Document 989

In Charge of the Weather

Author(s): Prof Christian Kay

Copyright holder(s): Prof Christian Kay


16.I.54. Christian Kay, IIa

In Charge of the Weather

One Friday afternoon I was strolling aimlessly along the river bank when I espied a stout little man, his brow furrowed with concentration sitting solemnly upon a log. He was wearing a faded morning-coat, pin-striped trousers and a precarious bowler hat. By his side was a large, black umbrella. On seeing me, a ray of hope illuminated his troubled, yet robust, countenance and he ventured timidly,

"I .. er .. that is .. I wondered if you would care to perform a great favour for me?"

"It all depends," I replied somewhat cautiously for I really had no idea of his identity.

"Well its like this," he said, gently poking the soil with his umbrella,

"I am the clerk of the weather for Scotland and of course, if I neglected my tasks the result would be disastrous. To-day my sister is celebrating her nuptial and naturally I wish to attend the ceremony so I .. er wondered if you would care to take over for a couple of hours? You would be doing a great service to me."

Although I reflected that I was somewhat extraordinary to entrust such a task to a complete stranger I accepted his novel proposition and asked him him how to get to his headquarters.

"Oh," he said, "just utter the magic words 'hailing taxis.'"

I did so, and in a matter of seconds I was transported to a large, downy cloud on which stood an enlarged replica of the weatherhouse which stands in the dining room at home. It looked like a Swiss chalet in some Alpine mountains. When Mrs. Weather-clerk saw me she joyfully said 'White Christmas' and vanished, presumably to join her husband.

Wonderingly, I stepped into the weather-house. Each wall was covered with a map of a section of Scotland. Upon each area were three knobs - yellow for sun, green for rain and black for wind. Under each section was what appeared to be a large television set on which one could see what was happening in the various areas.

I pressed the knob marked 'Edinburgh' and saw that a strike meeting was in progress at the mound. Suddenly, rage overcame one stalwart fellow and, with an angry should, he sprang to his feet. Foreseeing that a brawl would result I quickly pressed the knob marked 'wind'. Immediately a gale arose, the velocity of which took the men completely by surprise and soon they were running hither and thither making wild but fruitless grabs at their rapidly disappearing headgear. Chuckling to my self, I switched to a small border village where I saw two men shuffling along a peaceful country road, leading a spirited black pony. This soothing scene was soon shattered by the roar of engines and the screech of brakes which heralded the arrival of a ominous-looking police car. The men started involuntarily but the police men were too busy gazing with puzzled aspects at the pony. I realised that they must be looking for different horse but my suspicions were aroused by their guilty expressions and I switched on 'rain'. When the rain abated, the horse, which had previously had a glossy black coat, was now streaked in brown and it was obvious that a dye had been used.

The hours passed quickly for I enjoyed sending sunbeams through tenement windows to cheer old ladies huddled over paltry fires; sending a wind to speed the progress of an elderly postman struggling up the hill on his trusty - if rusty - bicycle and sending suitable weather to weather-beaten farmers and less inclement weather to weary fishermen toiling in the hypocritical deep - hypocritical because at one minute it was cool, glistening, inviting and the next saw it a ravaging monster, relentlessly rejoicing over the cruel fate of its stricken victims. I am feeling rather guilty for I fear that I must have given the B.B.C weather expert a tiring time with the amazing symptons that I concocted for to-morrow's weather.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

In Charge of the Weather. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 16 April 2024, from

MLA Style:

"In Charge of the Weather." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 16 April 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "In Charge of the Weather," accessed 16 April 2024,

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 989

In Charge of the Weather


Text audience

Adults (18+)
Audience size 1
Writer knew intended audience

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1954
Word count 678
General description Secondary school English essay

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 606
Title Prof
Forenames Christian
Surname Kay
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Academic
Place of birth Edinburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's place of birth Leith
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's place of birth Edinburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
Scots No Yes No Yes Work