England is famous for its changeable weather. Changeable because it could change several times in a day. In fact I disagree with this term, the word unchangeable fits better because most of the days are the same. Even though the English weather is the kind that makes you want to settle far away forever, the inhabitants of this country have a passion for it. I’m quite sure that their language posseses the more vocabulary about it than any others, mostly for the rain vocabulary : drizzle, drizzling, showery, shower, raining cats and dogs, downpour, heavens opening, heavy or light rain, heavy shower, soft or hard rain…. It is quite difficult for a foreigner to know which word to use according to the moment. Great Britain is a country where the weather presenters mix you up more than anywhere else in spite of the simple fact: it’s going to rain. Yes of course, but specifics rain : a few drops from 8am to 9am, then a strong “drizzle”, local speciality which make you feel like it’s not raining before noticing that you are completely wet, from 12:06 pm to 2:37pm and 10 seconds. Rain vocabulary seems to revolve around whether the rain is coming down a lot, a little, or somewhere in between the two. I personally think that to be less depressed, people have created a lot of different words for rain, and that they can believe that the weather of tomorrow will be different from today. It’s just a mood matter to not feel under the cloud. And this year was exceptionally fun because we enjoyed three months of daily rain and floods (thankfully we were spared) and three storms. And when it doesn’t rain, it is most likely very cloudy and grey, but it’s the best forecast you can get in autumn, winter and half of spring time. Have you never heard a Brit say with a lot of excitement “Oh, what lovely weather” even though there are only clouds in the sky?
In the south of France, Spain or elsewhere where the weather is sunny, more than two days of rain affects the people’s moods and the economy because everyone is depressed and don’t want to do anything outside. But in England it’s the opposite, they can’t work if it’s sunny, it’s so unnatural that they prefer to take a day off to explore this anomaly. I’m almost sure that a blue sky must seem supernatural for them or maybe the result of global warming. They are so accustomed to the beautiful grey cloud that one sunbeam is like summer. And once that happens, everyone is getting out in the streets, gardens and beach in T-shirts, shorts and thongs. And that’s why in the kingdom of rain, the people are still surprised by it. In fact the cliché about the British man and his umbrella applies more for the foreign’s people who are more careful. However they are immunized against the cold and fresh air because they go out without warm clothes and almost naked for some, when I’m still wearing my coat, scarf and gloves. Maybe it’s to use the summer’s clothes more than once in the year, they are certainly afraid that their T-shirts, shorts, skirt, swimwear… start to be out of fashion before having enough profit from them.
However, time to time there is a blue sky and hot weather during the summer. But it appears that they don’t enjoy it because they prefer to run away on holiday to others countries and come back when the terrible 20C “heat waves” calm down. Indeed, the English travel a lot, but they can’t settle in another country because of the weather. I mean that they are so white skined that they can’t support the sun more than a few days.
There is however a strange habit that doesn’t match with the weather, they are fond of barbecues over there, all the year! It shouldn’t be surprising, after all there are less risks of fire. And what is cool, is that you are allowed to do it on the beach.
That’s it, I told you the mind of a southern French man. And now I’m ready once more to leave the office… under the RAIN!!! . Who has ever liked the song, “I sing under the rain”?