Writing Climate Change Event

We will be launching the new Weatherfronts commissions at the Free Word Centre on Monday 26th January, 6.45pm. The event is free and features myself, Nick HuntStevie RonnieDan Simpson, Sai MurraySelina Nwulu and Zena Edwards, as well one of Ireland’s leading writers, Oisin McGann, the Weather Stations writer in residence for Tallaght Community Arts.

For more details, and bookings, visit Free Word’s website.

An architect talks about rain

We are talking about shelter, the preconditions for settlement –
we must avoid water penetration.
This business spawns a language of skins and pores, membranes and openings –
water wants to get inside.
Deluges are one thing, but then there’s the moisture that’s left behind,
and how we get rid of it: gravity, syphonic, a 1:80 fall.
Have I told you about capillary action?
how sheens of water cling to the micro-pores of a wall,
track back up into a building’s nooks and crannies.
We must avoid water penetration,
we must let a building breathe.

 

Thanks to architect, David Ogunmuyiwa, for his thoughts on architecture and rain. I have simply extracted and rearranged some of his thoughts above.

Lost

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0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.07236 0.016812 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.089061 0.054822 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.016062 0.018499 0 0 0 0 0.014228 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.096882 0.070279 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.014178 0.14315 0.19258 0.081272 0 0 0 0 0 0.1551 and then here, amongst the colours 0.46725 0.27657 0.026475 0 0 0 0 0 0.017196 0.051605 0.069291 0.017882 0.025675 0.71372 a rainbow of depth 1.498 1.0094 0.16755 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 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I wrote this in response to Chris and Bogdan at The University of Manchester telling me about analysing atmospheric data, and how easy it can be to get lost amongst the numbers. The data above is a very small amount of data output produced by an atmospheric model. It represents precipitation rate from a case study Chris has been simulating (18th July 2012), valid at mid-day. The numbers indicate rain fall (or lack of it). Units are in millimetres per hour. When plotted onto a map, the data shows this:

rain map

Remaining values should probably be left alone

IF you are already cold
THEN think twice before spending your days in hypothetical clouds
IF you are already fragile
THEN be careful who you touch
ELSEIF you are ready to multiply
THEN make sure you’ve a raincoat and a pair of gloves, and get out there
ENDIF

This was inspired by me looking bemusedly at pages of computer code from an atmospheric model (The Weather Research and Forecasting Model), kindly sent to me by Chris at the University of Manchester. I chose the extract below to respond to. Along the way I learnt that ‘rime’ means ‘Frost formed on cold objects by the rapid freezing of supercooled water vapour in cloud or fog’. The title – Remaining values should probably be left alone – comes from the notes at the beginning of the code telling programmers which values they can and cannot change.

Ice multiplication from rime-splinters (Hallet & Mossop 1974).

          if (prg_gcw(k).gt. eps .and. tempc.gt.-8.0) then
           tf = 0.
           if (tempc.ge.-5.0 .and. tempc.lt.-3.0) then
            tf = 0.5*(-3.0 – tempc)
           elseif (tempc.gt.-8.0 .and. tempc.lt.-5.0) then
            tf = 0.33333333*(8.0 + tempc)
           endif

sialuup sitserpaanga| sialliliuppaa

She was not prepared for the rain. Certainly not for rain like this. A deluge, out of nowhere, and her in her summer dress and sandals. ‘It’s unseasonal,’ her mother would have said, shaking her head as though this summer torrent constituted a personal affront. ‘It’s the way things are going,’ her father would have said, in a ‘we’re all going to hell in a handcart’ kind of a way. By the time she reached the end of her street she was soaked through and through and surprised to find just how much she still missed them both.

This piece was inspired by the brilliant poet, Nancy Campbell, whose book How To Say ‘I Love You’ in Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet (published by Miel) is a gorgeously printed collection of cards, including this one (pictured below): sialliliuppaa [to be surprised by the rain] You can follow Nancy on Twitter @nancycampbelle, where she shared another Greenlandic rain phrase: sialuup sitserpaanga [the rain has soaked me through and through]

arctic alphabet

We Forget by Albert Huffstickler

Thank you to Fiona Lesley from the fabulous Poetry Exchange for sharing this poem by Albert Huffstickler

WE FORGET

We forget we’re

mostly water

till the rain falls

and every atom

in our body

starts to go home

Albert Huffstickler

I also recently came across this rather wonderful quotation from Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms:

“And you’ll always love me won’t you?
Yes
And the rain won’t make any difference?
No”

I like rain, proper rain

I like rain,
proper rain,
when you have to run to the car,
when you get home drenched and peel off wet clothes,
when there’s thunder and lightning and you can snuggle up.

I like rain,
proper rain,
soaking the leaves so I can sploosh in them,
turning the slide slidier
driving upwards on the windscreen instead of down.

And after it’s rained,
I like that special mud that looks dry but is squidgy underneath,
I like how the dry squiggly prints on the ground
remind me how this place was different in the downpour.
It brings the snails out – I tell people to be careful
but there are always squished ones in the morning.

Thanks to Mya (aged 12) for sharing her thoughts on rain

What He Hates

He doesn’t hate the rain; he’s got used to it, has bought enough waterproof kit to keep it off his back, his feet, his head. Sometimes he even likes it. There is something refreshing about raindrops on his face. He likes how the city changes its sounds to soft sibilant shushes. He pedals past buses and peers through their fogged windows at the blurred outlines of passengers wearing hopeless shoes and cotton coats.

What he hates is the way people stop looking; how their umbrellas create bubbles that do not include his speed or trajectory; how those with no hood to protect them lower their heads and run without looking; how the world becomes oblivious.

Thanks to Dave for sharing his thoughts on rain as a cyclist in the notoriously rainy city of Manchester