mornings: "Wasn't it hot?" "Did you have the thunder on Friday night?" "How about this rain eh?"

The weather here lately has been something to talk about it because it has been so unusual. My god, that heatwave. It was starting to get a bit scary - no grass anymore, just scorched yellow hay. Plants that looked perky during an early morning watering session suddenly looked parched and floppy by the time I'd get home from work. The air was so hot you felt like you could cut it: and that was from as early as 7 in the morning, right through the day into night. I sat in my garden until 11pm one night last week, with the air as warm as it is on high summer evenings in Greece, sipping gin and tonics and not wanting to go indoors. I had to have the fan on full-blast all night, every night, just so we could breathe. We looked after my sister in law's dog, and he huffed and puffed all night, unable to get cool, poor doggo. Shout out to anyone who worked without air con, or who worked outside, or who worked in a hot kitchen, or worked in general last week. Heatwaves are no friend to the grafters.

Friday was the worst. In my office, where we don't have air con, I sat at my desk with sweat running down my back, something that only ever usually happens in hot yoga. It was around 32 degrees indoors. All the windows were open, but we couldn't get cool. Jo came to meet me for lunch with a tub of Poco Gelato ice cream (hero), and then in the afternoon around 3pm at my desk I had a Fruit Pastille lolly, and when I got home from work broken, sweaty and exhausted, the ice cream van pulled up outside like magic, and I queued up like a kid to buy a cider lolly. Three ice creams in 6 hours. Surely that is a record.

We got in the car that evening with our friend Matt and drove to Southampton. Earlier in the day, Matt said his car had recorded 38 degrees. We drove South. Fork lightning streaked across the sky, with ominous rain spatters on the windscreen. By the time we reached Southampton, the car said it was a cool 19 degrees! What a difference from earlier that day, the day I shall now call Three Ice Creams Day (27 July - put it in your diaries for 2019). We arrived at my uncle's house at 9pm to beer and tacos with the back door open, enjoying a forgiving breeze.

The following morning, we went into town to explore art galleries and eat at the INCREDS Lakaz Maman (Mauritian street food restaurant from Masterchef winner Shelina Permaloo - definitely recommend) and it finally felt like manageable weather again. We could sit outside a micropub (Caskaway, again if you're ever in Southampton, give it a whirl) and be in the sun and enjoy a couple of pints and not feel like we were going to faint. You know, like a normal British summer.

We came home to Leigh on Sunday to upright plants, healthy soil that didn't look like sand, and the pebbles in the garden were awash with fresh rain. We know it'll get hot again - it's still July as I write - but for now it's nice to have a break from that oppressive heatwave. It feels like a novelty to put socks on again. It's nice to have windows open and for it to feel like that has an actual benefit. I'd forgotten how much I love the smell of rain, especially in summer, hitting warm pavements and cooling everybody down. Now everybody sing with me... "I wanna know... have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day?"


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