Sunday, 10 February 2008

It aint half hot, Mum!

It's approaching the witching hour here in Cape Town ( that's midnight for the more prosaic of you ) ...hmmm, I think I need smilies on this blog, I'm sure half of what I intend to convey is lost in the detached appearance of the written word, but I don't think the world is ready for Talk-Ford Radio... just yet! Tonight would be perfect for one of those laid back, late night, phone in radio shows though.

We've had a very unusual few days in terms of the weather ( how very English...talking about the weather! ) . Yesterday, for instance, was 35 degrees C with a discomfort factor of 43, or something...not sure what that really means but it was pretty uncomfortable. The sky was grey and overcast and there was the feeling that a thunder storm was imminent. It's still like that, which is why I'm forced to cool off by drinking chilled champagne. Well, technically speaking it's sparkling wine because the French tend to get all sniffy if the stuff isn't actually made in Champagne. Still, it tastes just like champagne to me, and I have been known to be a bit of a fussy bugger when it comes to anything that passes my lips.

But I digress, the point is; we seem to be experiencing monsoon weather, although we could do with a bit more rain to be really authentic. I happen to enjoy monsoon weather, the way the rain utterly soaks you, you don't get cold at all, it's a bit like having a shower with your clothes on...only without the soap bubbles. And once it stops, or you get undercover, it only takes about 15 minutes to dry out. I just find this to be so amusing, and liberating. I reckon lots of up tight business types would do well having to operate under those conditions. You really can't take yourself too seriously when you look like a drowned rat.

I will confess ( very Catholic word, but appropriate in this context ) another, more philosophical, appreciation of rain. I was raised a Catholic ( but I'm recovered now;-) ) and although it may surprise many who know me, I was very "committed" to my faith. Like many boys, or young men, of my age I served as an alter-boy and prided myself ( sinful lad ) on my memorisation of the liturgy of the mass. If I am perfectly honest with you I must admit that very little of that ethos has any place in the person I am today. One phrase, however, will always spring, unbidden, from my subconscious whenever I see rain fall. It's the bit that describes Christ dying to wash away our sins. The phrase in my recollection ends; "washing away the sins of the world"

The sentiment I feel now is more akin to an almost animist conception. Perhaps even the Shinto idea of purification. The world, and our part in it, is never simple, nor would I wish it to be, but it does feel good once in a while to " wash away the grime", to take a deep breath of that clean, sweet air that follows a downpour and look around with refreshed eyes. Perhaps this is just the bubbles in my champaign talking...or maybe there is still an idealist lurking inside.

This wasn't meant to be a Sunday sermon,( it's far too short for a start! ) far from it. I had no idea what I was going to write when I started so there you have it, a bit of "train of conciousness" rambling. Now...where's that bubbly?

Namaste all, Ford


Leon said...

It's even more visible than radio can show!
I see a man, and his bubbles, waiting...
Waiting for what? A new day?
No, he knows that there will be a tomorow.
Now I see. He is looking for an audience! No, not a real one, that's to scary yet. A virtual audience.
And now he found it I see...
even more bubbles!

It's all in a daily visit! Greetings Ford.

Ford Hallam said...

Cheers Leon,

I think perhaps you've been at the bubbles too...;-)

thanks for popping by, it's good to know you're still out there.

Namaste, Ford

Doug Sanders said...

I've never experienced a monsoon, a sandstorm, the Foehn, or any other all-encompassing weather phenomena or else the one's here in the midwest of North America are so common that I no longer look at them as being anything significant.
It's true, we can all consider the conditions in which we live or the concepts in which we think and wonder if it isn't time for a washing.

Lorenzo said...

Last year i experienced typhoon in Japan (do you remember news?)
My ractional part knew that i had to be scared. But the real myself, or better, my "animal" part, the one that makes me laugh sometimes with no clear reason, just enjoyed the situation like a little boy destroing a toy, without think he can do that just once. Maybe offtopic, but i share this experience of me because your words " I just find this to be so amusing, and liberating " will remain in my head for long. The second part of your sentence is the one i missed, because i didn't realize what was the "after" sensation. Now i know, it was a sensation like to have been gently washed, like your mom do when you are a child and you do not care about what is happening around you at all ;)


Ford Hallam said...

Thanks Gents,

for your responses, I did feel a little odd putting that ramble out there. Leon's prompt reply made feel a bit easier about it though. Thanks again Leon.

Hi Doug, of course the intimate connection to the weather, and the seasons, is an integral aspect of Japanese art and literature. I think it does allow for a slightly detached observation of the human condition.

I loved your description of being washed by your mother when a little boy, wonderfully expressed Lorenzo.