There is almost only flat land between my house and the North sea. Only a few trees and the occasional farmhouse or small village between us and the sea, until you come right to the sea front with its taller hotels. This lack of obstructions  makes for strong winds bringing with them freezing weather. Yet my weather cock, seen clearly from the kitchen window , is pointing clearly to indicate  softer westerlies.  One of these days, but not today, I must climb up and see what is jamming it, although at least it promises better weather to come. It is gloomy as well. There is a sundial in the garden, a very accurate one, but it isn’t not much use today when there is complete cloud cover.  Britain is a place of ever changing weather so it is a frequent subject of conversation. As I walk to the next village I am just as likely to greet someone with ‘Lovely day ‘ or ‘Isn’t it cold’ as ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning’. It is an ice breaker, a start to a conversation, or just something to say as we pass each other on the road.

There are also lots of beliefs and ideas. The flowers of the scarlet pimpernel, a common plant round here, are known as the poor man’s weather glass or barometer, as they only open when the sun is shining and will close if rain is expected. I’ve never understood that saying as you can see easily whether or not the sun is shining or whether there are dark rain clouds approaching, without searching in ditches for a particular flower. Also why should flowers close just because it is raining – probably because they can’t tell the time and think night is approaching. But do flowers need sleep?  Does it matter whether or not they are open or closed if there are no insects flying about?

A new saying for me was ‘If there’s ice enough in November to carry a duck , then the rest of the year will be slush and muck.’  In other words if winter comes early it will last all the longer, which personal; experience tells me tends to be true.
I used to live on the south coast opposite the Isle of Wight, which lies a few miles off shore. They say down there that if you can see the island it is raining, and if you can’t see it then it is going to rain.
 
When visiting Malvern, near the Welsh border, I could see the hills from the dining room unless it was raining. They used to say there ‘Rain before seven (in the morning) sun before eleven’ and they were usually right.
 
I wonder what weather sayings you have. Are they just in your family or are they more general? Are they right? Where does the saying ‘The louder the frog the heavier the rain’ come from? How about ‘Clear moon, frost soon’? Surely that only applies in colder countries. I have seen beautifully clear moons in Greece and Pakistan and no frost followed. Here if we see a halo round the moon it is time to get out the winter clothing. The scientists  tell us it is because we are seeing it through a haze of high up ice crystals, natures precursors of very cold weather.

Whatever the weather I hope you will enjoy these colder months and are looking forward to the New Year.