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
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
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.