Taking Stock - October 24, 2011

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Looking out of the window, I can’t help but notice things weather-wise have taken a decided turn for the worse.

Not that it’s particularly autumnal, we seem to have skipped that part and gone straight into winter, complete with howling gales and plenty of rain.

That’s certainly not autumn as I remember it being taught in school.

Autumn, according to the curriculum at least, is all gentle breezes, golden brown leaves falling off trees, conkers and perfect sunsets.

Mind you, according to teacher, summer also lasts from June to August which, as far as I can tell, is a complete fallacy.

Summer these days appears to come in April, end in April, and makes a brief encore for a few days sometime around the middle of September.

Winter proper, you know, the one with the snow and ice, makes a similarly fleeting appearance at random intervals from December to March.

The rest of the time, as far as I can tell, we have our very own season which you won’t find in any text book, but might as well be christened “grey”.

Sure, there’s varying degrees of temperature, from cold to chuffing freezing, but there’s no sign, that I can see, of that global warming, at least in this little corner of Lancashire.

Now, I don’t mind a bit of rain. Like queuing and Elgar, it’s beautifully British.

I’ve dreamed of drizzle while baking in the equatorial heat of Singapore and longed for a scattered shower, or two, in the arid Sinai desert.

No, rain is fine, even that fine rain that gets you wet, unless it comes in horizontal form – forgive me if I’m being a little naive, but I always thought it was supposed to be strictly an up to down thing.

Perhaps the fact this year we seem to have skipped spring, summer and autumn and just had grey can be put down to superstition.

After all, it did rain on St Swithen’s day.

That can only account for 40 days though.

The rest, well, I can only assume each year we forget about Britain’s fifth season (which runs on and off from January to December), falling back on that classroom nonsense. Perhaps it’s time for a little more honesty when it comes to learning about the weather.

Pictures of spring should include lambs hiding from the downpour and daffodils bent over by gales.

Summer, well, brollies and puddles will do just fine

For autumn, leaf mush, cancelled trains and people fixing fence panels might be more appropriate.

Yes, fine, point out that between the scattered showers and gale force gusts, there might be a sunny day or two to enjoy by the seaside.

But let’s not raise expectations – let’s learn to love the grey.