Whatever the weather... no really, whatever
So, given its permanence – and the fact that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it (unlike my washing pile, I suppose) – I don't really understand our unfailing fascination with it. It seems not a day goes by (in fact, barely a conversation goes by), without some mention of the precipitation, the overcast-ness, the gusty wind, the plummeting temperatures, the humidity or (occasionally) the glorious sunshine!
It feels like it has been a real hot topic so far this year. I say 'hot', I obviously mean dull as dishwater. I bore myself talking about it (and I do, I talk about it ALL the time). I get bored of hearing about it. And what's with all the Daily Express weather-related front page headlines? Surely everyone's bored of reading about it?!
What have we been told? Er, well it was the driest February in decades. But then we've just had the wettest April. It must certainly have been the wettest drought. I think it is going to be the coldest May, like, EVER! And it might just be the hottest summer, or something. I'm interested to know if you're yawning or if your internal weather radar is bleeping furiously with interest... because, really, similar things happen every year don't they?
British weather has always been bonkers and there is a reason for that. It's to do with where the UK is: cold air from the north of the globe and warm air from the south wrestle for supremacy right over the British Isles. As such, our seasons are somewhat more mixed up than the seasons in other countries.
But, in that sense, our crazy weather systems are essentially the norm. Why do we never get used to it? Why does generation after generation preserve what's going on outside the window as a pivotal element of any opening conversation?
Admittedly, things like rivers breaking their banks and flooding schools, homes and highways, or freezing temperatures threatening the wellbeing of vulnerable people, are newsworthy. But why obsess about the smaller stuff? You can guarantee that every bank holiday, newspapers, TV programmes and absolutely everyone in the country over the age of 16 will pick over what the weather will be doing.
Rain threatens to ruin bank holiday fun! Quelle surprise. Scorching sunshine makes for bank holiday barbecue bonanza! Yep, well that happens fairly frequently too, believe or not. But the fact that every bank holiday has weather of some sort or another doesn't stop us from giving our verdict. Rather like the judges on Britain's Got Talent who are constantly trying to find new and exciting ways to say 'yes' ("a thousand per cent yes" is my latest fave), do we even try to find variations on: 'gosh, isn't it hot?' and 'awful out there today, isn't it?'
I'm sure foreigners must think we're a bit mad. Perhaps it's partly where the traditional idea of the British eccentric comes from. Is there anywhere else in the world where people talk about the weather more than we do?
My friend's fiancé Richard might know, actually. I discovered at the weekend he likes to check the weather in other parts of the world. Not just random places you understand, but places in the world where he knows people, because he just likes to know what sort of weather they're having.
Bless him, you've got to love that. I think he's just taken the British weather obsession to a whole new level!