The Houston air is like soup. As I step off the plane I feel one dress-size fatter and my hair springs into tight curls. Outside the airport terminal a monsoon is in progress.
Never mind that I checked the weather forecast before I left and it said “30% chance of precipitation”. I took this to mean that there would be a slight chance of rain. My colleague John Richardson, who is in the forecasting business himself and is in Houston to talk about emerging markets, says that’s just how it is with forecasting. Will it put me off using the yahoo weather forecasts in future, he asks. Probably not, we agree, and this too is just like the business of predicting chemical markets. We just keep coming back for more.
Anyway you don’t need to worry about the rain in Houston because no-one ever walks anywhere. Sweet Carolyn picks me up from my hotel in her enormous new birthday present BMW 7 series to drive me the 0.2 mile ( 0.3 km) to her lovely home. Carolyn was a senior editor with us in the London ICIS office but has now taken “early retirement” in Houston. We hear that the Southwest Chems Golf Outing was a complete wash-out in the driving rain, and everyone spent the day playing pool and drinking beer instead.