The Guardian website carried an evocative article last week that originally appeared in the Manchester Guardian in March 1916.  It begins,

The sun went down a huge ball almost blood-red in colour, and so vast that half the heaven in the west seemed to be covered. As it sank, all that remained of this ruddy twilight spread away more to the north, then extended along the whole of that part of the horizon in more shades of purple and half-translucent grey than one is able to describe.  From end to end the sky was as if it was being warmed over a thousand dying fires.  

But the old farm hand, coming in, said, shaking his head, “’Tis full of frost in the air,” and an hour later, when the new moon rose white with light, the soil began to harden quicker than strong cement when it is mixed and laid down. …”

Such beautiful writing about a Surrey evening in early March that offers a challenge to young people today to describe weather events in prose or verse that might stand the test of time.


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