Talking about the weather

The man Goode he was friendly enough but all he would ever talk about was the weather. Paddy there said he’d told him once he was worried about another topic of conversation for the sake of giving offence or the worry that what he said might get repeated. I think he may have lived too many years in Kenya and then India and he thought any locals must be the same and were a lazy bunch full of gossip and eager for the chance to exploit an outsider.

Well there might be some like that but there are others who would worry on the trouble he would cause with his talk of the weather. His trouble was that sometimes he would be right and sometimes he would be wrong.

There are plenty of those who will tell you that if you want to know about the weather then walk outside that door there and look up into the air and if its raining then your face will be wet and if the sun is out you will have to close your eyes against it and if the wind is blowing then you will feel that across your cheek. And if that isn’t enough and you are greedy and want to see what the weather will be doing then walk out to the end of the pier and look up to the top of the bay and you will see clear enough what the wind will be bringing down over the next half hour. Its all there if you want to look for it.

But the man Goode he had a radio he kept in the Cottage tuned to some station from England and that gave him the weather from the BBC. Well you’d have thought that that would be the best for the weather. But the BBC never made it down here with its weather and so he would have to drawn lines on a map to try and work up what the weather would be down here.

He’d be careful about it and I heard that somewhere he had an envelope full of the drawings he made but sometimes he’d be right and other times wrong no matter what those drawings of his told him.

He would come up here but once a week, maybe a Wednesday or Thursday about six in the evening and he would stand there at the bar and ask Mary for his pint. There would be a nervousness about him but he would hold himself there putting the small of his back against the bar and leaning his elbows down waiting to say his piece.

Those early evenings were not so different then. There would be a man or two stood here at the bar and a couple of others in the seat under the window.  All of them would have quietened as he came in waiting.

He would have his pint to hand and he would take a small take at it and allow it to settle.

‘Well how is the weather doing the next day or so?’

And there there would be a quick of voices all ready to say their bit. If it was warm and the sun had been out then that was it for the next few days but if the weather had been down and it was thick with rain the voices would lower and the men would complain about the summer and the incessant rain all waiting for the man Goode to say his bit.

Goode he would listened to the chat and the discourse and he would take some strength from his pint his back still against the bar.

Then he’d say ‘Boys’ addressing them all and they would quieten again ‘Boys the radio will have the weather and I have it for you’ and he would give out the forecast.

He had a smart tight voice that would not hold for an argument but carry on until it had said what needed saying. So the next days weather was set out in his clipped voice and the men in the corner would take notes for later.

Goode would finish his pint satisfied with the limit of his conversation and walk back down to his cottage and the men would be left in the pub with their note on his anticipation for the weather.

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