It’s raining cats and dogs outside, the big drops not that fine really wet rain that we get over here. We are having (as described on a local news channel) a monsoon. If you happen to live in a region categorised with this type of extreme weather you will think we are making a fuss!
Yes, it is a bit wet. Yes there were some strong, blustery, 80 kph winds earlier. There has also been some localised flooding.
Have I seen cars float past or houses ripped to pieces. Nope. Is it on every terrestrial channel every five minutes how bad it is. Yup.
So what is it about the Brits that makes us so obsessed with what the weather is doing?
You are forgiven for thinking that perhaps we receive a better variety of it or that there is something special about what we do get. Anyone, who has been through a British Summer will re-educate you. Tourists, present during the summer period will often ask you in hushed tones “When does it start?”
Except for the fine rain (that get’s you wetter than proper rain, I am pretty sure that actually “is” just ours).
I think we use it as a social enabler, we have pathologic fear of being impolite or offending anyone and it gives you something to talk about. Weather is versatile and can be used for any situation where we have to make conversation with other human beings outside our immediate circle of family and friends.
So when at the start of a tense business meeting, queueing (something else we are extremely good at) for public transport, the groceries, even the doctor’s surgery. It is there, like a special secret, something we can wax lyrical about in past, present and future tenses. It doesn’t really matter.
It goes a little like this:-
Three people have formed a queue at a bus stop. They are all facing the right way. Waiting patiently. The French may have their fancy food, the spanish their flamenco and gorgeous sunny weather, the italians their passion and love. We have, err, queuing?
I digress, where were we, oh yes the bus stop.
Person 1 drops something and doesn’t notice. Person 2 carefully picks it up and politely taps them on the shoulder and hands it to them
“Excuse me, you dropped this.” – P2
“Thank you, I’d be lost without it.” – P1, there is a slight pause whilst they assess whether further conversation is necessary.
“Awful weather we’re having isn’t it?” – P2
Conversation between these two strangers deemed necessary. Awkwardness avoided..
As I finish this post. Outside, It’s still raining and I think it’s turning into that fine rain that gets you wetter than big drop rain. Over here we call it drizzle and it’s not as nice as that lemon stuff you get on cakes.