We Brits love nothing more than a good old chin wag about what is or isn’t happening with the weather around us and it does seem that we have developed a bit of a reputation as a country that will moan when it rains and moan when it doesn’t.
The thing is, when it comes to Britain, you kinda have to be obsessed with the weather. It is an ever changing entity that isn’t as simple as day to day changes, but hour to hour.
It can be 25 degrees and a heatwave in the morning, but by 3pm it is slamming down with a months’ worth of rain and gale force winds. The most said phrase on a UK weather program is ‘sunshine and showers’. I have spent most of my life lugging about a coat or umbrella ‘just in case’ on 30-degree summer days, because in Britain, you never know.
The weather here may not be as dramatic as some countries; for example, we are lucky enough to not have tornadoes or hurricanes and our hail stones are usually teeny; we don’t have a lion in the room scaring us to death but we do have a continual large fly that buzzes around, never knowing where it is coming from and losing sight of it and it does tend to wear us down.
When the weather is bad though, it tends to be awful and due to our small roads and overcrowded traffic systems, a small amount of rain, snow or even wind can bring large areas to a standstill and in our very British way, we like to be prepared for such things.
With something as ever changing as the British weather, it is also a great fail safe when it comes to awkward conversations. You can successfully fill any gap or unwanted silence simply by stating what the weather is or is not doing and other people are more than happy to respond. Not so easy in California say, where it is another blue sky, sunshiny day.
It is very difficult as a nation, to adapt to heat or cold when you are constantly thrust between the two. For example, as I type, we are currently experiencing a ‘heatwave’, which means that the past three days have been above 29 degrees, there has been no rain and everyone can safely wear flip flops. From the outside, branding 3 days of sunshine a heatwave seems overly dramatic, BUT we have already been told that by Thursday we will be under a blanket of cloud and thunderstorms and this wonderful period of summer will be done.
Of course we are sweating. No, we don’t really have air con in the same way that other countries do. When the weather is short term so are your solutions.
So for today at least. Turn up the fan, stock pile frozen lollies and have a good old chin wag about that time in 1996 when it was just this hot and everyone is SURE we had 6 weeks of sunshine (when it was probably more like 6 hours) because come Thursday we will have something else to moan about….the rain.