Everywhere I’ve lived people have always said, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Even in Houston, which flabbergasted me because nine or ten months of the year it is relentlessly hot and humid with only the regular 3pm brief thunderstorm to break the hellfire monotony. It was slightly more true in Michigan, but you could generally get a picture of how the weather would go in the morning and plan accordingly with reasonable accuracy (contingent on your knowledge of the seasons, I should add).
In Galway, however, it is literally true. I do consult the weather oracles (i.e. I check my phone) and look out the window, but I know that what I see outside may instantly change. I have walked out into rain and arrived at my destination in sunshine. I have generally given up on carrying an umbrella, as the bins on most days look like this one. The gales of Galway are legendary. I risked an umbrella today because there seemed to be no wind and it was that kind of pervasive misty rain that quickly soaks everything. But by the time I was crossing the Corrib on my way to campus, the wind had begun to gust again.My umbrella made it here, but I suspect that it may be a challenge on the next leg of my perambulations.
In Galway it’s important to wield your brolly like a rapier, twirling it to brace against the shifting winds, dodging other umbrellas on the narrow pavement — so far it seems to be a very gendered norm, with men raising their umbrellas and women lowering theirs, but we shall see if that has just been coincidence so far. But most of the time I either just get wet or wear a hat (shock, I know). I was walking along the Claddagh the other day, enjoying the dramatic skies (thanks for the touch up on the photo, Ayub!) and watching a jackdaw eat mussels by flying up a few feet and dropping them on the rocks. There were a few rainy clouds out to sea, but while brisk, it was quite pleasant.
And then it started to hail! The wind blew so hard that it was difficult to walk as I hightailed it back toward the centre. Yet by the time I got up to the street again, the sun was out. Sure, it was still raining. But the sun was out. It’s crazy, but it always gives people something to talk about, eh?
This weekend there’s the Fiction Slam on Friday and then Octocon on Saturday, so I’ll be heading up to Dublin to finally meet Pádraig Ó Méalóid face to face after all these years. Next week I’m off to London for some fun including not one but TWO Alan Moore events and some idling in East London with the mad Mr Murphy. Next it will be off to Scotland, but more about that anon. For the present, let’s talk about the weather…