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This is an exploration of our preoccupation with the weather, as heard on BBC Radio 3: Changing Climates. In his trademark style, Richard Mabey weaves together science, art and memoirs (including his own) to show the weather's impact on our culture and national psyche. He rambles through the myths of Golden Summers and our persistent state of denial about the winter; the Impressionists' love affair with London smog, seasonal affective disorder (SAD – do we all get it?) and the mysteries of storm migraines; herrings falling like hail in Norfolk and Saharan dust reddening south-coast cars; moonbows, dog-suns, fog-mirages and Constable's clouds; the fact that English has more words for rain than Inuit has for snow; the curious eccentricity of country clothing and the mathematical behaviour of umbrella sales.
We should never apologise for our obsession with the weather. It is one of the most profound influences on the way we live, and something we all experience in common. No wonder it's the natural subject for a greeting between total strangers: Turned out nice again.
Acclaimed nature writer, Richard Mabey has authored some thirty books including the bestselling plant bible, Flora Britannica, Food for Free, Nature Cure and most recently Weeds: The Story of Outlaw Plants (Profile). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
"Mabey's forte is a quality of observation that combines a keen analytical edge with emotional passion and an artist's eye"
- Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph
"Britain's leading natural history writer"
- Richard Holmes
"I would read Mabey on any subject"
- The Times
"Mabey stands as someone who not just sees beauty in nature but understands and enhances it."
"The steward of a pastoral tradition [which matches] highly personal responses and expert environmental concerns"
- Andrew Motion