Image license: ©


Luke Howard, Namer of Clouds, Lived and Died Here. 1777 - 1864. This may be the most endearing of all blue plaques constellated across London - and it is one of the first things I would like to visit when we can be out in the world again. I wrote about it a little while ago, for an open mic back in Jan 2020, and loved how it got me thinking about cloud shapes and their varying likelihoods of rain.

The chance of rain in London in March is 43%, and maybe the day Luke Howard died somehow his favourite cloud was around. Maybe it was a stratus, a continuous sheet of fog covering the sky that settles on mountains and cities like a ceremonial layer of slow and pleasurable awakening, with minimal chances of rain. Or maybe a Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud, the rarest of them all, a line of swirls pouring over all events like an applause. Or maybe Luke Howard was still around when a Cumulus morphed into a Cumulonimbus, and got to witness the process of rainfall getting more likely as the last experienced sadness that comes with the visible continuity of non-sentient things. At the same time gravity was holding and letting go of birds and seeds with meticulous purpose. And the cloud would still move, unaware of how we move too around its probability.

English Heritage

Blue Plaque, Luke Howard



In collection(s): Hydrophonics


Audio license: CC-BY

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