Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Irish Eyes: The Allegorical Weather Forecast

Irish Eyes with Greg Meylan in Dublin

The Allegorical Weather Forecast

Occasionally it pays to go back to the old ways, to visit the vaults, to dip one’s toe in history.

The last time we did so we had a brief but enlightened look at the great days of gothic weather reporting, which I think we all agreed , were full of an unbridled passion and intimacy rarely seen before or since. A little overcast and prone to tempestuous outbursts of course and lacking somewhat in modern sensibilities but hearty stuff all the same.

Today then on our visit to the weathering vaults we look at the often overlooked Allegorical Weather Forecast. This is a period you understand when little was actually understood about the elements in enlightened scientific terms.

Often these forecasts then would feature strange beasts and expressed the fears of a superstitious culture, but ultimately there purpose was to reassure that though the natural order was often violent and capable of fury the law of man would always hold its own.

A typical forecast from this era then would begin with your average Everyman on a road and the road would be called the Road of Time and there would likely be a rose upon it (which later gets all muddled up in a poem). Anyway Everyman would be going about his business walking on the Road of Time and he would met Unpleasant Weather who would challenge him to a battle of wits with the loser being thrown in the mud.

‘Everyman’, Unpleasant Weather would say, ‘if there be rain after sunshine and cloud should cover blue what follows then that which follows you?’

Which of course Everyman would have to ponder long on in a rhyming sort of way, thinking perhaps it was his shadow but finally answering correctly ‘Memory follows me, and Forgetting follows Memory’. And Unpleasant Weather would be thrown in the mud.

Now a typical peasant on the land hearing this weather forecast would correctly interpret it to say that next days weather will begin with a lovely dawn followed by a lot of wind and rain before being cleared by bright sunshine but when darkness descends they ought to bring the animals inside.

I think you will agree it was a quaint but not inelegant time in the history of weather forecasting.

- feedback to paloona@yahoo.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Ian Powell: Are we happy living in Handy's Age of Unreason?

On 19 June the Sunday Star Times published my column on the relationship between the Labour government’s stewardship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system and the outcome of the next general election expected to be around September-October 2023: Is the health system an electoral sword of Damocles for Labour... More>>


The First Attack On The Independents: Albanese Hobbles The Crossbench
It did not take long for the new Australian Labor government to flex its muscle foolishly in response to the large crossbench of independents and small party members of Parliament. Despite promising a new age of transparency and accountability after the election of May 21, one of the first notable acts of the Albanese government was to attack the very people who gave voice to that movement. Dangerously, old party rule, however slim, is again found boneheaded and wanting... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Predictable Monstrosities: Priti Patel Approves Assange’s Extradition
The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner. In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the view that he was “duty-bound” to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Roe V. Wade Blindsides National

Momentum is everything in politics, but it is very fragile. There are times when unexpected actions can produce big shifts and changes in the political landscape. In 2017, for example, the Labour Party appeared headed for another hefty defeat in that year’s election until the abrupt decision of its then leader to step aside just weeks before the election. That decision changed the political landscape and set in train the events which led to Labour being anointed by New Zealand First to form a coalition government just a few weeks later... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>