Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grey March

I think I am beginning to understand the English. How excited they get when the sun appears. Why they throw off all their clothes and lie in parks in the sun turning pink. The last many weeks in New York have been unusually grey.

Today there is another white out. A high white glare that sucks colour out of everything. White on the ground is one thing. But white in the sky is oppressive.

Two evenings ago, while I was completing my errand route, the sun came out. I dashed home, shook the Frenchman, barked, Roof! mixed two drinks, and we shot up the ladder before the sun disappeared again. We sat there, like two contemplative lemmings considering the abyss, and watched the cat prowl the rooftops, the ferries cross the harbor. The local cardinal was in full voice. In the distance over Jersey a haze moved towards us, and when I went to tend the braai fire on the terrace, I discovered that sleet was falling. I looked up. I could see stars in a clear sky. Precipitation continued to hiss into the coals. I held an umbrella over our steak and looked at the blue night. To the Northeast, past the Brooklyn skyline, that haze bank - the edge of a big New England storm - moved toward the Atlantic at an angle, and brushed us with ice.

Last night, at 2am, I heard the geese, two flights passing north, on the second day of spring.


  1. A beautifully evocative description. Not surprisingly, in Boston it has been incredibly grey as well and it seems as though everyone is in a bit of a funk as a result. I am in San Francisco for the week and that escape was bitterly needed.

  2. I am in New Orleans glorious weather on my way to Chicago. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment.

  3. I am in Capricornia...still too dark to see my day.5am news tells me two tornados ripped through northern Victoria last night.And the remnants of a cyclone dump their wet load on towns west and north of me.

    I wonder what the sales figures are for SAD lamps this season?

  4. Someone needs to find out if they drugged that darn groundhog. Clearly he was wrong.

  5. A beautiful day here on the Olympic Peninsula, a little snow, a lot of sun, and wind-wind-wind from the west. A pretty typical late winter day. Much too early to think of planting anything yet, but my blueberries have buds and the chives are sprouting.

  6. Hi Marie, I do believe this is the longest winter in the 10plus years we have been in London with constant grey cloud cover! It is the only time I have ever thought enough get me back to Africa and blue skies.

    Lisa, London

    PS Snow on the forecast for the weekend aaarrgh!

  7. Jolly Spring tidings from the UK!
    The brain and finger-numbing perpetual winter continues...Inches of snow again overnight. Its like living in Narnia but without the comfort of knowing there's a wardrobe door to go back through.
    Yesterday, a SA friend invited me over to their home in Portugal...hmmm, let's think now...

  8. Marie you captured the mood well. Here in Norheast Ohio it has been unceasingly grey and cold. I look for every sign of Spring hoping it will come soon.

  9. I love this photo very much, and your description. It is a modern, somewhat Gustavian take on this painting, or its ilk.
    Stage Fort across Gloucester Harbor, 1862
    Fitz Henry Lane (formerly Fitz Hugh Lane) (American, 1804–1865)


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