Indian summer circa 2017? Yes, it’s happening: bikini at the ready, Pims on tap and picnic basket brimming. However, the clouds loom and a grey cluster forms across the Atlantic. The news of the day? Alas, that Indian Summer we predicted? Yes, sorry, it’s off, not happening, get ready for winter.
I feel perpetually perplexed by the British weather, not least how it impacts on my sartorial repertoire. Lesson’s to be learnt (quickly) when becoming a British resident:
- Always, always carry a brolly. Sunnies used to be my go-to (alas, Sydney’s consistent sunshine), now my Ray Bans have been replaced. And, by a 1.99 umbrella from Primark, no less.
- Waterproof shoes are an essential. Suede booties? Be gone! In fact, suede of any sorts is barred: it’s too expensive and far too chic to be ruined by an arbitrary mid-morning shower.
- Become synonymous with waterproof shoes. Embellished flats? Open toe sandals? No. Swapping the beach for Britain marks a change in footwear. Chelsea boots, trainers and a 3-inch closed toe pump will be your shoes of choice.
Personally, I have found that one of the most difficult things about adapting to Britain is its precarious metrology.
To rain or not to rain – that is consistently the question.
And, what’s it doing right now, on a mundane Monday afternoon? Why, it’s raining, no less. I take it back, it’s drizzling. The infamous drizzle that infects and saturates all in its path. Bluntly, it’s the ‘mother’ of all weather forecasts.
Now, let’s compare this ‘drizzle’ with our friend’s from across the pond – Italy. Their climate exudes sunshine; blistering warm days marked by gelato and chilled vino. June is warm, July is blistering and August is spent by the sea. Three months of eternally good weather, a strong contrast to the sporadic rays that grace us in Britain.
So why inhabit a place whose erratic metrology makes it almost inhabitable?
The answer is simple: try England at Christmas, I challenge you to find a country with such a buzz. Holly, mistletoe and the occasional elk make an appearance at the local fete.
Alternatively, a hot day in the city is gloriously incomparable. The vibe that radiates from the urban sunshine is unlike any other. Musicians, creatives and artists come out in droves and stay on the city’s streets, talking, singing, dancing and playing, until dawn.
It’s a shame about those in-between months of climate despair. We will just have to content with the indoors: museums, galleries and historical monuments.
Not so bad, eh?