White particles in the air now – Whalley Range M16
Thursday, 19 May, 2011 8:54
To: enquiries@metoffice.gov.uk

When I was outside at 8.35am this morning I noticed white particles on the car. Then I realised they were still falling. They look like burnt matter… not classic wood ash but some other material which may have been burned… or perhaps flakes of paint. I can still see them gently falling through the air at the back and front of the house. I wondered what they might be?

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The woman on the phone thought it was probably pollen. My friend agreed: “There must be a tree near you with loads of pollen,” she said.

“Why have I never noticed pollen looking like this before?” I wondered.

But within an hour, the white particles had stopped falling and I became completely convinced that what I had seen was pollen.

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Re: Fwd: White particles in the air now – Whalley Range M16
Thursday, 19 May, 2011 15:24
From: enquiries@metoffice.gov.uk

Further to your earlier email enquiry please view the attached news story: www.wigantoday.net.

It appears this fire is the cause of the white particles you are experiencing.

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Which begs the question: On how many other occasions have I noticed something strange or interesting, and then dismissed it soon afterwards, citing some apparently reasonable but false explanation – in this case ‘pollen’ – which allowed me to forget what I’d seen and plough on with my life?

Often it’s so much easier to go along with what other people think and say than to acknowledge your own point of view!

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GUIL: A man … sees a unicorn cross his path and disappear. That in itself is startling, but there are precedents for mystical encounters of various kinds, or to be less extreme, a choice of persuasions to put it down to fancy; until- “My God,” says a second man, “I must be dreaming, I thought I saw a unicorn.” At which point, a dimension is added that makes the experience as alarming as it will ever be. A third witness, you understand, adds no further dimension but only spreads it thinner, and a fourth thinner still, and the more witnesses there are the thinner it gets and the more reasonable it becomes until it is as thin as reality, the name we give to the common experience…. “Look, look!” recites the crowd. “A horse with an arrow in its forehead! It must have been mistaken for a deer.”

From Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard.