What with the anniversary of the shipping forecast happening right now, I thought it was time I put in my own tribute. So here it is:
Here is the shopping forecast at one-four-three-five on Friday, the 1st of September. Harry Potter has gone back to school near Malin where a storm is imminent. Meanwhile we have a bight to eat; first we Finis the Terrine then to follow a Dover sole with some Wight wine. Good. Then we put some Port in our Mouth with a digestive Biscayt. And then shopping! We set out Doggeredly to Fish for a shirt that Fits roy, then going South East to Iceland for Baileys. Good.
That’s enough silliness. I could do a whole number on this but it would involve far more work than I’m prepared to do at the moment. Anyway, the shipping forecast is so hypnotic that it could be a meditation; like a mantra oft-repeated I can reel off large sections of sea areas around Britain: Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Fisher; Humber, Thames, Portland, Plymouth; Viking, North Utsire (until recently I had no idea how that was spelled) South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty: Fair Isle, Faroes (I nearly spelled that ‘Pharaohs’) South East Iceland. And so on. Each section ends with an enigmatic summing-up like a teacher’s end-of-term report: good, fair, moderate, and so on – which I now know refers to visibility.
And here’s the current forecast: