I think it was on the day of the Westminster coronation, a sorry stroll through a resolutely unfestive city, that I realised there was no more weather. That reflex topic of British conversation had finally abdicated. Weather had withdrawn the accepted metaphors on which civic and poetic life depend. The ancient bond between king, subjects and sky was dissolved. If our former intimacy with barely perceptible shifts in atmospheric pressure was lost, we were done. Also lost. Divorced from our most ancient sense of self, we had no further business in this alienated metropolitan sprawl. And there could be no functioning ecology under such a dull and unyielding mantle. A clammy and persistent duvet of grey negatives separated us from the revelation of migrating cloud streets.