Forecasting is, at best, an imprecise science. Sitting in the garden this evening the light is soft and beautiful. Summer’s end is hard to accept when corners of the garden are illuminated by the incarnadine glow of geraniums in full flower pushing through a cloud of intensely blue lobelia. The oleander, now a giant, is covered in cream blossom even though the deep green leaves are interspersed with the chrome yellow of the dying which are like the the turned corners of the pages of a book reminding us of our place in the order of things. What would be a perfect blue is marred, or decorated, by the unmistakeable cloud formation known as a “mackerel” sky which, according to old “salts”, can presage the arrival of iffy weather. Or is it “mares’ tails” that serve as a warning of foul weather to come? Computerised weather forecasting seems to be slightly less accurate than holding up a piece of seaweed or rummaging through a chicken’s entrails. To be a weather forecaster must be a sinecure. Being drastically inaccurate in a prediction will, at worst, result in becoming an international “celebrity”. Your job as a forecaster will, amongst other light duties, entail appearing daily on national television, dressed by a vengeful wardrobe mistress in a combination of strangely tight and ill matched clothes, gamely smiling white toothily through orange make-up, rain, shine and hurricane in a way that suggests you’re the offspring of Jack Nicholson, or a lesser demon such as the Devil, whilst pronouncing, in infinite detail, on the weather that we can all expect to endure or enjoy the following day or, with the more imaginative script, the following week. All of this will, of course, be bollocks. A cursory look out of a window the following morning will confirm the fiction. I have thought of keeping a calendar notating the actual weather that happened in comparison to that which was forecast. Unfortunately, if I did this, I would have to shoot myself as it is such an anally retentive nightmare that I now wish I had never mentioned it; but the moving fingers tap, and having tapped tap on…..
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