Monday, 7 February 2011

An Ill Wind

I don't know what it is with me and the West wind - and I'd very much like to hear from anyone else similarly afflicted - but whenever the wind's blowing seriously in that direction, I pretty much go to pieces. The West wind has been blowing hard and strong and unremittingly across the Southeast for days now, with no sign of dropping, and the result is that my brain's turned to mush, I feel weirdly dissociated, even tireder (and more irritable) than usual, and unable to perform the simplest task without a high chance of mucking it up and, as like as not, injuring myself in the process. A few days ago, I managed to slice deep into my right index finger tip with a pill cutter (don't ask), then on Saturday morning I stuck the end of a small but very sharp kitchen knife into the next finger along - while simultaneously burning my toast - then followed up by cutting my right nostril while shaving. This, believe me, is one of the worst places to cut yourself, as it bleeds and bleeds and it's an impossible place to stick a plaster... Yesterday, with that wind still blowing, I foolishly went for a walk on my beloved Ashtead common, which I surely know like the back of my hand - but no, I managed to get quite lost, not once but twice, with no idea where I was or what direction I was going in. Yes, that wind had undone me again. So far today, I've been all right, apart from very nearly taking an embarrassing fall on the stairs at the Underground station. But Zehpyrus is still gving his all and I await developments... Meanwhile, what I want to know is this - is it just me? There doesn't seem to be a recognised West Wind Syndrome, and I can think of no instances in literature - that overblown(!) ode of Shelley's is no help, and the wind that blows through Bleak House and puts Mr Jarndyce out of sorts is an East wind, and probably symbolic. So - any ideas?

15 comments:

  1. what happened to me link???

    I was talking about the Föhn

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  2. Solace, but no help Nige. I spend quite a lot of time in Tarifa, on Spain's southern tip. There, whatever the season, you are never more than a few days away from a strong wind - either the Levante, from the S.East, or the Poniente, from the Atlantic to the West. The wind-surfers come and go. But it is said that some folk who choose to come and live in the area, have been driven to distraction by the almost constant torment of either warm air from the east, or freezing air from the ocean.

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  3. Sounds like my idea of hell Mahlerman...

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Try humming this Nige, alternatively the purchase of a hang glider may help.

    The wayward wind is a restless wind
    A restless wind that yearns to wander
    And he was born the next of kin
    The next of kin to the wayward wind

    In a lonely shack by a railroad track
    He spent his younger days
    And I guess the sound of the outward-bound
    Made him a slave to his wand'rin ways

    And the wayward wind is a restless wind
    A restless wind that yearns to wander
    And he was born the next of kin
    The next of kin to the wayward wind

    [Instrumental Interlude]

    Oh, I met him there in a border town
    He vowed we'd never part
    Though he tried his best to settle down
    I'm now alone with a broken heart

    And the wayward wind is a restless wind
    A restless wind that yearns to wander
    And he was born the next of kin
    The next of kin to the wayward wind

    The next of kin to the wayward wind

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  6. The instrumental interlude is optional.

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  7. Not in my book Malty - or Tex Ritter's. Thanks for the memory - a fine song.

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  8. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen.

    Raymond Chandler, "Red Wind"

    The Santa Ana winds of Southern California are not always hot; in December and January they can chill one to the marrow. But they always make your skin crawl, and the LA police have learned to fear their unexpected arrival.

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  9. I believe this has to do with the positive ions that high, steady winds generate. The Foehn, the Mistral are all said to have a similar effect. For what it's worth, a good long shower, which generates negative ions, is said to help

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  10. Thanks for the tip Frank - and for the Santa Anas Waldonymous - don't think I'll be moving to California any time soon!

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  11. I'm the complete reverse: a steady Westerly means that God is in his heaven and all is right in the world. Anything from the continental side though sends my inner curmudgeon scurrying to the surface. I must have been a sailor in a previous life.

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  12. Or maybe you just really, really hate the EU, Recusant?

    I've never noticed any Jarndycean wind-sensitivy in myself. Mood depends more on how hungry I am.

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