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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter. - Billy Connoly

The other night, I agreed with an American friend that the weather had been nice lately - then we both burst out laughing, realizing that our standards had changed significantly since moving to the north of Scotland.

Once upon a time, my life consisted of hundred-degree Kansas summers. Years later, sunny Lisbon winters. I'm not a winter person unless it's sunny and I'm snowboarding. Yet I've lived in Seattle and Prague and Scotland. Voluntarily.

I can't remember the last time I felt the sun for longer than a ten-minute stint in the afternoon.

"Nice" now means "not raining". Temperature doesn't even come into it. Life is colder up here because of the moisture in the air, which is brilliant for the skin but frigid for the bones. Like the Eskimos and their words for 'snow', Britain has numerous words for 'rain', which the weather reporters use with vigor: drizzle, showers, precipitation, stormy, dampness, sprinkles. And my favorite: unsettled.

And up north, here where the air is so fresh I get light-headed sometimes, the skies give us millions of shades of grey. Right now is almost white, with a greenish hue. This morning had a yellow tinge, and the green grass looked fluorescent. I never knew that one cloudy day could be so different to the next.

Image above taken in the hall of the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. I love the map dress.

1 comment:

samuelwood said...

And then it stopped raining. That is on my side of the bridge.

When I was little, summer days would always begin with a phone conference between mothers about whose house the day was to be spent. The mother with the best weather became host.

These conversations spanned only about 5 miles, and were probably redundant given just how unsettled the weather is.

Thinking about it, the conversations were probably in code and they were all mentally going through their gin cabinets.