My poem, The Weather Girls was written after I had seen a rerun of the hapless Michael Fish’s unforgettable 1987 weather forecast, where he promised a lady who had phoned in, and the rest of the country, that the hurricane hurtling towards us, would miss by a distance and flatten France instead.
We all know how that one ended.
I know how it ended because I was there, in the aftermath at least. At the time I was working as an electrical shopfitter, (that’s shopfitter, not shoplifter, people often get the two mixed up) and our team had just finished a job in Kings Lynn, a day early, so we were told to get our backsides down to Brighton and start ripping out the internals of a big-name, women’s fashion store, ready for the team doing the refit, who were due to begin work the following week.
Because we’d finished the job early we went out for a few beers after work. I had seen the famous forecast before we left for the pub and thought Michael had got it about right as it was a bit blowy on the way back to the digs. The beer must have been good, and plentiful, because we slept through the worst of the storm, the eye of which went straight over us. The next morning, we breakfasted and then drove down to Brighton to find it pretty much flattened. Trees were down, electricity cables were down, the phones were down and the sea was a scary sight. I vowed I would never trust the BBC weathermen ever again, and I haven’t. From that day on I always checked with ITV before I went anywhere.
Nowadays I watch Sky.
The original version of this poem mentioned Francis Wilson, the old heartthrob of Sky TV weather, but I updated it a couple of years ago as Sky now has a team of female presenters.
When planning a day at the seaside,
I take a careful approach.
I switch the TV to Sky weather,
to see if it's worth booking the coach.
Issy and Naz do the forecasts.
They point at the map and they say,
take your umbrellas and wellington boots,
you won't see the sunshine today.
I only watch Sky for the weather,
I don't trust the beeb any more.
I remember when Michael Fish forecast,
'that wind isn't coming ashore'.
Michael Fish told us 'don't panic'
the storm isn't coming our way.
Then the whole of the country got flattened,
I was out at the seaside that day.
I now only trust Naz and Issy,
to tell me it's safe to book trips.
I study their broadcasts intently,
to make sure I dodge all the drips.
Isobel’s brown as a berry.
She knows where to find all the heat
and when I find out where her house is,
I'm buying one just down the street.
Then Issy, and me will be best mates.
We'll hang out in shorts and look cool.
and while the rest of the country gets poured on,
we’ll sip Pimm’s by the side of her pool.