Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yay, summer's on its way

OK, so the economy's rubbish and we're all about to get swine flu. And house prices are down again, and there's still no sign of anyone inventing completely calorie-free chocolate biscuits. 
But according to the Met Office, it's going to be a long hot summer. Hurray!
I knew this, of course, because the oak tree in next door's garden is in leaf, while the ash tree has yet to burgeon.
Oak before ash, in for a splash. Ash before oak, in for a soak.
It sounds like complete drivel, doesn't it? It sounds as if it's going to rain whatever happens. However, the idea is that with a splash, you just get a few showers, but with a soak it pours with rain for months on end.
I only heard this proverb for the first time last year and anxiously inspected the oak and the ash throughout spring 2008. Sure enough, the ash came into leaf first - not by much, but enough to be noticeable. It rained all summer, as you may recall.
However, if you think that oak and ash are puzzling, have a look at these. I found them on a BBC site and I thought I'd share my favourites:

If you sneeze three times within a few seconds, the next day will be sunny.
Er, I don't think so. If you sneeze three times within a few seconds at the moment, people will ask you if you've been on holiday in Mexico and give you a wide berth. I suppose the origin of this is that people tend to get hay fever in good weather, hence the sneezing, so it might be true.

Aiming a raspberry at the sky will lead to crop failure.
Why would anyone want to aim a raspberry at the sky? Especially if it leads to crop failure? And why a raspberry? What would happen if it was an apple or a pomegranate? (A. It would fall on your head and you wouldn't have to puzzle over it any more.)

The first frost in autumn will be exactly six months after the first thunderstorm of spring.
This may well be true. But while I will cheerfully admit to being a bit of a weather obsessive, even I am not sad enough to record the date and time of the first thunderstorm of spring. So I'll probably never know how accurate a prediction this is.

If you live in Wales and you build dry-stone walls, the rainy weather always appals.
This made me think of Karen at An Artist's Garden. I think it's a polite way of saying it rains all the time in Wales.

What are your favourite weather proverbs? The more bizarre the better.