A guy called Lantern once said to me: "How could you not like Debussy? His favourite animals were cats. His favourite musical interval was the tritone. And his favourite colour was grey." That struck me as being a Great Truth at the time, and it's why I feel certain that Debussy would have loved winter, clouds, and the rain and wet, also. A sky is always interesting with a few clouds floating about in it. A city is interesting with a few clouds floating around in it as well: smog will do, but fog is even better. It adds just that little touch of adventure and mystery to your everyday life, making you feel like you might end up somewhere wholly unexpected (sometimes, you even do). Perhaps that's one reason why people started the industrial revolution: all those smokestacks and chimneys produce wonderful clouds.
Take a walk along a Melbourne street in the middle of winter or on a cold autumn day and you will discover another reason why these cold seasons are so nice: the whiff of wood smoke. We so rarely have an excuse to set a log fire roaring in Australia, and wood smoke has such a pleasant smell. There is a reason people use it to flavour their foods. Rain, also (though it is more pleasant being inside a house while it is raining) causes beautiful smells to rise in the air: the cool, earthy whiff just before rain comes; the satisfying smell of wet soil that has just drunk its fill; and the pungent fragrance of plant resins, eucalyptus and lemon verbena, that have come to the surface of the leaf or tree bark in the rain.
It all makes me wonder if there oughtn't to be an advertising campaign for winter, the rain and wet, and the colour grey. Something like a picture of an atmospheric, mossy building shrouded in some nice fog, with attractive people doing nice dances around it, and a slogan hovering over it:
That's why we say
Give me rain and the colour grey.
Then again, I suppose that would attract entirely the wrong crowd of people.