Tag Archives: Weather

A Weather Advisory

24 Jan

Hotter:ColderAlthough admittedly my certificate in meteorology is from a non-accredited correspondence course, I am in possession of some important weather facts. I would like to share these with you now to help you avoid embarrassment in future interactions with humans who have, at some point, traveled outside of the British Isles.

England’s weather is generally pretty mild. Why you refuse to accept this, I do not know. It’s not a bad thing, we don’t mean it as an insult. For those of us who have ventured the world, mild weather is often a blessing. It keeps us from having to purchase entirely separate wardrobes for each season, and it allows children to be left out in the garden for the better part of the day without fear of sunstroke or frostbite. Mild weather is something to treasure, and I can testify that I do.

England can get hot in the summers, this is true. Why, I remember that I almost broke a sweat while sharpening my secateurs one July afternoon! Heat in England is lovely because it means the sun has come out. Alas, sunny days in England are too few but when you’ve got one, you should surely make the most of it. Sit in the garden, cool yourself with fan, but for goodness sake, do not whinge about the heat. Try telling the people of El Azizia that you feeling a bit parched by an English swelter and see how much sympathy you receive.

Let me also assure you that, despite what some people are saying, Britain is not suffering from arctic weather.  Would you like to know why? Because they’re stupid. I was raised in Trenton (NJ), which is hardly a hotbed of frigidity, but even Trentonites know that 2C is next to nothing (in fact it’s two degrees next to nothing). The average temperatures in January in my hometown range from -4C to 4C and we once even dropped down to -26C. I’m not saying that makes Trenton (NJ) better or worse. I’m just saying, keep perspective. When it feels like this in your sitting room, then you will know the true meaning of arctic.

Now, yes, today you probably had some snow outside your front door. I grant you that. The problem with snow here is not the snow itself, but the inability of people to cope with it. Here’s the scoop: the climate, my friends, is changing, so we should probably just accept that in winter snow will fall and figure out some way to make sure the roads are safe. Maybe this is something David Cameron could get Nick Clegg on: sort out a community response to snow so that everything doesn’t go all haywire. Just a thought, Dave. You’ve got your priorities, I’m sure.

Let’s all just try to stay sensible whatever the weather reports say, yeah? Overall, Britain’s weather is not too bad, and having to deal with extremes every once in a while is probably something we can all manage. Try to make the best of it: I insisted Christopher shovel the walk three times today and can honestly say I enjoyed every moment of it—sitting at the window watching my little snow bunny heaving the white stuff around. I managed to get through a pot of tea and a whole box of bon-bons.

It was lovely.

Spring (May Have) Sprung

24 Feb

In many parts of the world, there are signs that spring is arriving. Despite the fact that on February 2, Punxsutawney Phil predicted that there will be six more weeks of winter, I’ve never trusted groundhogs (and they know why). The crocuses peeking out of my window boxes are telling me otherwise.

Of course, the thing about the weather is that basically we know fuck all about it. Fancy pants weather men and girls can make all the predictions they want, but it’s really more dumb luck when they get it right. And when you throw into the mix the effects of climate change, we pretty much have no idea what the weather will be even later this afternoon, let alone tomorrow or a fortnight from now.

But both the calendar and the temperatures have been hinting that soon it shall be spring. This is good news for most of us. While March can mean wind and rain, the fact that it is usually the month where the green begins to return to our world means that we will generally feel more chipper and spritely.

The vision of flowers emerging from the cold ground is really a sight to see. If you weren’t clever enough to get your gardener to plant spring bulbs last autumn, shame on you. You must do better.

If by the time you read this, the weather has turned again, don’t despair. I promise at some point it definitely will be spring and the Earth will at least appear to be a more pleasant place.