Yesterday for about two hours, rain radars seemed to hint at a ten-mile-wide block of fat, sweaty, hot air sitting over Witney, by any absence of rain on the screen. This block thwarted the congregation of storms which had raged up from the Channel, forcing each of them to pass by either side, or to throw their rain down on the poor souls south of us: in Bampton; in Aston; in the swales and sewers of Kingston Bagpuise.

Here we sat and stewed, until this heavy butterpat of heat that encased us seemed to melt under its own pressure, turning its very self into a nothingness, a mirage; at which point, the rain burst through. Dollops of water fell, each slightly cooler than the last, the whole crowd of them trouncing the dust and banishing, temporarily at least, that oppressive warmth.

For the last few days, expressions of gladness at the continued freakishness of the summer were noticeable in the way they were forced through gritted teeth and accompanied by glassy stares devoid of conviction. The moaning and groaning at our unhappy, moistened lot will I’m sure come later. For now, there is only relief.

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6 Responses to Rain

  1. 1looby says:

    Could you say which radar maps you use, and if they’re publicly-available?

    “Kingston Bagpuise”. What a novelistic village name. Please now complete my delight by telling me it’s pronounced something like “Night-un Bar-lice.”

    • smallbeds says:

      http://raintoday.co.uk is a good source: I rarely use it for predictions as they’re not granular enough, but it’s good to just be able to see what’s coming my way.

      Kingston Bagpuise has only one odd pronunciation: it rhymes with “poise”. In that sense, it’s scarcely an Aveton Gifford, a Belvoir or a Trottiscliffe.

      • 1looby says:

        I only know how to pronounce the second of those. (“Beaver”, in case anyone unfamiliar with the name is reading this). I’m sure I’m not the only one reading this who would love to know how the others sound.

        In his “Notes from a Small Island”, Bill Bryson makes what seemed to me, on first reading, an improbably American-romantic assertion that the village of Okeford Fitzpaine in Dorset is pronounced “fip-nee ok-fud” (a shwa for the ‘u’); but it’s supported by Wikipedia, which describes this pronounciation and word-reversal as “modern colloquial” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okeford_Fitzpaine)

      • smallbeds says:

        Trottiscliffe is Troslie, I think. And that’s the mighty Aweton Jeffurd there.

  2. 1looby says:

    Pardon my rubbish hyperlinking.

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