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.'