”Sir, the year growing ancient,
yet on summer’s death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter”
(Winter’s Tale act 4, sc. 4)
Comments. Dr. Johnson observed in the “Idler” that “It is commonly observed, that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm.” That may have been true until historically recent times, especially in the Anglo-saxon world, including of course America. Today, providing the listener (or viewer) with the first and constant talk of the weather is the audio-visual media.
The rapid change in weather here in Portland, after months of cloudless skies and uninterrupted sunshine has caused concerns at all levels. On the streets a spate of accidents (none major) due to drivers who had lost the sense of the slipperiness of roads. From the domestic point of view my cat Chavette felt equally disconcerted about the abrupt weather changes – signaling her surprise by frequent meows and more frequent returns inside the house from exposure to the rain. Chavette was a feral kitten named after Hugo Chavez. However, it was soon discovered that the cat was a she so we modified the name with the acquisition of a French diminutive. Felinofiles can find pictures of Chavette on my Facebook page.
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In the Play. Polixenes, king of Bohemia and friend Camillo visit the humble home of a shepherd and of his adopted daughter Perdita. Perdita responds to a comment by Polixenes on flowers presented to him by her.