I usually check the weather forecast when I get up in the morning, although I’m really not very sure why, as they inevitably get it wrong. And sometimes the outlook is so very, very bleak that it’s better not to know what’s in store.
This morning, according to the BBC, the day was set to be grey. Not wet; not thick black cloud. Just grey. There was no sign of sunshine or rain or snow. Nothing but monotonous grey.
The rest of the day was forecast to be the same. And all day tomorrow, too.
But, as you can see from the screenshot at the top of this post, on Tuesday, at midday, we were promised a brief glimpse of sunshine.
Then, looking further ahead, it went back to grey, grey and more grey for the rest of the week.
Of course, as I said, the forecast is almost inevitably wrong and by the time I’d actually got up and dressed and took another look, it had changed completely.
Even so, there’s a lot of grey still shown for the week ahead, which is a good enough excuse as any to re-post this old poem.
Although written in Spain in Autumn, I think it has a very English winter feel to it, even if smoking in shared offices or in pubic buildings and commuting to work are activities that place it in a different era.
Nine o’Clock in Shades of Grey
The sky, a solid lid on thoughts, constrains
and limits flights of fancy as I ride the bus
to work on Monday morning. I watch
through mud-spattered windows, jolted
past gravelled parks where leaden evergreens obtrude
from fog. In high-rise flats, once-snowy nets
are turned to slush behind dull glass. Stone walls
and pebble-dashing act as magnets to attract
the dust. Grey-skinned commuters wait
at greyer bus stops.
Outside the Town Hall,
laurel lollipops stand sentinel around
the corporation buildings dull as salmon
caught in a bad still-life.
Inside, I know it smells of stale ash
and the cold-coffee paintwork of my office
flakes in silence.
Even my new business suit
is dark, sensible charcoal.
hidden from this colour-sapping world,
I sport a satin petticoat and panties
with pink roses. My step is light,
the half-smile ready
to blossom into song.