Whilst I wait for inspiration to strike, I feel that there is no better place to start my blog than a typical English rant about the Great British Weather (Whilst I do not intend this blog to be a series of whining posts about one thing and another, I feel that as a true Brit, a rant about the weather is inevitable some point along the line, and it is better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later and move on to more interesting things!)
Now, while us Brits are well known for out dissatisfaction with whatever mother nature throws our way (too hot/too cold/too much rain/ not enough rain for the plants/ too windy to wear a hat/ not windy enough for the washing to dry) it seems that we never learn to cope with these ‘extreme’ conditions that come our way. Although I am on my university holidays at the moment and at home in Kent (South England for the geographically illiterate), I recently went back to York (North England) where I study, for a couple of weeks, to work and see friends. Before leaving Kent, despite weeks of rain and colder than average weather, it brightened up the last couple of days, so ever the optimist, when packing for my trip to York I packed clothes suitable for this weather. Alas it was not to be, and so ensued two weeks of torrential rain and chilly winds, resulting in me buying a new coat and hoodie whilst I was in York. Needless to say, on my last day in York it brightened up no end! On my return train journey back to Kent, late on a Sunday evening, I got into Kings Cross station to be greeted with signs all over the platforms and announcements on the tanoy system apologising for the delays and disruptions, and warning me that the platforms were dangerous due to the ‘inclement weather’ that had been experienced during the day. I was slightly fazed, having not witnessed this ‘inclement weather’ myself, but nonetheless continued my journey across London and back to my home town in Kent. On arriving, my mum told me that the rain that greeted me was more or less the only rain they had had in the whole two weeks I had gone, and reverted to an old family joke about me dragging a black rain cloud behind me everywhere I travel, an offhand comment that I am believing to be true more and more every time I travel.
I was reminded of a family holiday in Devon a few years ago. Everyday we would set out in the car to whichever local site of interest we were going to that day, windscreen wipers going like the clappers in the driving rain until one of us piped up “Look at that lovely blue sky over there”, only to be shot down by a pessimistic “Yes, but that’s there and we’re over here”. So it turns out that the ‘inclement weather’ was nothing more than a heavier than average rain shower, drastically put in perspective by the current floods in Pakistan. Given the severity of the situation they face, surely we should be able to put up and shut up with the comparatively mild and tame weather conditions that we experience. Makes you wonder, if a heavy rain shower is described as ‘inclement weather’ by railway officials, how would they describe the floods in Pakistan? Maybe they’d just be grateful to have a legitimate excuse at last for delays and cancellations of services?