03 February, 2006

Pea souper

I realised earlier today that I hadn't seen the sun since last weekend.

It's been stuck behind an unpreposessing wedge of dirty cloud since, as far as I can recall, before Monday morning - that's over five days ago. And it's made the week unremittingly dank and grisly. Every time I've got out of bed and lunged at the curtains, the sight revealed to me has been the same: millions of inlets of condensation, and behind that only grey. At which point I just want to give up and head back under the covers for another 24 hours.

It's only when it's not around that you value the sun being around. Its absence has been all the more obvious thanks to my office being at the top of the building, surrounded by the kind of views which demand rays of light flooding all over them, rather than ugly squats of murky mist. And being high up, I sometimes see traces of cloud down beneath me as well as above, which is doubly depressing.

The BBC offers a kind of explanation for the present bleak circumstances, but chooses to end by claiming that "after months of (seemingly) never-ending rain it is a relief to many of us to see the river levels falling and the fields becoming hard enough to walk on." No it isn't! Just from the fact it hasn't properly rained here for weeks tells me there's going to be a drought this summer, a conclusion borne out by stories earlier this week on - yes - the BBC.

There's a fair way to go to match the all-time record of 1947, when the Kew Observatory recorded no sunshine at all from the 2nd to the 22nd of February, and when the temperature didn't rise above freezing for twelve days. The way things are shaping up, though, I couldn't call it unexpected.


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