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MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Nothing but blue skies...
I’ve written before about my frustration with weather forecasts that slightly miss the mark. You know when there’s nothing but sunshine on the TV forecast and decent temperatures and, well, the sun never does show its face and the mercury rises to about half what was forecast.
I think they call it an inversion, which is a fancy word for fog or low cloud or crappy, depressing weather for us in the lowlands.
Now I can imagine it’s difficult to predict whether fog, and when and specifically where fog, is going to get burnt off or blown away, or if it is at all. So I have some sympathy for forecasters on this one.
And to some extent fog serves as a good metaphor for these days as at times we all literally feel like we’re living in one, and that’s just the stuff we’re dealing with in our head at any given moment. When we step outside into a soupy, grey day it just reinforces what we are already dealing with psychologically.
Kind of as if we’re winging it through life, without sonar or GPS or any other technological advancement, and it’s increasingly difficult to see what lies ahead. OK, that could just be me, ha.
However, although fog will always be a bit on the depressing side and is a sign of a significant weather pattern that looms on the horizon, we do know, in these parts at least, we get more than our share of sunshine and it will return, hopefully sooner rather than later.
I know there are parts of the world where fog is much more of an ongoing issue than here in paradise.
When I lived at the Coast while going to school there were days when it was so socked in, definitely not an inversion, it felt like you were an extra in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, surreal I think they call it.
There were a few such times at Simon Fraser University, which if you’ve never been there, looks a little bit like Battlestar Galactica on a mountaintop.
It’s cool and beautiful on a nice day, with great views to boot, but Arthur Erickson’s salute to quadrangles and concrete on a windy, rainy, foggy, cold November day gives new meaning to the word grey.
If you could see in front of you it would be difficult to distinguish colours, if there were any to distinguish.
And in case you think I’m picking on SFU, I went to UBC too and the oceanside campus is even more prone to fog and depressing conditions, especially for an Interior boy, and includes the haunting call of fog horns being sounded from the ships lurking somewhere in the murky distance, just for effect, of course.
But sometimes you have to turn things around and learn to love what life deals you on the weather front.
During my SFU days I lived in a basement suite on Austin Road and I used to take breaks from doing homework (or was it procrastinate from actually doing homework?) and walk out into the foggy unknown to clear my head, so to speak.
There was a mysterious, even dangerous aspect about heading out into the grey beyond where I have to admit I did get lost, at least temporarily, on occasion.
But at the time it beat reading Chaucer in my closet of a room and was even invigorating when you came back damp but triumphant.
If you let your imagination run a little wild it was like exploring the great beyond because at the time you couldn’t see more than a few feet ahead of you, even though you knew the Vancouver Golf and Country Club was somewhere across the street and hopefully your house was still there where you left it half an hour before.
No wonder horror shows utilize fog machines so much, it taps into our deepest fears of abandonment and questioning what’s real and what’s not (I think at this point someone is supposed to reach out from the darkness and grab you for effect).
Anyway, the forecast is for sunny days ahead so we’re out of the clouds and back into nothing but blue skies, right?
Maybe, maybe not.