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Old Merry English Weather December 2, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.

I’m reading T.H. White’s, A Sword in the Stone, an enjoyable romp on a medieval estate with prominent focus on Merlin the Magician as tutor to Arthur of round table fame . . . long before Arthur met Sir Lancelot, wore the crown, or assumed the throne of England from Uther Pendragon.

In his fantastical and magical tale, White shares ample humor and satire with his readers, as evidenced by his description of medieval weather in old Merry England:

The weather behaved itself.

In the spring all the little flowers came out obediently in the meads, and the dew sparkled, and the birds sang; in the summer it was beautifully hot for no less than four months, and, if it did rain just enough for agricultural purposes, they managed to arrange it so that it rained while you were in bed; in the autumn the leaves flamed and rattled before the west winds, tempering their sad adieu with glory; and in the winter, which was confined by statute to two months, the snow lay evenly, three feet thick, but never turned into slush.

Jolly good, eh?  Four glorious summer months and winter’s frost and frozen air governed by statutory limitation to two months.  

And not even a whisper of fog to cloud the sight or blanket the stars in the night sky.

Oh, to have lived in the days of yore!   

Related post:  Once and Future (Kate Shrewsday)


1. creatingreciprocity - December 2, 2011

And it’s snowing on your page, Nancy – pretty, pretty cool…

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Yes. It started snowing yesterday and should continue into the New Year . . . without ever accumulating any slush. 😀

2. suzicate - December 2, 2011

I love snow that doesn’t turn into slush! Building an imaginary snowman that won’t melt right now!

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Enjoy creating your well behaved snowman, Suzi! 😀

3. Andra Watkins - December 2, 2011

“The weather behaved itself.” What a great line.

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

I love the juxtaposition between that 4 word sentence and the following paragraph . . . which encompasses the same thought through more expansive visual imagery.

4. Carl D'Agostino - December 2, 2011

I am reading Jack Whyte’s.. Camulod Chronicles series. Same stuff. “The Saxon Shore”

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

That time in history sparks our imagination, eh?

5. LittleMissVix - December 2, 2011

Ah lovely!

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Isn’t it? The book is a delightful peek into the murky past, with intermittant time travel to the present.

6. Pocket Perspectives - December 2, 2011

Ahhh….the weather behaves itself here much of the time…but then….the earth decides to shake! Oh, variations in nature.
And the snow….I think I may have gotten a notice about that feature yesterday…I wondered what it looked like….it’s good. And, ah ha, maybe I’ll add it as shooting stars to my own. It looks a bit like shooting stars on yours too….like! (and I can just barely see the flakes/stars are shooting way down into the comments section…I thought I was seeing stars (the dizzy brain kind) with the really faint white on white, but it’s snowflakes. Whew, the brain isn’t dizzy after all. 🙄

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Nature has a mind of its own . . . and remains unconcerned with our obiter dictum.

I love how the snow looks against the night sky . . . like shooting stars made for holiday wishes.

7. adeeyoyo - December 2, 2011

I just hope they never learn to control the weather, Nancy!

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

I expect “they” won’t master the winds and tides any time soon . . . but it would be nice if we could:

* move rain clouds into draught-stricken areas
* use rain “hoses” to douse raging wild fires
* move sunny days into areas on the verge of flooding
* keep hurricanes at sea and away from fragile coastlines

Of course, once developed, the powers-that-be would no doubt use the technology for frivolous purposes (e.g., surrounding themselves with weather fair while allowing storms and tempests to ravage the rest of the world).

adeeyoyo - December 3, 2011

And that just what would scare me – it could be used as a weapon of war, and/or blackmail!

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

First . . . we must return the humanity to man before we seek to harvest the weather for our behest.

8. Paula Tohline Calhoun - December 2, 2011

“The rain may never fall til after sundown; by nine pm the moonlight must appear.In short theres simply not a more congenial spot for happily ever after- ing than here in Camelot!”
One of my favorite books of alltime, and it made for a fantastic musical, too! 🙂 😀 O:-) !

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

The Arthurian legends offer respite from reality, eh? 😀

9. kateshrewsday - December 2, 2011

Ah, TH White’s beautifully honed sense of irony 😀 Fairy tales can choose any weather they jolly well like! Conversely, archaeologists have identified a period of something like 14 wet Summers in a row back in the times the Celts were ruling the roost.

That’s what having a wizard like Merlin on hand does for you 😀

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

I love this paragraph because we tend to remember the past through rose-colored glasses . . . perfect summers, brilliant autumnal foliage, pristine snowfalls, and never a spring picnic ruined by rain.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - December 2, 2011

That reminds me of my Mom! She never ever remembered anything bad. She retained only good memories. In fact she always said and truly felt that she had a perfect life.

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

That’s not a bad way to be . . . remembering the good and letting the rest drift away into the ether.

10. Piglet in Portugal - December 2, 2011

Sounds like the weather from my childhood – perfect 🙂
Love your meteor shower across your blog!

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

It’s pretty when WP allows us to turn on the falling snow for the holidays. 😀

11. Team Oyeniyi - December 2, 2011

The girls are madly into Merlin, so we have much of this around. 🙂

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Merlin’s magic creates wonderful childhood memories. He and his owl, Archimedes.

12. souldipper - December 2, 2011

Mr. White must have lived on the West Coast of Canada for a bit just before he wrote that book, Nancy. 😀

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

I expect his imagination inspired him to create a halcyon setting for Arthur’s tutorship.

13. sufilight - December 2, 2011

I read a lot but haven’t read a novel in a long time, but plan to in the near future. The snow on your page is so cool! As I am typing snow flakes keep on falling… 🙂

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

You can add them to your blog too.

1.Go to your dashboard.
2.Navigate to Settings » General.
3.Check the box next to “Show falling snow on this blog.”

14. bluebee - December 2, 2011

Fantasy, indeed! Met some friends for drinks the other night and we decided not to meet on the water because the weatherman had predicted violent thunderstorms – of course, it ended up being a beautiful, hot, cloudless evening.

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Weathermen get it right more often then they used to . . . but sometimes they “miss the mark.”

Hope you had a nice time wherever you gathered.

15. Maggie - December 2, 2011

I wish I lived in Arthurian times…

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Really? You wouldn’t miss all the modern conveniences? Like roads, and schools, and grocery stores, and bathrooms?

What I’d like to do is time travel . . . like a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

16. jakesprinter - December 2, 2011

A very great post i`m glad to read it 🙂

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Glad you enjoyed, Jake.

17. granny19471947 - December 3, 2011

Hmmmmmmmmmm…sounds like my kind of book…I shall watch out for it.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

It’s older than us, Granny . . . copyright 1939! 😀

18. Ronnie/Hurtled to 60 - December 3, 2011

Oh to live in an ideal world. If only English weather was so reliable.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

It’s fun to imagine that type of idyllic weather, eh?

19. jeanne - December 3, 2011

I would take rain any time of the day or night but if it could be arranged I would prefer it whilst I slept.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Once in a Blue Moon, I like wet rainy days . . . but I always enjoy listening to the rain while I’m warm and dry in bed.

20. Tilly Bud - December 3, 2011

Yes, it rains a lot here, but there’s something magical about the changing seasons that I wouldn’t change.

Well, okay, I’d take a little more sun in summer.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

We each have different weather preferences. I like warm sunny days . . . year round. 😎

21. Booksphotographsandartwork - December 3, 2011

His description of the weather is glorious! I love it.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Some of his satirical swipes have made me laugh out loud. 😆

22. Inger Wilkerson - December 4, 2011

My daughter is doing her junior year in Edinburgh and complaining she would like real snow over winter break. Alas not like the days of Camelot–I suggested Finland…

nrhatch - December 4, 2011

I have few regrets in life ~ one is that I did NOT spend my junior year abroad in Scotland. Your daughter is sure to make great memories . . . with or without a sprinkling of white stuff on top.

23. ElizOF - December 7, 2011

I wish the weather will behave itself in these parts… 😉

nrhatch - December 7, 2011

Weather is one of those variables that tends to be outside our control . . . unless WE are willing to pack our bags and move. 😉

24. nuvofelt - December 9, 2011

A belated comment – and now Scotland has had its snow – LOTS!
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I’m further south and hoping it doesn’t come.

nrhatch - December 9, 2011

I’m with you, nuvo. The white fluffy stuff looks grand in postcards, but I prepare green grass to freezing snow. 😀

25. CMSmith - December 13, 2011

I’ve got to get around to turning my snow on. I hope I still have the instructions saved somewhere.

I love the Mary Stewart Arthurian series that starts with The Crystal Cave.

nrhatch - December 13, 2011

The Crystal Cave held me in rapt attention as a teen. Merlin’s magic seemed magnificent! 😀

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