“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”
King Lear, 3.2 1
I HATE windy weather.
I loathe it all. The icy blasts that chill you to your very soul, the dry, blustery winds that slap you across the face and whip your hair into a frenzied mess, the warm winds that leave you scowling and irritable.
And yet I moved to Wellington, which more than owns its reputation as “Windy Wellington”. Smart.
I’ve spent many a day leaning into gale-force winds, fighting to place one foot in front of the other, my face contorted into an ugly grimace while I attempt to push stray locks of hair off my face. It’s all part of the experience of living here, but even after years of topsy-turvy weather, the wind still has the ability to make me irrationally grumpy.
To be fair, Wellington rewards its inhabitants’ endurance with the most stunning clear and sunny days. But it often feels like you have to toil through an inordinate number of chilly breeze-ridden days to get to the rare magical ones.
Then there are those glum days where strong wind is matched by heavy, driving rain. Venturing out on the stormy days often feels like a sign of madness, but when work awaits there is little choice but to brave it. Umbrellas are a laughable waste of time on such days, and it is common to see the broken umbrellas of eternal optimists shoved forlornly into street-side rubbish bins.
On days like those, when I can barely stand upright and risk being lifted off the ground and thrown about like a limp rag doll, I feel like raging against the storm like Lear. Somehow I manage to confine the frustration to a stern glower.
Today was one of the stormiest days we’ve seen in a while. I sat in the protective comfort of the office listening to the rattling, whistling wind and watching the steady rain rolling by, hoping it would improve before I had to set foot outside. I wondered what happened to the spring that has appeared only in glimpses throughout the past few months.
As I write this, I hear the wind howling outside. I admit to enjoying stormy weather when I am snuggled up inside, cosy under my duvet. I love the drama and noise of it all, when I am safe at home. But being outside in the wind is another matter. I dread stepping outside tomorrow and battling against the wind. I don’t think I’ll ever properly get used to this.