The great British freeze continues and us Brits can’t get enough of it – talking about it I mean. We have had such a good time with our favourite topic of conversation, the weather and there has been a lot of it – weather.
The snow came down on Thursday and, unusually at least for us in the soft South, it has stayed and even got worse.
Here in Lewes in Sussex, all but the main High Street has perilously icy pavements, our hilly side streets are dangerous for cars and walkers and the population is out there in walking boots, silly spaniel hats, or, if you are cool and young and male, in trainers and open-kneed jeans. I have noticed with only a tiny amount of schadenfreude, that it is this latter group with their cool slidey walks and nonchalance who have been falling over more than anyone else.
Everywhere I go I hear people discussing those six, or is it now more, trains that got stuck in the Channel Tunnel because they couldn’t take the temperature contrast when they left the freezing World for the apparently steamy atmosphere under the English Channel. Well, you’d think they would have predicted it, people are saying. Just as they wonder why our pavements aren’t clear or why the trains have stopped running in the same old places that always get snowed in whenever the snow falls.
My friends in Newfoundland laugh at us as we grind to a halt with only a minimum of snow cover but, hey, that’s Britain. When the truth is told, we love grumbling about the weather whether it is snow, rain or even if it is “too hot.”
In a temperate climate like ours, where most of our lives, thankfully, carry on in a relatively undramatic way, subtle gradations of climate keep us excited – from mist to drizzle or a smattering of snow, we just can’t help talking about it.
We talk about climate change all the time too. We don’t do anything about it though, we don’t take much interest in things like that confusing meeting in Denmark where our leaders couldn’t reach any significant agreement about what to do about Global Warming. Here in Britain, we don’t believe that the climate is changing. Well look at the snow, we say, doesn’t look like Global Warming to me.
If, and probably when, we do start seeing more examples of the effects of Global Warming, more rain, more floods and gales, or the weakening of the Gulf Stream, then, we will be just fine over here in our small island home. There will be just so much to talk about when the snow actually snows us in up to our rooftops.
Hmm, nasty hurricane last night, but we musn’t grumble, it has turned out nice again today.