Thursday, March 22, 2012


The Shapes That Clouds Make

I am an inveterate cloud watcher. I watch clouds in an effort to see shapes in them. It's easy to be a cloud-watcher in Wales. In fact it's difficult not to be one. Mind you, the clouds that blanket this country in an almost perpetual shroud tend to be of the boring nimbostratus genus. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to chance upon an excellent book called The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, which is a history, physics and sociology of those vaporous masses that the writer Max Brand once memorably called (in an obscure novella) "argosies of moisture".

Anyway, here's a photograph of a particularly impressive coherent shape that I recently saw in the sky. Much to my amazement, the clouds fleetingly formed themselves into the semblance of a soldier with a seagull perched on his head. How astounding is that? Only kidding, of course... The shapes that clouds make is a recurring motif in my Sangria in the Sangraal book and in fact that's the basic conceit on which the entire story-cycle rests. There are still a few copies of this book remaining and the magnificent D.F. Lewis has just finished reviewing it. If you want to purchase it but are anxious about the reliability of the Romanian postal service, you can always obtain it from Ziesing Books. Or you can wait for the ebook version, which is imminent...

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