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Weather? You Don’t Have Weather!

It’s recognized as a great British pass-time; talking about the weather. And, it’s true. I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with my mother in the last 10 years where she hasn’t mentioned the weather.  The Brits just love talking about it. Or should that be complaining about it?

The irony is, in general the Brits don’t have any weather. Ok, they have ‘weather’, but not ‘weather’. Not the kind of weather we have over here in Canada. We have seasons in Canada. In spring it rains, the sun shines and it gets hot in summer, the fall* is a little chilly but we’re treated to the beautiful foliage. And in winter, well it snows. A lot. And it’s cold. Very, very cold.

England in winter, and autumn, and spring, and most of the summer

In the UK it’s usually mostly a grey and wet spring, followed by a largely cloudy summer with showers, a gloomy autumn with some downpours, and a miserable wet and cold winter. Barring a day or two of sun in July or August, and the annual few days’ national shut down due to an inch and a half of white stuff, it’s pretty standard fare. Of course, I understand that this is some justification for the complaints, but it’s hardly riveting conversation is it?

“Bit wet and chilly today, innit Bob?”

“Yup, mind you not as wet and chilly as yesterday, Bill”

“Ye’r right there. What’s it supposed to be like tomorrow Bob?”

“Gonna be gray Bill. With a bit of rain. And chilly.”

“Tut, tut. Bloody weather.”

“Yeah, bloody weather, tut, tut.”

Conversations like this have been going on for centuries across the British Isles. There are probably thousands of conversations like this taking place right now.

I genuinely admire the Canadian resilience in the face of extreme weather. “A bit chilly” to them is -10°C, with a -20°C wind chill. They’ll also wear shorts at the first sign of sunshine on grass, regardless of the temperature, and they’ll be sitting outside on terraces milking the last glimmer of sunshine until the last leaves fall.

Now that’s weather, and how to deal with it.

*Fall is Autumn in North Americanish  (for the Brits without North American experience)

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