In our part of the world, the weather is unpredictable. It has defied
the best of our weathermen. Except, of course, Tim Bates, at least for
a while. But then, no need to tell you that story, is there?
I see a question mark on your face. OK, you are not from these parts,
and you’ve come a long way. Internet roads are long and littered with
all sorts of bits and pieces. I’ll tell you. He always got the weather
wrong in the beginning of his career. Young Tim’s wrong again, we used
to say, winking. He had a cute way of admitting his mistakes every
night on the box. He was devastated, though; ambitious little thing he
So, they say, he made a deal with the devil. He promised him his soul
in return for precise weather reports. That’s how he made his career.
Then the devil changed his mind. He had a better offer from a
weatherwoman. He gave her the right information, and Tim the cold
shoulder. Poor man! Suddenly, he got his predictions wrong again and
had to apologise. We could all read the fury in his face. He didn’t
last long. The corporation sacked him. He now spends his days on his
riverboat fishing, they say. I know it is true. I often set up tackle
downstream on the towpath. I hear him sigh a lot. And he wears a heavy
coat all year round, as if expecting a cold front.
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