Tuesday, 5 November 2013

It's A Bit Chilly Out, Isn't It?

We British have an obsession with the weather which other countries find hard to understand given our temperate climate and location. We are like Goldilocks without baby bear, it's never 'just right' and we do like to contemplate it.

Let me explain.

Our climate and world location is such that we don't get extremes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, plague and flood very often. Well, okay, we do get earthquakes but the Earth moves on such a tiny scale we tend to simply congratulate ourselves on our love making skills if we feel a slight tremour rather than imagining the road outside is about to split in two. We have the occasional spell of strong gusts which uproot trees and allow them to fall on the neighbours new conservatory which they were bragging about all summer (I didn't smirk. Honestly.) but we don't get our houses flattened. We have the odd plague but usually manage to sort those out at the following general election (I thank you). We also have the occasional flood but it's never as bad as it's going to be when the icecaps all disappear into the sea. So, as you can see, we are rather lucky.

However, this complacency and stiff upper lip attitude of 'it could be worse' breaks down completely when we have more than two foot of snow. As does most of Britain. The railways goes into meltdown, schools close and road travel becomes chaotic with cars getting intimate with roadside trees. We British do not like this change to our daily routine. One week in July we will be sweating in a humidity best suited to a Swedish sauna and the next minute it's all thick jumpers and thoughts of 'Is it too early to put the heating on?'. There is no time to adjust and we can't cope with the trauma.

Some of us try going abroad in the summer, spending huge amounts of money on air travel to get off the island, only to find we booked for the hottest two weeks on record at home. Some of us try staying on British soil and clog up the beaches the way the sewage outlets clog up the sea. We come home with sunburn, sand in our shoes and sea water (plus nutritional extras) in our sinuses but we come home happy. Particularly as Uncle Bernard had a conversation in the pub with his cronies the Thursday before which resulted in a new cunning way to Walton On The Naze. This meant we missed out most of the bank holiday traffic and got on the beach two hours before the Smiths down the road who foolishly took the A12 and ran into those roadworks by the turnoff to Brightlingsea.

So as you can see, it's all rather stressful all this change and requires us to keep each other informed on a daily basis. Sometimes this works to our advantage. A quick glance at my social network websites and I can see it's raining ten miles from me which means (depending on wind speed and other important factors such as cloud density and air pressure) I'd better get the washing in within the next ten minutes or I'm destined to be rather put out.

I hope this clears the skies up for you all and parts the rain clouds of your understanding about what it's like to live on this lovely island. Looks like it might be a clear night, better get the plants in.


  1. My nephew Greg De Smidt lives in Brightlingsea. He's never mentioned the A12 roadworks to us but that could be because we live in Somerset where the weather depends on how much cider you've had to drink or how inflated/deflated the dried toad hanging in the kitchen has become .

    1. Talk of roadworks and routes to avoid them is a whole new post really, isn't it? Haha!


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