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Stormy weather

I seem to have spent much of the last 24 hours looking at the sky. I'm not really sure that changeable covers it, but yesterday in a relatively short online meeting, we went from each of us being shrouded in gloom and commenting on the noise of the rain battering off the windows, to blue skies and sunshine. I've heard people say that it can be hard to form relationships in the online office environment, but I love the insight you get when you see people in their real life surroundings and that things like nature bring us together even when we're not all in the same place. I loved that we all rushed away from the meeting to check for rainbows. I say "all" - I rushed away to check for rainbows, and I hope they did too, although I was not successful until several rain storms later! It's not all about the rainbow though. As soon as I received this picture, I rushed for my Cloudspotter's Guide, as well as to the internet to try and find out what sort of clouds they were. Whilst I am always reminding myself that nature connection doesn't rely on knowing exactly what things are, sometimes it is good to know, but although I found similar pictures online I wasn't confident in my assessment. This morning the BBC's report on the storm confirmed my thoughts, with a picture of the same clouds over the southside of Glasgow: mammatus. The name comes from the Latin word for breasts and they are so called because they hang down like udders from a range of clouds. Apparently they are at their best when seen on a cumulonimbus, but unfortunately my cloud spotting skills are not able for telling you what sort of a cloud these are attached to. I did think they were pretty impressive though.

The full moon on Thursday night had me looking to the skies again, as well as to The Almanac. The names for February's full moon are Snow Moon, Ice Moon and Storm Moon. I think we can all agree that it has lived up to its name. Whilst I had a clear view on my evening walk, this morning was one of those days when the sight of her actually made me catch my breath. The sky was that way when you're not entirely sure whether it's clear or cloudy, I assume that there was a fine layer of cloud up there, because suddenly the big hazy moon appeared. As fast as she had appeared, she disappeared back into the clouds, but I felt privileged to have seen her. Also very grateful that I got home again just as the gathering clouds decided it was time for another heavy shower.

In non-weather related news, last night I was at a webinar with Keep Scotland Beautiful for a discussion about the well-being economy - creating thriving communities in a changing climate, which you can watch again here. Strangely apt for an evening where we were all surrounded by evidence of that changing climate. To quote from Lorna Slater MSP's opening speech: people and planet are at the heart of the Scottish Government's vision of a well-being economy. Quality of life includes our personal well-being but also the well-being of our communities; this personal and collective well-being includes that of other species and of the planet which we depend on. As people, we don't exist to serve the economy, the economy should be how we get what we need to support each other within the boundaries of our planet's ecosystem. The panel discussion that followed also included information about the work of WEALL (the Wellbeing Economy Alliance) with contributions from both Scotland and New Zealand, as well as how the sustainable development goals can form a basis for respecting the environment as well as for delivering fairness. This included a reminder that we also need to think wider than our own community and wider even than Scotland and the UK. For more on this check out the digital exhibition Facing the Crisis, to see the impact of climate change on people and communities worldwide. With South Lanarkshire Council recently releasing their Community Wealth Building Strategy, it was good to hear how the wellbeing economy aligns with the principles of Community Wealth Building which centres local people having fairly paid, local jobs and contributing to the local economy by spending money locally. There was also a reminder that greenspace and the environment is a thread running through each of these pillars. Do check out the webinar and keep your eyes peeled for more events in the Climate Festival series here; I'm already looking forward to Storytelling for Change on 8th March whose theme is ‘Inspired by Nature’.

Until next time, why not listen to some stormy music? There's nothing better than some Etta James on a blustery afternoon.

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