The Forecast

Five twenty and I'm awake.
No ringing bell, no beeping electrons;
Just a spontaneous burst of something inside
As the World Service switches off,
Welcoming us to Radio Four.
And we go round and round these islands
From Malin Head to North Foreland,
Land's End to Channel Vessel Automatic,
John O'Groats to the Eddystone Lighthouse,
With low pressures and high winds,
Gale warnings and a squall off Rockall
Or calmer waters for the fearful sailor.

And then it's done, so turn over -
To dream of a foghorn blasting the mists,
Warning of impending danger,
Alarm bells and a ship's evacuation
As a steeple, well clear of the coastline,
Peels out bells on a quiet Sunday.

But today it's different as I wake, confused
By the FTSE 100 and the OBR.
They're getting ready for the square mile
Of money-changers in the temple of today,
Working on the deficit and budget forecasts,
While I dream my dreams of a costal walk:
White cliffs and white sands,
Rocky shoreline lashed by the waves
With spray rising as the gulls swoop down.
And I wonder what's happened, like Rip van Winkle
Waking when it's all over, to find them
Working to make those forecasts come true.
Yet here we are, stuck in the past,
Enjoying what was, awaiting what’s promised

So it's time to get up and join the crowd
Chasing the day that accelerates time,
Leaving us behind, until we rise
To correct our clocks – just one hour forward.

March 2014

Early morning radio listening at the start of British Summer Time

FTSE 100 and the OBR