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2006 05 18
Anxious Attention to the Weather
image Illustration by C.E Brock
for Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

“If you can't think of anything appropriate to say you will please restrict your remarks to the weather.” Mrs Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility

Canadians, sensible creatures that we are, are prone to discussing the weather. It is perhaps even fair to say that our relationship to fronts and systems is more than interest and decorum but one of passion.

We are so preoccupied with, dependent on, affected by, the weather that the yearly appearance of spring seems not inevitable but something to be prayed for. In a recent conversation with a New York-based Montrealer, we reflected on the seasonal explosion proper to Montréal in the springtime – that instantaneous conversion to shorts and skirts and sandals, proud baring of flesh and limb, languorous occupation of café terraces, and the imbibing of sangria, beer, and nachos in the sun. Inhabiting an extreme climate like that of Montréal, where the difference in temperature between summer and winter can exceed 60 degrees, results in extreme reactions.

It may have been raining forever (ok, as Lian Chang noted, it has not been raining forever) but we can take comfort in the fact that when that first weak ray of sun finally breaks through the clouds, we will be simultaneously blinded by great expanses of vitamin-D deprived skin.
[email this story] Posted by Alexandra McIntosh on 05/18 at 01:28 PM

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