Feeling Liberated From Hope in Cornwall

Posted on August 5, 2023

When I drove down to Cornwall last week, a strange thing happened. I knew the weather was going to be utterly miserable but I didn’t care. I was looking forward to a break and there was nothing the weather could do about it.

Hope and Despair

Why was this? How could I possibly be looking forward to a wet break? Well, it’s like this. There is an old saying that goes, “Give me despair, I can take despair…it’s the hope that kills me”. Football fans across the world know that saying all too well.

So, with regards to the English summer of 2023, my hope had long gone. As June moved into early July an unsettled spell of weather was widely predicted. However, there was uncertainty about how long it would last. There was still realistic hope that the settled and warm weather would return.

Powerful Jet Stream

By the second week of July, it became apparent that we were trapped under the jet stream. It was powerful too, propelling low pressure systems at the UK with unerring accuracy. Anyone who studies the weather in any detail knew that we were now fucked for several weeks. Perhaps the whole summer.

At this point, I gave up hope. I didn’t even bother watching the weather forecast that often. I knew what was coming. However, without the hope, the despair disappears as well. It’s really quite liberating. Rather than fretting about weekend cricket matches being on, I just did something else. When there is no hope, I discovered that I don’t fall into despair.

Flitting Around in a State of Liberation

So, in Cornwall, we just flitted between pubs, shops, restaurants and waterproofed dog walks. When there were 10 minute glimpses of sunshine, it felt like a nice little bonus. I know it sounds bizarre but having no hope is quite a wonderful experience. It’s a weight of your shoulders.

So, as I write this, another intense, low pressure system is hurtling across the south of England. It looks like it may be the last one for a while. Well the last intense one, anyway. The jet stream is wobbling and is set to allow periodic high pressure to move across the south. It means without there being a heatwave it should at least feel a bit like summer at times.

There is one problem with this subtle change in the jet stream and do you know what that is?


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