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The British illusion about summer and the weather…

The British illusion about summer and the weather…

Now that we’re getting rather unseasonably warm temperatures for September/October across the UK, the old stereotypical mutterings are cropping back up about how we Brits are obsessed about the weather, and how we didn’t have a summer at all. Allow me to blow away at least one of these often-muttered statements.

Sure, maybe the British are occasionally occupied with the weather. Maybe the best way to start off a ridiculously casual and pointless conversation with a random person at the bus stop is to mutter something about the weather. But we British have nothing, as per usual, on the Americans.

They have a weather channel on every cable station that pumps out nothing but weather news 24-7. The local news goes into excruciating detail about the local weather conditions. Americans will often mutter on their way to work “Oooh, it feels like a high 70s today” or something, without having actually left their house or checked the news forecast. Ironically for a nation with wild temperature extremes, they can tell when you turn up or down the air conditioning by ONE Farenheit. The only reason they don’t get the reputation about being weather-obsessives is that generally, they don’t talk about it to random strangers on the bus. Mostly because they don’t really have buses. We British don’t really do any of that.

Of course, this may well be down to the extreme weather conditions Americans get – deep snow in the winter, scorching heat and tornadoes in the summer. In contrast, Britain gets temperatures of 26 Celsius or 80 Farenheit, and to us, it feels like we’re in Arizona.

The other thing that the British mutter, every summer without fail, is that we’ve never really had a summer, ie a sustained period of hot weather with sunshine. Given that most weekdays during the summer, I’m stuck in an office, the appeals of sunshine are somewhat lost on me but it usually feels like we’ve had the same summer as we have every summer. One year, I want to maintain a daily log of whether today is summer or not, and then collate the results at the end.

Of course, it’s one thing having sunshine and summer weather. But what do you DO with it? It’s too hot to actually stay out in the sun for more than a few minutes – and sure, it makes biking more fun, but the days of sitting in the back garden of a pub with a nice pint of beer are alas well beyond me these days.

Britain’s collective summer amnesia

Britain’s collective summer amnesia

Why does it always rain on me??

Every summer, Britain seems to get collective amnesia at the first sight of substantial rain. Even now, on Twitter, lots of UK people are lamenting Where has our summer gone?.

This somewhat neglects the fact that less than 6 weeks ago, we were in the middle of a summer heatwave, with hosepipe bans and weather health alerts posted. For days and days it seemed as if the weather would do nothing but bake golden sunshine.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but it happens EVERY YEAR. And without fail, people will come back to work in August or September and lament where has my summer gone. It hasn’t gone anywhere – we had it, and we loved it at the time. Remember?

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