The Cloud Appreciation Society - Proud Admirers of the Fluffy White Stuff

by KathleenDuffy

As a child you gazed at clouds and saw giant ships or strange aliens. Well, it’s OK to see them when you grow up! The Cloud Appreciation Society understands you.

Before the days of central heating I can remember as a child lying on my stomach and gazing into the fire, watching the coals shift and crumble, creating marvellous fairytale vistas of palaces and mountain ranges.

In the summer the fire went out, but the clouds were there instead.

Lying on our backs in the park it was easy for me and my friends to recreate the same stunning landscapes, but this time with cloud formations. They too shifted and drifted, taking on the forms of plants and animals, Jesus, a space ship, that bloke I fancied in our road.

Then I grew up...

Clouds are Cool!

If you love clouds but are laughed out of town when your guilty secret is discovered - now is the time to emerge from the cloud closet and  check out  The Cloud Appreciation Society .


Clouds from my Window

Because you are not alone. In fact there are officially, at the time of writing, 32,107 members of The Cloud Appreciation Society worldwide.  

They can’t all be crazy....can they?

On the contrary - members of The Cloud Appreciation Society hold their heads up high - and gaze at the sky.

Sunset through clouds
Sunset through clouds
K Duffy
Clouds early evening
Clouds early evening
K Duffy

What is The Cloud Appreciation Society?


The Cloud Appreciation Society was started by Gavin Pretor-Pinney,  who also co-founded The Idler magazine. (You see, he has a welcome bizarre slant on life.)

He studied graphics at Central St Martins in London but it was his time in Rome that really kick-started a serious interest in cloud formations.  Perusing the clouds in the blue Italian sky was partially responsible for his long dormant but newly awakened appreciation, but so also were his visits to galleries where he studied the clouds represented in great works of art. 

Christ Calms the Storm - Tintoretto
Christ Calms the Storm - Tintoretto

He began a serious study of clouds and, on returning to the United Kingdom, gave a presentation at the Port Eliot Literary Festival in Cornwall where he officially launched The Cloud Appreciation Society.  

The launch went viral on the internet with people from all over the world, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand, most of the countries of Europe and even Kurdistan, sending in their photographs.

Beautiful Posters of Clouds

Available from All Posters
Sunset Cliffs Beach, San Diego, California

Pretor-Pinney’s book, The Cloudspotter's Guide, was turned down by 28 publishers - but soon he had the last laugh when, on eventual publication, enthusiastic cloud-lovers rocketed it into the Sunday Times top ten best-sellers list.    

The aim of the book is to overturn the negative connections that people make when referring to clouds.   In an interview for The Guardian in 2006, Pretor-Pinney said:

"People do have a slightly derogatory view of them ...When people say someone's got their head in the clouds, it's about being disengaged from the world. Whereas I say, 'Sod it - what's wrong with having your head in the clouds?' It's a really important thing to do, a reaction to the pressures of modern life. But there are all kinds of negative associations: the idea of someone having a cloud hanging over them, or clouds on the horizon - these very doomy things.”


He goes on to quote an Arab saying which describes someone who is fortunate:  “His sky is always filled with clouds”.   

But clouds are not only objects of wonder and beauty, they are says Pretor-Pinney, providers of rain and shade and  purifiers of pollution.



So cloud-lovers of the world unite and join The Cloud Appreciation Society.  


They will  validate your obsession by sending you a certificate to prove you aren't crazy after all...(please don't be concerned about the word 'certify'...)

I've got My Certificate!

My Cloud Appreciation Society Certificate


And for those who still insist on mocking cloudlovers please be aware that  according to Green Earth Facts, a common cumulus cloud weighs over a billion kilograms of droplets, being close to 2.2 billion pounds which is the weight of 6,300 blue whales!  



Further Information:

You can find out more about The Cloud Appreciation from their website


Techie Weather Stuff From E-Bay!

Updated: 07/13/2013, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 05/07/2013

Hi Kimbesa - Glad you found the article useful! Happy cloud-gazing! :)

kimbesa on 05/03/2013

Awesome! I must gt out and look at the clouds more often!

KathleenDuffy on 03/26/2013

Thanks for your comment Tiggered! Although I live in London I'm lucky in that I can sit on my couch and see clouds passing by and it's always changing - sometimes very dramatically. It's great that you've read the book - it's good to look up now and then! :)

Tiggered on 03/25/2013

I've read the book, it was fun. I kept staring into the sky for weeks afterwards. Even now the uninitiated give me weird looks when I ask my partner something along the lines of 'hm, is that a cumulonimbus or a nimbostratus, what do you think?' :)

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