“What’s This, Then?!”
Typically, the phrase is meant to refer to something difficult to find or that which may even not exist. I remember as a young boy, my mother saying to me on many occasions when I had been told to go and find a particular something and failing dismally to locate it, “Well, what’s this then? Scotch mist?!” as she’d already put her hand on it, waved it mockingly in front of my face or simply pointed right to it. It was her stock phrase for such things, I suppose, picked up no doubt from her Yorkshire born and bred father. But in remembering what it means, I struggle to figure out on days like this, why it’s used at all, because when that drizzly fog is hanging in the air, it’s everywhere. But it’s not rain. It lightly touches your skin, freshens the lungs and even concentrates sound – you can’t ignore it. When we made a trip to Garlieston Bay at the west of the county just a few weeks ago, there was no escaping it, and it was, truthfully, eerily beautiful. I have seldom absorbed tranquil like it, passed so few people on their coastal walks, or seen polished mirrors of slack water reflect so little colour from the sky. I know though, whenever we head back, there’ll be cloud, rain, or blistering sunshine – maybe I won’t see it like this again; maybe that’s the point? But I would be so glad to see it again – with or without my camera.