Yesterday was the first day this year when one could say without anyone disagreeing around here at any rate that it was Spring. My gardeners did a whole days work and now everywhere is spruced up.
Today is a different story - heavy black clouds lour everywhere. I have the light on in my computer room as I write this and cars going past have their wipers on intermittent so I presume there is rain in the air - certainly the paths look damp. I am too cosy and warm to actually open the front door and hold my hand out into the air to test for drizzle. The radiator is right by my computer. The boiler is set at twenty degrees and the radiator is hot.
So everyone will agree that two side by side days with such different temperatures and goings on are absolutely typical of English weather.
Do you like that? If not then the only solution I think is to a) get used to it. b)put up with it. c)complain about it constantly.
I think most of us adhere to c). I think it is a characteristic of all British folk that the weather is one their main topics of conversation - at least it gives us something to talk about.
Would it be more pleasurable to live in the tropics - or at least a bit nearer to them I wonder? My grandson, who lives and works in the South of China (and loves working there) was astonished to find when he looked at my Atlas to show me exactly where he worked, that the place he works in sits exactly on the dotted line of the Tropic of Cancer. It does explain of course why he had to purchase a new anorak (a super one with a fur=edged hood) for his recent trip home (I wonder where he bought it - certainly not on his stop over on the flight home in Dubai).
I ask myself (and you) - would you rather live in a country on the edge of, or in, the Tropics?
Well, for a start, the discussions about the weather would not be there would they? If almost every day was sunny, hot and dry one really can't keep on saying 'lovely day isn't it?' And when the rains do arrive they don't do drizzle or just damp - they really mean it. Here we have snow, rain, drizzle, dampness in the air, gale force winds, fog (dense - gosh what a lot of mileage you can get out of a journey home on a foggy night if you are driving). You can keep the conversation going throughout supper, that's for sure.
And of course (I am not an expert on weather - I can't talk about the jet stream (especially as you can't see it anyway) or about any other of the climatic phenomena like tornadoes. These days we get the images of such things - like the recent tornado in Mississippi State which absolutely destroyed a whole town and left the population devastated. We are not experiencing them - we sit in our centrally heated homes and watch - appalled and with sympathy for the people who have died (almost thirty I believe) and those who now have to somehow rebuild their lives. But we are not expecting a tornado to arrive here anytime soon.
And watching Michael Palin in Antarctica (where all those who work down there seem to spend a lot of their time inside great heated buildings eating Blueberry Muffins) doesn't make me wish for snow.
No,I think I'm glad to have been born in a country where in spite of having four clearly defined seasons!! we never really know what tomorrow will bring down on us. We always need to keep a macintosh in a quickly available place -and the same goes for an umbrella. And one thing is for sure - we never run out of things to talk about.
Florida on the Gulf Coast is paradise. I do not miss snow and cold.
Well, I did live in Tenerife for four years and although the reliable year-round warmth and sunshine was great for a while, I really did miss the good old UK autumn and winter weather. I don't regret moving back home, even though I am soaked to the skin today after walking back from town. I certainly don't miss the cockroaches, ants and lizards that the warmer climate brought with it!
I've said this before, I don't think that we have four clearly defined seasons anymore, we may have on paper or in people's minds but not weather wise. Summery weather seems to last almost up to early winter and then winter seems to last almost up to early summer - two seasons! or that's how I see it.
We're still waiting for a nice Spring day round here, this cold, wet weather is relentless, we had a bone dry February and have now had a wet and almost sunless March.
Roll on a nice, hot summer!
I have lived in the wet tropics in the Southern Hemisphere for the last 20 years and love the wet season. Having just moved south to the (dry) Tropic of Capricorn, I so miss the (sound of) overnight tropical rain. Mind, the extreme heat waves we have been experiencing this last year have been almost unbearable 😟
I am happy with the British weather. I like Summer best. I remember some Tundra like winters in the east, quite regularly in fact, snowy Aprils, wet and cold Mays and wet and cold Junes and one lovely summer in 1976.
One of my sons moved to live in Turkey 3 years ago and loves the temperatures there. When he declares that nothing would induce him to return to live in the UK, it makes me so sad. Thankfully, he emails me most days (we swap Wordle results each morning!) and we have long phone or Skype chats. He also visits me once or twice a year.
But he has seen at close quarters huge fires that took down acres of trees, so much destruction, and recently two very big earthquakes plus many aftershocks. He regularly has to deal with snakes, scorpions and nasty insects plus boars that break into his garden . . . .On reflection, I think I prefer the UK with all the weather it throws at us.
A clever post about weather, Pat!
We talk about the weather a lot, too, here in Illinois, USA.
What the States experience are tornadoes, not typhoons which are tropical storms.
There is a great swath of the U.S. called "Tornado Alley" and folks who choose to live in those areas have to prepare for the possibility that a tornado will happen.
Thank you Marcia for putting me right - I shall change it immediately.
I think I would miss the four seasons if I lived in a warmer climate. Where I live in Canada, the birds are beginning to build their nests and green sprouts are emerging from the ground. A long, cold winter makes these signs of spring extra enjoyable. I also love the fact that I never have to fear tarantulas, scorpions, big snakes and alligators in my part of the world. We have ticks, and other biting insects but I can handle them.
Apparently the variation of seasons is supposed to benefit us. Here we have a saying, "If you don't like the weather wait 20 minutes". and yes the topic of weather is continuous.
West Virginia weather is not unlike that of England, I think, although we seem to have more extremes in temperature, and in tbe last few years, more very high winds and dangerous storms. There is less snow now than pre-2000, and summers are about 5 degrees hotter. I miss the defined seasons we used to have, but there is still enough of a difference to keep me happy. Our youngest lives in Miami and loves the tropical environment. I would not want to live where hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and blizzards are expected, so I am content here.
Like you i like to live in a place with four seasons... and i do except here in Tx its a little TOO hot and dry for me in the Summer so it gives me alot to complain about..lol Daughter lives in Northern California.. I have lived there too and honestly has as close to the most perfect weather imaginable.. still the 4 seasons but nothing extreme... Hugs! debs
In our Spanish ho;idays by Marbella at first the constant blue sky seemed wonderful...then I found myself longing for a little cloud or two...or even a spot of rain!! We are indeed perver4se.
I don't like admitting it: Whilst the most common conversation opener in England is, as you say, the weather, members of other nations will discuss weather too - at some point. It's an inexhaustible subject.
It's also the one subject everyone will agree on: Nice day, isn't it. Yes it is, isn't it. Gosh, isn't it horrible out there today. Yes, ghastly. Absolutely ghastly. Sometimes, to inject a bit of life into the conversation, even optimism, I will say: "Be grateful, all the drizzle is perfect for your skin. Think of the quintessential, nay famed, complexion of the English Rose." Startled looks. Enter Jane Austen.
I have lived in Memphis, Tennessee, suburban Chicago, Louisville, Kentucky, Waco, Texas and now outside Richmond, Virginia. After those years in Texas where there were two seasons: hot, hotter, and a day or two of cold, I want to always live where there are 4 seasons. Our maple tree in TX turned its autumn colors in December, for crying out loud.
I'm glad you're cozy, Pat!
I love having four seasons - as nice as it seems I don't think I'd like to too hot year round.
There's a good study to be done on our perceptions of weather. There was many a time when I worked on the farm that I would go down the pub on Friday night and all those people who worked indoors would tell me what horrible weather we'd had. Meanwhile I was thinking that it hadn't been too bad at all!
So true of my experience too John "By Stargoose" and still so. Farmers I think have a totally different perspective on weather.
I absolutely love your reflections on things and expounding on them. Four distinct seasons here in central Pennsylvania (US) and I like them all. Not much “winter “ here this year though.
My brother spent some time living in Sierra Leone, and on his first trip back commented on how little people there talked about the weather - it was either hot and wet or hot and dry!
He then moved back to Aberdeen - that was quite a shock to the system after Sierra Leone.
I would rather live in Britain than anywhere else in the world and often say that we don't actually have a climate, but just weather. I don't think I would like to live as far north as Iceland and I know I would hate the tropics. I could barely cope with last August's heatwave. We do complain about our weather but should be very grateful that we don't get the awful extremes suffered by other parts of the world.
"I couldn't stand another English winter' is often the response of Australians returning home to live. I've also heard,''couldn't take another Melbourne winter' many times. In summer we have high-risk fire days, with complete fire bans - always a worry when there's a blustery hot wind menacing.
Indigenous Australians recognize more seasons (6 up to 8) within our varying climate, than the four generally used. I saw on a gardening website recently '..understanding these weather calendars is integral to gardening success in Australia.' - Pam, Sth Aust.
If you appreciate the difference between all 4 seasons as I do, you have to put up with British weather, I think. Right now I am thoroughly pissed off with it all, but rough with sooth, etc.
I live about one and half hours from Melbourne Australia and Victoria also is known as a place where you get four seasons in one day!
I like living in Massachusetts with 4 seasons. I lived and worked in Arizona for almost a year and found it much to hot most of the year. The sun blazes day-after-day with little to no change. I was told to do anything I needed to do early in the morning or at sundown when it is a little less hot outside. Otherwise, stay inside in the air conditioning. I missed the rain, snow and strong occasional winds as well as shifts in temperature. Considering everything, I do like escaping Massachusetts Winters for a few weeks and going someplace tropical with constant Westerly winds.
I think it's useful to have some really not nice weather some time of the year--------the depths of winter or the hot, steamy summer. Because without those extremes you wouldn't really appreciate the good times that do happen throughout the year.
I really like to have four seasons, even if sometimes there are three of them in oene day. It is so nice to watch the garden "waking up", to hear the birds singing for the first time after the winter, and to wait for the right time to put out the chair on the terrace to have the first coffee outside. I also like to change the wardrobe, pack away the heavy coats, the scarfs and mittens, and to review the lighter clothes. And maybe I need something new to wear for spring?
Hilde in Germany
It is much more interesting to live in a seasonal and temperate climate. But what I would like is a shorter winter and a longer more reliable summer.
It's colder up North but I like the definition of four seasons and mostly love the rain. Though of late every time I open the back door it greets me!
I do so agree with you John and Rachel - my dear farmer used to wait for 'good silaging weather', 'good haymaking weather', the right sort of weather to turn the cattle out after their winter indoors (when the pastures had begun to 'green up'.)
Thanks everyone. It seems we can all talk about the weather together if only on our blogs!
Farmers are no different to anybody else. All manner of people with interests that involve being outside on a daily basis, will spend much of their time with one eye on the weather that's due, or likely to arrive in the short term.
I live in Illinois....our weather changes here by the hour (blink once and the weather changes) no matter summer or winter. We have been blessed this year with a "fairly quiet winter" and spring is coming...temps in the 50'sF...some daffadils are blooming but..spring storms are coming soon, as usual....so we prepare now for possible tornadoes, dropping temps,hail, as temps from our west collide with temps in the east. But I had a lovely surprise today....my Ameren electric company decreased my monthly by about $30.00 dollars! Good news! I'm now down to $243.00/month. YAA!
I live in the most westerly corner of Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Because of the altitude our weather is dictated by the terrane and could best be described as "good English". Although it has changed in the 42 Years since we moved here from Yorkshire it is still very enjoyable, we consider ourselves very fortunate. My garden is awake and the greenhouse is full of seedlings, the daffodils are finished and the deer have enjoyed my Tulips this year, but I have no reason to moan, my cup is as always half full.
Well, the topic is generally not controversial. I guess that I do like four seasons. It is just that we seem to be going through all of them every couple weeks or so!
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