Wellies or flip flops, that is the question. This morning it was definitely wellies – to venture out into a grey day where torrential rain, wind and cold, mocked any desire to cling on to summer at the end of September.  To add to the morning’s gloom, the rain had the effrontery to deposit itself inside our supposedly watertight sun room. Out came a bucket to catch the flow, a mop for the floor, and a sigh and a huff at the nuisance factor.

This afternoon, however, the wind blew away the rain, the sun emerged and blue skies contrasted with the reddening leaves on the cherry tree. Is summer back? Could it be time to retrieve the flip flops from the cupboard? No. At some point we have to face the seasonal facts of life – that what medieval serfs may have sung centuries ago in April or May:  “Sumer Is Icumen In” won’t apply here again for another seven or eight months.

Oh, how British I am – talking about the weather, the nation’s favourite conversation topic. Why do we do it? It’s what we all have in common and the weather’s changeability means there’s always something to say about it.

How good are we at talking about the things that really matter? Life, death, the universe, our world view, what our purpose is – collectively and individually – on planet earth? To avoid such deep and challenging questions, do we press the metaphorical channel change button? And revert to talking about the weather? The flippancy of flip flops rather than the solid soles of wellies?

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