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Beake Speaks – King's Lynn GEAR, petrichor and spring rain on soil



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It suddenly hailed and rained one afternoon last week and the change in weather was abrupt, a contrast with the sunnier skies we have been experiencing.

This precipitous precipitation reminded me of the smell of rain on concrete, evocative memories from my childhood emerged and a conversation commenced in the office about the weather.

There is a word that describes the smell of rain on soil and this word is petrichor.

Jenny Beake.
Jenny Beake.

My usual in-depth research of the meaning from Wiki states: “Petrichor is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.

“The word is constructed from Ancient Greek, the ethereal fluid is the blood of the gods in Greek mythology.”

It reminds me of roller skating up pavements, rainy days at school, running out to the playground and that smell of wet concrete, squishy toes in sandals when the morning sun tempted me into open toed shoes, only for Mother Nature to change her mind in the afternoon and to hail on us mere mortals those ethereal fluids.

Ok, so that’s what I said, feeling poetic and all cosy in the confines of my desk, my colleague merely stated that hopefully the bird poo had been cleaned off the bonnet of the car.

Also they know the word to describe it as growing rain, when life springs forth and the showers bring the earth into bloom, and it’s good for the plants.

Petrichor is a great word to describe that heady smell of beating rain on warm tarmac.

Another good word I discovered from a gentleman and a scholar friend of mine describes the time just before dusk. Crepuscule. It just rolls off the tongue. It’s not something you can order with a coffee at a popular cafe outlet, covered in maple syrup.

But how descriptive to formalise the senses in that moment in the evening twilight, the gloaming, the eventide just before dusk descends and the sun sets.

In other weather news the Lynn GEAR run was a success despite the weather forecast being rainy and dull.

As they say, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So I layered up.

Woollen gloves, baseball cap, long socks, leggings, shorts, sports bra, sturdy sports pants, light rain jacket, trainers, wrist bands, a buff and on top of all that the media bib that the event organisers provided.

This has brought great hilarity to my colleagues who wondered if I was chasing a story or if a story was chasing me.

I now have to face the tune to Ernie the Fastest Milkman in the West being played, with the words changed to the fastest journo in West Norfolk. It never rains but it pours.

Jenny Beake



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