First off, no! it does not deserve the capitalisation so many of us ascribe to it...I think.
I do not watch a lot of television - mostly because machinery with which to generate power for more than just the basic uses, is lacking at home - rather, I prefer working in the garden, enjoying the sunset, listening to the sound of nature.
Except (oh, yes...there always has to be one), when I am with my mom, at her flat in the city...then I 'actively' watch television. Because I am family, I am able to slip into the routine my mother has created in her home and part of this, is the daily watching of soapies, legal/criminal dramas, detective stories, rugby, wrestling, several good, full length films and the occasional DVD on a Saturday night.
Personally I enjoy seeing what the advertising industry is up to and I thoroughly enjoy a good advertisement. My best though, has to be the weather. High pressure systems and cold fronts, wind directions and precipitation forecasts delivered in graphic, computerised animation that keep me going back for more.
And then the broadcaster goes and changes the sequence in which the weather is presented. Where my mom's part of the world used to be almost last on the list, suddenly it is first and I keep on missing the good bits, catching the back end of the rest of the week's wind direction and rainfall forecast - when I remember.
The question now begs to be asked - am I going to adjust my schedule to suit the weather broadcast?
I think not! It may be the best topic yet to start a conversation with a stranger but I have been reminded of so many little things I usually rely on to read the weather, when there is no television or radio feeding me information.
At home, the moths fluttering around the candles at night and the Coucal's call during the day, are a sure sign of approaching rain, while the wind chimes and mobiles start their slow dance at the slightest hint of a breeze.
When you are surrounded by concrete, commuting to and from home by car, nature's little weather indicators seem non-existent and you turn to television or radio to feed you the information you need to plan your wardrobe and activities, until eventually you stop looking and the weather forecast can quickly become a pivotal point in your daily existence.
And when the broadcaster changes the sequence in presenting weather information, you suddenly wake up to just how dependent you've become on allowing others to be your eyes and ears and how your own thinking process has ground to a halt. And the weather slowly but surely gains importance, you change your schedule to suit and before you know it, the weather has become more than just an easy topic when talking to strangers and in your mind (and writing) its importance gains momentum...and in the end, you present it in capitals.
It's no longer a mere starting point to a conversation, it IS the conversation.
So, how do you weather the WEATHER?