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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Words For Wednesday ….. November 17th 2010

I was browsing a book titled ‘The Cloudspotter’s Guide’ by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who founded:

The Cloud Appreciation Society

I became interested in the book, when I realised that Gavin is a local author, living in Somerset.

Then, as I browsed, I realised that I had completely forgotten all those Geography lessons at school, where we learned the cloud types and formations off rote, but was pleased at how quickly I was actually able to recall some of the information, with a little nudge from Gavin’s comprehensive explanations.

The book is a fascinating insight into the contemplation of clouds and set me thinking about the times we have sat peacefully in our back garden, on a still summer’s day, just gazing up at the clouds, trying to liken their  formations to recognizable objects, then watching them slowly disappear into the ether.

Or on a windy, stormy day, when the dark and angry clouds scud quickly across the sky. More dramatic, but just as alluring to watch.

The poem below forms the preface of the book and sums up the sentiment around clouds so succinctly.

Buy This Book From Amazon

‘The Cloud’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley,


I am the daughter of Earth and Water,

And the nursling of the Sky:

I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;

I change, but I cannot die.

For after the rain, when with never a stain

The pavilion of heaven is bare,

And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams

Build up the blue dome of air,

I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

And out of the caverns of rain,

Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,

I arise, and unbuild it again.

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Hi Violet,

    The website has also got nearly 25,000 members. These days, there is something out there for just about everyone, no matter what your interest.

    I thought the poem was lovely too, definitely a fitting preface for the book.

  • I’ve read about this book before and thought then I’d find it interesting. Now after living in Northumberland for nearly a year I’ve started to take more interest in the sky – at night and day. The skies seem so huge up here. As you saw on my blog we had a spectacular red sky yesterday. Normally I’d say ‘red sky in the morning shepherd’s warning’, but actually it stayed fine until the evening. This book is going on my wishlist.

    Your post about Susan Howatch is also interesting. I loved her Starbridge books in particular – have you read those?

  • Hi Margaret,

    I found the book very interesting and was surprised at how much I actually knew!

    You should definitely check out the website also. They have a gallery section of members’ cloud art and photographs, that you would probably find quite interesting. Although in my opinion, your photos are far superior in quality and composition, to many of theirs.

    I read some of the Starbridge books, many years ago. I just like the Susan Howatch style of writing in general and don’t think I have ever read anything of hers, that I didn’t enjoy.

Written by Yvonne