Wind, Part One

The bog reeds are dancing the Mexican wave tonight. A hard Southerly is barrelling through Borth – it’s a warm, strong wind. We haven’t had much in the way of breezes, draughts or gales for a few weeks. I forgot how you can’t hear anything for the sound of it rushing past. You can’t see – your eyes have turned into a rain machine. Your body strains into it, walking like a bent tree. And worst of all, you can’t tell if someone is sneaking up behind you. I like to know if someone is sneaking up from behind. 

I tend to hide away, treating wind as a natural nuisance. But then I didn’t grow up by the seaside. I’ve noticed local people don’t pay it much mind. Too windy to close the car doors? No problem. They slither out of cars instead. Too windy for a walk? They still go. And without any kind of headgear to protect their ears from its atmospheric assault. Often times no coat either. These people are a hardy bunch. 

I think our village may be well-placed to coin a dictionary for wind in the same way Northern Peoples have so many names for snow. 

Here’s a few to start with – winds that come instantly to mind: 

  1. Tickley wind: Causes the hairs to rise slightly from your arms in a pleasant way – like the gods are tickling you. Often in the early evenings. 
  2. Polar wind: A winter wind which is both freezing and inhibitory. You feel you may never go outside again. Even if the garage blows down, you could let that go for the sake of staying inside. 
  3. Changing wind: This is the wind that smells different. Makes you feel new things, not always invited things, are coming to play. 
  4. Miserable wind. Mostly accompanied by driving rain and clouds down to toe level. Sometimes lasts for weeks. Clears crowds and any last, enthusiastic holiday- makers. Accompanied by odd sense of claustrophobia.
  5. Sad, whistling wind. Wind which has blown for so long, it seems bored of even itself. Everyone else is sick of it too. Usually present at the end of winter, but can occur sporadically during the year, particularly during a poor summer. Evident then by good weather flags tattered and torn in mid-August.
  6. Unusual direction wind. Not a prevailing wind – not coming from the most common blowing direction. In our case an Easterly, rather than the prevailing West and Sou’westers. Easterlies come from the land and smell like mountains and dust, rather than seaweed and mermaids. Can create a confusing haze. 
  7. Absent wind. The strangest wind of all. Like it’s hiding in the bushes. You’re dying for a no-wind day and then it comes so strange and quiet, you miss the actual wind. This is known as absent wind. Doesn’t last long. A storm usually follows. 

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