The daily weather forecast under-sold nature’s fickle complexity on the first of our biannual pilgrimages to Somerset last weekend – the weekend we had decided to take the lower sixth A-level Geography
students to do pilot surveys for their NEA project work. ’Showers
’ in Oxford means a grey day with a bit of drizzly, vertical, misty stuff. In the west country it means brief spells of gorgeous blue sky interspersed by intense horizontal sleet, snow or rain for up to ten minutes followed by a return to blue, repeating enough times to soak you. Add in the wind chill and it felt closer to zero degrees. I’ve learned over the years that a fieldwork sense of positivity in students is directly related to the weather conditions. Show them the back end of a Moroccan market garbage dump on a gorgeous sunny day and they rave about it.