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Blog: You always take the weather with you

How many of you have an emotional connection with the weather? The weather plays such a massive part in our lives, even for those people who don’t care about it. Whether it’s affecting the price of vegetables due to too much rain or lack of it, or how much your heating bill is, or what clothes to wear.

I was having trouble sleeping last night possibly due to the warmer, more humid weather over the upper North Island at the moment. For whatever reason my mind wouldn’t shut off. I was thinking about some big moments in my life, the ones that I’ll remember clear as day even in 50 years time. For some reason I noted that I could recall the weather at every one of those big moments in my life. I couldn’t remember what clothes I was wearing, or what I was eating, but I could clearly remember the weather.

I wonder why that is? Is it just me, because I like the weather and notice it? Or is it something subconscious?

When I was a little kid travelling with my parents, a motorcyclist cut a corner on a remote road we were travelling on and hit us head on. The cyclist was in the wrong and was flung off his bike and landed leg first into a telephone pole (that’s how long ago it was). Apart from leg injuries he was ok, he managed to knock the phone pole half over though! It was my first really traumatic experience. While I don’t remember what day of the week it happened, where we driving from, or even how old I was, I can remember a pale, cold, bluish sky, wisps of cloud and a cold evening descending.

The first time I remember having my heart broken, when I was a little boy, was one New Years Eve at a party in a woolshed near Te Ranga Primary School in Te Puke. A girl who I had a crush on had rejected me (heart breaking!). I remember going outside and noticing the heavy dew on the grass and the air being cold (like after a thunderstorm has passed), skies were clear and there were plenty of stars and no wind at all.

When the Edgecumbe earthquake hit I remember a still, calm, day with thickening high cloud.  It was warm but not hot.

When Princess Diana died I remember the weather being cold but sunny where I was.

On 9/11 I remember thinking the weather here in New Zealand looked identical to the weather in New York – clear blue skies, light winds and warm.

When the All Blacks lost the world cup in 2007 it was sunny here with a strong westerly.

It’s not all negative things either. I remember the Autumn air and a beautiful crisp evening after finishing my first day at The Radio Network back in March 2002.

I clearly remember the weather on the first day I met the love of my life, the first day I moved into my house and the weather the day I bought my dog Harry (sunny) and the day I got my cat, Elliot (a stinking hot summers day).

The weather plays such a huge part of our lives – even if we don’t care about it. It shapes our memories, especially those deeply nostalgic ones that come to you late at night when you’re trying to fall asleep.

– Philip Duncan


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