Thursday, August 11, 2011

The default topic for British people who haven't got anything to say

Bloody Weather.

Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
~Oscar Wilde 

It's finally starting to cool down around here. By 'cool down', of course, I mean it's merely around seventy Fahrenheit at 4am in the morning, as opposed to being some ridiculous figure in the nineties. Don't even ask about what it's like in the day. It being Missouri, of course, it's not merely hot, it's also humid as hell. Thinking of wearing dry clothes today? Well, think again!

For at least this week, however, it's going to be reasonably cool, perhaps in the high eighties, and there's even talk of actual rain this weekend. Thunderstorms! And not before bloody time, in my opinion.

The first thing a lot of people ask me what the biggest change is in moving to the US. Well, it's often the second thing, actually; usually they've got some question about the royal family, not realising I'm one of the huge majority of Britons who couldn't give a toss about the royal wedding, Princess Diana, etc. But getting back to the question of change, it really has to be the climate.

I was born, raised and lived for the first thirty-odd years of my life on an island which doesn't know what weather is, beyond 'light drizzle'. Occasionally we have a thunderstorm, but comparing them to the storms of the Midwest is like comparing a couple of AA batteries to a hydroelectric dam. Our summers are warm without being unreasonably so, our winters cold but not dangerously so; snow happens, but unless you're up a mountain somewhere or the depths of Scotland, you're going to be lucky if you get more than a couple of inches per year. Not that that doesn't mean the whole country grinds to a halt as soon as a few millimeters of snow accumulate, but still. When the local papers talk about blizzards hitting the UK, someone needs to remind them that a blizzard is when you can't find your car for three weeks.
"I say, what frightful weather. Back home for tea and crumpets"

In short, I'm basically a creature who's been moved out of its natural environment, like a penguin who's been dumped in the Sahara. Everyone here native-born has at least had a lifetime to acclimate to the perverse nature of the local climate, and furthermore are presumably bred from people who also got used to it. If Mr Darwin (not a terribly popular figure around here, admittedly) is to be listened to, local Missourians should be adapting to this horrible, 'roll 2d20 for weather' style meteorology they have round here.

Kit has mentioned that this has been an pretty hot summer as far as things go around here. This is good, because I'd hate to think this had been one of the more balmy years, and I only had worse to look forward to.

Still, I've got the Autumn Fall to look forward to. For the two weeks it lasts before we're having to hope they clear the snow off the roads by the morning again.

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