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The UK has some of the most "interesting" weather in the world. Basically, it's capable of delivering four seasons in a day in the far South, and a single long winter, or none at all, in the far North.

Each winter, somewhere in Britain, there are snowfalls. Often enough, snow falls all over Britain, and equally often, quite a lot of it. It has been ever thus, but the advent is always a surprise to the British.


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Snow is front page news, and even a few inches causes the trains to stop, and then a few more inches will bring the country to a standstill.

Just as the annual advent of snow catches everyone off guard completely . . . every year, it melts. Who could have anticipated it? The snow melts! Flooding! What a surprise!

It is perhaps because the British refuse assiduously to become accustomed to their weather that they discuss it so much.

It is the main source of small talk, all over the country. "It's unseasonably warm, don't you think?" they ask, in mild surmise. "Well, it's warm alright", one is tempted to reply, "just like it was this time last year and the year before, and . . . " but one doesn't, for after all, the polite fictions are the lubricant of a tolerant society.

The weather knows no niceties; in the winter it snows, and in the summer there are very hot spells. Every year.

No one remembers it getting hot last year, or the year before that, so there is no air conditioning . . . just total bafflement at the sudden hot weather. "Shock horror" headlines, health problems, and despite the fact that the country is considered to be a place where it always rains, summertime brings drought. More headlines.

The English, of course, know that it always rains in England so there are no cisterns and reserve water tanks.

Fortunately, much of the time the spring and autumn seasons are beautiful, and a joy to the soul. Which is possibly why no-one disturbs the tranquil beauty of it all digging cisterns, or installing air conditioners.

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