16 JUNE 1950, Page 19


A THING one always means to do but never does—such is my experience-1 is to test popular weather prophecies. Now this year, as everyone ha noticed, the ash was very late and the oak early. 1 do not remember to have noticed so wide an interval. Even to-day the ashes lag. There is, I imagine, no likelihood that a " splash " or a " soak " in succeeding months is predictable. Rhyme rather than reason is probably the origin of the prognostic. I am strongly in favour of rhyme as against one school of alleged versifiers, but it is a plausible theory that the attractions of rhyme are the chief, or sole, reason for a number of the doggerel lines into which weather prophecies have been concentratedt In regard to " ash " and " oak " contrary versions are, I think, in existence. Either may, portend_ wet.