I awoke to a downpour this morning and, for most of the day, the sky has remained grey and cloudy, threatening more rain. But only yesterday we had the most astonishing clear azure-blue skies and at Heathrow the temperature hit 34°C. I still don’t understand how things can change so dramatically overnight (or by the minute some days). Intellectually I do, but emotionally that’s another matter – particularly if I’ve been penned up in the office on sunny days only to wake to rain on the weekend. Yes, that was me screaming!
I remember reading a report last year that declared UK weather as officially changeable. It’s all due to our location as a small island wedged between the Atlantic and the continental landmass. But surely it was ever thus. You don’t have to be a meteorologist: read Jane Austen or the memoirs of ex-pats. The British have always talked about the weather – because it is so changeable.
About 30 years ago, a Malaysian colleague on his first trip to England remarked how he’d found it strange that all the Brits he knew invariably included the weather in conversations. But now he understood why. Back home, there was just the wet, monsoon season and the dry season. Occasionally a little late or a little early; sometimes wetter or drier than usual – but then, end of conversation.