Letter from the editor: It's just weather


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The Independent Online

“You never get anything right,” complained the teacher to the schoolgirl. “What kind of job do you think you’ll get when you leave school?” The schoolgirl replied: “Well, I want to be the TV weather girl.”

I know, I know. Sorry, but we have to be able to have a little bit of fun about the weather, surely? It’s not as if we’re all professional cricketers or farmers. And, with the rare exception like last winter, or the summer of 1976, it’s not even as if our weather’s all that interesting. It’s just weather. If it rains, put on a mac and put up a brolly. If it’s sunny, don’t wear black socks with sandals. Simple.

But, I’m clearly in a minority in i-reader land. You get almost as animated about our humble page as you do about the crosswords or the old TV guide, and – almost – Cooper Brown. My recent, and relatively successful, plea to keep letters concise fell on deaf ears when it came to this subject.

I’ll make a foolish assumption that most of these letters come from older readers: 1) because they are often handwritten – sometimes even with fountain pens; 2) they have names and addresses top right as we were all once taught to do; 3) they are signed using initials such as AM Waddington or Mr R Josey. They also must have taken an extremely long time to write, so I apologise if I dispel a few myths succinctly.

The biggest of all is that we have a deliberate policy of excluding any town. The page design allows for only a certain number of slots, and we have tried to cover most of the country by way of the closest, more populous city. The second point is that the weather symbols on the map itself were never intended to represent those cities. It seems a bit obvious to be writing this, but as Jane Horrocks may have said “every little helps”. As regular readers may know, we are planning to extend an umbrella soon to our friends in the South-west, but our Bristol readers won’t be happy. And, let’s be clear about this, we will never please everybody, though i prides itself on trying to respond to readers more than most.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to check the 10-day forecast for southern Italy!