We British talk about the weather a lot because this country has so much of it. More than any other country on the planet. You can be sunbathing in the morning and building snowmen in the afternoon here. You can crank up the heating before bedtime to ward off sub-zero temperatures and wake up bathed in sweat in the middle of the night. All it takes is a change in wind direction.
Yesterday I left for work at 6 pm and it was -5C outside. Today I left for work at 6 pm and it was -2C. There was frost on the ground at 6 pm but it had all melted by 9 pm.
I recall winters where the snow was so deep I gave up trying to clear it and just cut a path through it. I remember opening the door to leave for work, finding snow halfway up it, closing the door, calling in ‘no’ and going back to bed.
I recall winters where flowers were in bloom. A particularly stupid carnation was once in full bloom on Christmas day. That plant was so dim even the other plants used to call it names. There have been years when the snow was several feet deep and years where there was hardly any snow at all.
The same is true of summers. This last summer was reasonable but had a cold snap in August that pretty much wrecked anything growing outside the greenhouse. Especially my tobacco. The ones before have been mostly wet and dreary but there were summers in Aberdeen that were stifling hot in the past. And others that were grey, wet and pretty much like winter with slightly warmer rain. I remember Aberdeen summers where opening a window was no help – the air outside wasn’t moving. The electric fans I bought are still in the attic in case it ever happens again.
I have seen one side of a street soaked with rain and the other side of the street in sunshine. More than once.
That’s British weather. No matter what the Met Office predict with all their fancy computers, British weather just thumbs its nose and does what the hell it pleases. They might as well predict the weather by looking into goat entrails. It would be cheaper and just as effective.
You just can’t predict the unpredictable.
It must be the Church of Climatology (those who work on the study of British weather are doomed to insanity, as has been repeatedly shown) that pushed the Daily Doomsayer into its continual ‘It’s going to snow a bit!’ stories in winter and its ‘It’s going to be a bit warm!’ stories in summer. They are almost always wrong. Not because the computers at the Met Office are faulty. Because those computers work on logic, and British weather does not.
If there is a pagan British god of the weather, he hasn’t been sober since Doggerland sank into the sea.
Now the Daily Rainonyourparade predicts it will be a warm New Year. There have been warm ones before. Even here, north of Aberdeen. There have been others that, if you venture outside, you dare not blink in case your eyes crack but this winter has been a fairly gentle one so far.
They keep on about ‘Britain will be warmer than usual’ but then casually mention the wide range of temperatures we’ll get. Britain is a long narrow island that stretches north to south. Depending on how the North Atlantic Oscillation lies over the country it could all be warmer than average, all be colder than average, or neatly bisected into two contrasting cold and warm bits.
They also gloss over the past and talk about -9C as if it’s unusual for a late British December. It isn’t. It’s actually quite pleasant compared with past winters where windchill surpassed -20C and every manhood in the land looked like a button mushroom. Meanwhile every woman in the land sported a pair of Scammel wheelnuts that could punch neat holes in a Parka. They could have your eye out if she turned around a bit too quick.
So it’s freezing one day and not freezing the next. The only ones surprised by this are the Mail hand-wringing churnalists (how do they type while hand-wringing? I suppose it would explain all the typos but they must look like a room full of epileptic walruses taking a simultaneous fit) and the gullible drones in the comments.
In 1981 (or maybe 82, those were blurry years) I had a Mark 2 Cortina. I’d bought it in 1979 for £75 and rebuilt it with aluminium mesh and Plastic Padding. One day I went out to the car and instead of a row of cars in the street, there was a row of identical white mounds infilled with enough white stuff to be above the wheels. I couldn’t tell which was mine and it needed its starter motor fixed anyway so I just left it alone until it all melted. Somewhere I might still have the photos.
That was in Cardiff, not in Aberdeen. The following year was an easy one for both me and the car. That might have been the year I sold it and bought an ex-Water Board Commer van. You could still see Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water) on the side of it and since the front wheels were behind the driver’s seat you had to learn to pass corners before turning. But I digress.
We talk about the weather in Britain because it is the most rapidly-changing thing about the place. Being a weather forecaster in this country must be the most maddening career available. Predicting it is a waste of time. Sure, you can track the big storms and the main high/low isobars but you just know that most of the weather is going to ignore nature’s indicators and do just as it pleases.
But please, Daily Mail, stop pandering to the warped minds of the Climatologists. They need serious help. Just look at their primary prayer – ‘when it’s warmer than average it’s global warming but when it’s cooler than average then weather is not climate’. Does anyone above ambient IQ think that’s science?
UK weather will change. Within a day, most days. This place has the most unstable climate on the planet and that’s why the snowstorms elsewhere are ignored and our climate has to be compared to random cities every time to make the narrative fit. Istanbul is a new one.
There is nothing we can do about British weather.
So we talk about it. It makes no difference, it just gives us something to say to people we don’t really like all that much.