Confessions of a weatherholic

LINDA BURGESS
Last updated 05:00 22/10/2012

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OPINION: I'm a weatheraholic. There. I've said it.

It's genetic; my mother had the same disease. It has many symptoms. We read weather maps like other people read comic strips. We know where we stand on monthly sunshine averages. On the radio we concentrate all the way to Wellington, then on through to the Chathams.

When it comes to television, my mother was an early adopter of the ''They might SAY that was our temperature, but we're here and they're not and we KNOW it was two degrees warmer than they said it was'' approach to weather. If that didn't sound scientific enough - and she was a great one for citing her sources, even if sometimes they were as vague as ''And I'm not the only one who thinks so'' - she would emphatically insist that the place that they actually took the temperature in her town was a cold and windy hill far from human habitation, whereas other cities had theirs taken in glasshouses.

I realised I was turning into my mother when, early in my television reviewing career, I wrote a cantankerous review commenting that TV One's ubiquitously pretty ''weather girl'' always phrased it so the weather in Auckland sounded better than Wellington. Who knows whether it was a coincidence, but I was smug the next night when she visibly faltered as she got to Wellington, then gushed what a lovely day we were going to have here - hardly any wind at all! I raised a glass to my absent mother.

The days when the weather presenters were TV's pinups seem to have ended when TV One broke the usual pattern of not rehiring the dismissed and brought back Jim Hickey. He'd aged while away in the wilderness, and the dismissal seemed to have permanently damaged his once irrepressible bounciness. Now he's on screen looking a little like the geography teacher from school who never shouted, and who you listened to because he gave you notes that were easy to swot from.

Not that we weatheraholics care anyway. Knowing that our airport's wind-whipped sign was designed by Aucklanders, we're too busy sitting at home designing one for their airport: that city's name viewed from behind windscreen wipers.

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- The Dominion Post

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