September 5, 2013 by benmblackman
Why can’t we just admit it? Nobody really knows what the weather will be like tomorrow in this country do they?
Weather men (and women) certainly don’t, so why on earth us amateurs insist on multiple updates to each other in conversation every day is beyond me.
Trouble is, I fear I’ve been reeled in. My name’s Ben and I’m a weatherholic. Surely this shouldn’t have happened for a few more decades? I’m only 34. A lifetime of cricket means I suppose the signs were always there. As a boy I’d whip open the curtains at 7am if we had a match that night and assess the potential, before continuing to look skywards at every opportunity during the school day to guess how it would fare come 6.00pm, when we would be playing. I went to school 15 miles away from where I lived and there were no text messages, twitters or rain satellites (more of these later) in those days. You just had to hope if it was raining at school, it might not necessarily be at home.
I was always glass half-full in terms of the weather growing up. Still am now – not like the rest of this blooming country. Even before the heatwave we’ve all enjoyed so much this summer countless people told me, ‘it won’t last.’ Or, ‘it’ll play havoc with the garden.’ One went as far as to warn me, in a manner most sinister, on the very first hot day we’d had for months, ‘we’ll pay for this won’t we?’
I don’t think Mother Nature contracts Lucifer in so that 1 day of sunshine in England = great vengance the next – does she?
Growing up I didn’t realise my Dad was subliminally turning me into this monster with his drip drip drip (literally if rain had stopped play) of Test Match Special. When they weren’t describing the weather they’d be breaking for a Shipping Forecast.
I took some gap years from all things weather aged 18-30 (well, it doesn’t rain much inside pubs does it) but lately I’ve found myself asking people to quiet down when a forecast comes on the TV. I’m not proud of it but yesterday I studied a weather map in a newspaper. All right, I admit it – I cleared my internet history because of those sites I can’t stop going on…
…I started off on the recreational stuff BBC Weather offered me for free but before long I needed more. I’d heard about Metcheck and it kept me occupied for a while but even this isn’t enough for me anymore. To get my real hit these days I need weather satellites in real time.
My Dad got me hooked on Test Match Special all those years ago but it’s @Aggerscricket I blame for this latest addiction. He’s on the radio and told me it was cool, I’m just an impressionable 34 year old, he should have known better but to influence me.
During the 2nd Test against New Zealand at Headingly back in May (I mean, really, what did they expect putting a Test Match on in Yorkshire, in May) he introduced me (and millions of other listeners) to Rain Today (real time weather radar). Now I can’t stop watching the rain. As if I don’t have enough real rain to watch in Lancashire, I often log on to watch its progress across the UK on my mobile phone.
I wouldn’t mind but I don’t really know why I want to know so much. I haven’t played cricket for 2 years; if the washing on the line gets wet I see this as a bonus – I don’t have to bring it in; I’m not a roofer; I don’t sell umbrellas for a living.
No good can come of this can it? But I still need to know!