12 May 2006

from san luca patio, gouvia greece

Both Sides Now

I've always been a cloud fan in a lonely sort of wandering way, just not very clued up on the fancy details:

  • Sure, I can bandy the usual - cumulus, nimbus, cirrus - with the best of them.
  • I can even plunk away at "Nuages" on the old Fender Stratus-caster (dread pun!) - that's until Django does his trademark hammer/claw triplet and he and Steph whisk the tune into hot gear.

    from italian supermarket, gouvia
    Now come astute Sceptre Books and the clever and marvelously named Gavin Proctor-Pinney with his Cloudspotter's Guide.

    Suddenly, I'm every enochlophobe's nightmare - no, wait, that's fear of crowds. Sorry.

    Hmm, I wonder if the press ever made mileage on that when the prophet Powell was chanting his Rivers of Blood caveat?

    clouds and black sambo, sunday siesta timeI now have enough useless information to enter any bar in the land and win bets galore while boring for England.

    My range of topics is terrifying. Just thank gawd Ashley isn't around to step in with some terrifying "I like clouds better than you #23" coup de théâtre, of which he is perfectly capable.

    san luca clouds

  • Clouds by height and shape
  • Genus of cloud *and* its species
  • The different habits of clouds according to wind speed, topography, air temp and don't forget the height of the troposphere.
  • The rôle of clouds in The Arts.

    As if that's not enough, the stalwart P-P has set up his own Cloud Appreciation Society complete with cloud of the month.

    Dept of Great Minds Reviewing Alike: I've just spotted in the feisty Daily Mail of May 12 a 'Critic's choice' write-up of the Pinney by none other than the paper's former book reviews editor, Peter Lewis. Perhaps he is still *is* Lit Ed; so hard to tell these days with the by-lines and how they lay the columns out. What *isn't* unclear is the accompanying pic of Lewis: goodness, the scribbler's changed almost as little as yours truly over the past 30 years.

    Nor has his reviewer's nib lost its cunning. Some juicy observations that should shift a few copies with readers:

    "The whiter-than-white brilliance of a gentle, lazy cumulus is due to the ten billion tiny water droplets per cubic metre inside it defusing light in all directions.

    By the time it grows to medium size, wafting its cauliflowery billows aloft (Eee, there's imagery for you - CH) on thermal currents, the water in it weighs as much as 80 elephants.

    A cumulonimbus towering taller than Mount Everest contains as much energy as ten Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs."

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