We British are obsessed with the weather. Of course. It’s exciting, variable from minute-to- minute because it’s an ever-changing kaleidoscope. I remember calling my cousin and asking if predictions were good for my summer holiday in England. “Well”, he said ” we had summer last week on Wednesday afternoon”. Here in Italy we don’t actually have weather; just two “seasons”, hot, cold. You can’t squeeze much cover from that can you? but along with no seasons there are no skies. And we all know how delightful cloud -watching is! Ask any baby! They’ll watch the sky and the changing cloud formations for hours! In fact it’s so absorbing that Gavin Pretor-Pinney founded The Cloud Appreciation Society with over 50,000 paid-up members in 2005.
I remember my first Smart car had a glass roof and I had many a near escape because I was cloud watching. Far more interesting than a trafficked road actually! And who has not played the game with kids about cloud shapes? Hands up! I once toyed with the idea of joining the Cloud Appreciation Society but I was a bit put off by the fact that I could see ’em without actually paying! And what do you say of that stupid business jargon term “Blue sky thinking”?
Tell it to the people who live in desert regions. Most importantly (perhaps) is the wealth of skyscapes and cloudscapes that this love has given rise to. Some of our greatest painters have devoted their canvasses to the sky. And in England I lived in the Fens, a particularly flat area with BIG skies.