Whethered

Andrew

‘Whethered’

For those who read my blogs on a regular basis, you may notice a running theme in many of my stories as I attempt to explain the beauty and diversity of Newfoundland’s weather. Like I often suggest, “You don’t come to Newfoundland for the weather – unless you really like weather!”

 

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“… unless you really like weather!”

This past weekend I met a couple of friends who’d recently returned from a family visit to a Caribbean Island where their in-laws had been stationed for a two-year working sabbatical with an aviation company. They had great jobs, lived in a beautiful home, employed a team of servants, made ridiculous money and had access to nearly every amenity on the island; yet they described life on the equator as best likened to the movie ‘Ground Hog Day’ – where you awake every morning and simply hit repeat to see the exact same thing over and over again.

Upon their arrival, my friends were anxious to see their first Caribbean sunset and as the sun approached the horizon they headed into the cabana to grab a drink and further bolster the authenticity of the experience. Can you imagine their surprise when they emerged just moments later, only to discover that the sun had disappeared almost instantly? Their family got a great kick out of this and further explained that the sun not only dove quickly at this latitude, but it also set and rose at the exact same time, every day, year-round.

 

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 “… the sun had disappeared almost instantly”

About 45 minutes later a flock of about 20 parrots flew by their patio. Despite the darkness they caught a quick glimpse of their beautiful plumage in the patio lights and were disappointed they missed the photo op. Again they were reminded about ‘Ground Hog Day’ and were assured that the parrots would be back the following morning at exactly 45 minutes before dawn – and again, at the same time that evening, and so on.

 

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“… the parrots would be back…”

Every afternoon the exact same cloud formation blew across the horizon at precisely 3 pm and remained in view for just 25 minutes; faithfully. If you missed it, you could be certain you’d see it tomorrow and every day that followed.

Though they’d enjoyed their time away, their in-laws were most anxious to finish their work term and get back to Newfoundland where the weather alone would provide ample opportunity for conversation and at the very least, necessitate some element of planning and surprise in the monotony of life’s daily routine.

As Sir John Hope Simpson wrote in one of the last letters he sent home to his family in England following a two year hiatus in Newfoundland and his final days with our Commission Government;

“When we leave Newfoundland next Autumn we will carry away a lot of pleasant memories, of which I think the chief will be the weather. This is a wonderful country for sunshine, and, even on the worst days, you are never certain that the sun will not break through. It did yesterday, and today, though there is a northerly gale and it is very cold, the sun is shining bravely as a reflection of those who stand before it.”

Now that’s what I call whethered!

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