February 23, 2005

As Tom Waits said, "Strangers talk only about the weather"

You often hear it said of Arizona: ďItís hot, but itís a dry heat.Ē In Ireland, itís cold but itís a wet cold. The sky may be clear and the sun may be out --- momentarily --- but when the wind blows it has the promise of water in it, like a freshwater version of a sea breeze.

The past few days the weather has been petulant. A woman at work assured me that in Ireland spring started the beginning of this month [1], but the past few days the weather gods have decided to remind us that it is decidedly still February. I woke this morning to find a light dusting on the daffodils in the front yard. (At least, Iíve been told theyíre daffodils. A clump of them sprang up where a rose bush used to be, little yellow things with ruched edges, looked a bit like a teacup and saucer stuck sideways on top of a thick green stalk.) This is the first time the snow has stuck at all; itís very damp stuff, which does not so much float gently from the heavens in big fluffy flakes as get spat at the earth like so many billions of tiny white Nerf balls.

I donít expect it to last long, though; the temperature has danced merrily back and forth over the frost line over the past few days, so sometimes you get a burst of snow, other times hail or a cold, penetrating rain. Still, for all this nastiness of the weather the past few days itís only been intermittently nasty, displaying the easily distracted whimsicality of all weather here. I think if Ireland had a weather god it might take the form of a kitten, all hissing wind and spitting hail one minute and gambolling happily after a dangled sun ray the next.

[1] Did you know that every country just randomly picks a day when spring starts? I always thought it all had to do with solstices and equinoxes and whatnot but according to this itís just what everybody frickiní feels like. I can see where it kind of makes sense for Irelandís spring to start in February, however; though the weather is being uncooperative the light definitely started to change this month. Beginning in November and all through January it was dark coming and going to work; over the past few weeks the days have lengthened so now itís light as Iím leaving and most of the way coming home.

Posted by Diablevert at February 23, 2005 05:23 AM | TrackBack

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