The Regional Forecast
‘The Regional Forecast’ was the name of a service broadcast until relatively recently in Britain by the Meteorological Office and the BBC. It followed, supplemented and was presented as ancillary to another weather report named, with superb neutrality, ‘The General Forecast’. Yet in what the BBC regarded as ‘the regions’ this general survey of the overall conditions functioned as a mere precursor, a kind of flourish heralding the main event. Once it ended, in farmhouse kitchens inhabited by people who already knew in their bones what the weather was going to do next anyhow, a silence was commanded. Under the fretworked gaze of wirelesses that broadcast resonantly above their heads, children would be peremptorily hushed. For a moment, like the scullions and footmen in the tale of the Sleeping Beauty, our elders stilled themselves in mid-gesture, obedient, attentive, uncharacteristically drained of presence. Something was temporarily relinquished, a harking towards an elsewhere occurred, personality conceded its autocracy, if only fleetingly, and one sensed a weak link in the chain of the usual.
KeywordsLiterary Tradition Service Broadcast Regional Forecast Religious Feeling Religious Sensibility
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