Faces in the Clouds

This morning I’m looking out from my recuperative pit at cloud formations in the east Leeds sky. Groupings of altostratus forms, each uniquely shaping, some of which to my mind’s eye bear a remarkable resemblance to people and/or objects.

For instance, currently through the middle part of the bedroom window there’s a cloud shaping of The Simpson’s power plant boss Montgomery Burns’ head. His distinctive long woodpecker beak nose pointing east towards Selby. A north Yorkshire town whose recent history is coincidentally also intertwined with the power generating business. Granted, not a huge or very interesting coincidence, but when trying to pad out these narratives any shred of enlightenment is fair game.

While writing the paragraph above, the Mr Burns cloud drifted unassumingly out of the picture frame provided by my bed chamber window. Replaced by what looks like the head of tiger Shere Khan of Jungle Book fame. With wicked eyes staring towards me, his broad tiger snout and spiteful grin unmistakeable as he peers through the altostratus long grass, as if stalking an unsuspecting prey.

Incidentally, not all of the fluffy white formations above me are as mainstream as my previous two examples. For instance, I’ve just witnessed a far more surreal sight hovering above the roof of a building forming a section of Colton Retail Park. This image appearing to be that of veteran singer Cliff Richard holding a large ham. It’s hard to say whether the cut of meat had been broiled or roasted, but it looked sizeable enough to feed a family of six….. Well, as long as the clan aren’t Jewish, in which case Cliff will have to trough it in isolation!

Although an unusual vision, the Cliff Richard cloud was infinitely less idiosyncratic that the sky formation that succeeded it. A cotton wool-like image of what appeared to be a rhinoceros opening a bottle of champagne. I’ve no idea what the odd-toed ungulate was celebrating; nevertheless, I wish him well in whatever festivities he’s toasting.

I’d be interested in what a psychiatrist would make of my interpretation of these altostratus formations. For example, would they diagnose the root cause to be an attachment disorder….. Or maybe a Freudian take that everything is a consequence of sexual depravation and people’s obsession with the word moist….. Or perhaps they’d deem my unconventional image evaluations as merely the harmless wanderings of a creatively fertile mind.

faces in clouds

Anyhow, regardless of what doctors of psychiatry opine, I’m sure the cloud resembling Simon Cowell’s white t-shirt, currently hovering in almost total isolation above the retail park, will agree my musings on the subject are harmless.

Last year when sitting in the garden during balmy summer evenings, there were several times in between sips of cabernet sauvignon that I’d sit and scour the skies. While doing so making pictorial snaps of cloud formations. Times when I occasionally witnessed a face resembling my late dad among the altostratus formations.

He never looked very happy in these images, but I suppose you’re not gonna be full of the joys of spring (or indeed summer) when you’ve passed away. I imagine being dead has made my old man incredibly irritable; especially now he can’t do Saturday’s Irish lottery or eat humus.

One of these summer evenings, on seeing a cloud with dad’s facial resemblance, under my breath I self-consciously proffered in it’s direction “Give me a sign you’re ok, dad.”

What followed was a half minute period of silence, followed by the contents of my wine glass starting to dwindle. Stunned into a dream-like state at witnessing the unexplained emptying of my wine glass, it took a large belching sound to return me to a full state of alert. On looking back up to the sky I saw the previously unhappy white fluffy image of Malcolm Strachan now smiling down at me.

A disturbing experience which taught me a major life lesson…… This key tutorial being, when I’m in possession of a glass of wine never ask my late dad to give me a sign he’s doing ok!

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