I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
and all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by…..
At 05:20 each morning the haunting notes of Lillibullero announce the beginning of the shipping forecast on my wireless. Weather reports and forecasts for the seas around the coasts of the British Isles, it’s as reliable as Death and Taxes, and as accurate as an atomic clock. The shipping forecast has to be accurate, sailors lives depend upon it. It’s all about the wind, the sea, the sky, and the clouds.
The shipping forecast has been made available to sailors for the past 151 years, (except during wartime when weather was a military secret), and has been broadcast on the wireless since 1911. In more than 100 years the BBC has only failed to broadcast the forecast once, on 30 May 2014, when due to a technical fault listeners heard the BBC’s World Service instead.
The 31 sea areas reported always come in exactly the same order. Mostly I mentally tune out the reports and forecasts for such places as Southeast Iceland, Faeroes, Fair Isle, Viking….. But I really listen up when the announcer intones Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger….. because that includes ‘my’ sea area, and as my garret is just 100 yards from the sea I get whatever weather the shipping forecast says is expected.
Utterly reliable, honest, dependable, accurate, and a little old-fashioned, the Shipping Forecast is a rock of stability in an ever-changing world, and I’m probably the only person I actually know that listens to it.
I should learn from the Shipping Forecast. I firmly believe that what women want most in a long-term partner are exemplified by the qualities of that daily radio broadcast; reliability, honesty, dependability, accuracy in thought, word, and deed ~ and maybe a little sense of old-fashioned style.
Some say that women want spontaneity, excitement, adventure, really cool things. And, that most women want guys who pick up the restaurant bill, arrange the vacations and buy the tickets, and who will go to wild parties and pretend to enjoy them. All I know is that when the shit hits the fan women want a guy they can rely on to keep them safe, a guy as dependable as the Shipping Forecast.
the cold grey North Sea is often a very dangerous place to be