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i Editor's Letter: The effects of bad weather



A week on Sunday - 15 July - it is St Swithin's Day, and I sincerely hope it will not be raining.

I'm not holding my breath, however. I was naively expecting a heatwave at the end of the wettest June in history, but the Met Office issued an amber alert for the weekend, warning that the north-east of England faces the prospect of a month's rain in two days. Most of the country is forecast to get heavy rain tomorrow.

I'm lucky - my home isn't flooded, and I'm not cut off by rising water, so I feel a bit guilty about whingeing. Like many of you, however, I'm finding that the endless precipitation, whether it is a soft, surreptitious drizzle or a relentless deluge, is becoming somewhat tedious.

If anyone else tells me: "Still, it's good for the garden," I think I may scream. It is, indubitably, good for the garden – but you need sunshine too if plants are to bloom their best. And if you wear glasses, like me, it's difficult to tell what the garden even looks like through lenses blurred with droplets of water.

Psychologists seem to be divided on whether the weather really affects our mood. Some point to Seasonal Affective Disorder as an example of how lack of light can result in depression. Others argue the concept of "bad" weather is so deeply ingrained in our culture that we automatically assume it has a "bad" effect on us.

In recent times, recordings of rain – accompanied by distant rumbles of thunder – have become popular as relaxation aids. That must be the solution: go to bed, listen to rain, fall asleep. There's just the small matter of a newspaper to get out first...

Stefano Hatfield is away

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