The British do like to talk about the weather, a lot. There’s a good reason for this; they don’t get much weather. Well, much good weather. Enjoying their crisp Autumns and chilly Winters, the British are just waiting for the glorious sunshine to fill the sky. Unfortunately the British Summer is just two weeks of sunshine, spread out over three months. When the sun does come out, close your eyes (blink) and you’ll miss it, is the fear lived by the British.
The moment the sun is out, any moment between March & October, out come the sandals, three quarter length trousers and vest tops. The usually reserved British character is overturned, replaced with a race for the Sun! No ray of sunshine will be wasted. Any outside space that can take a sunbathing body will be taken advantage of. Anywhere can be a beach!
A strange thing happens to the British in the summer. A low whispering can be heard throughout the train carriages and upper decks of buses, at the bars in pubs up and down the country – people are talking to each other! Half naked and exasperated, people use the free newspaper to fan themselves, leaning over to enjoy the breeze from someone else’s if you don’t have one. The UK’s buses, trains and tubes are a great way to find out which of your fellow commuters enjoys the luxury of a shower AND deodorant in the morning. The perfect preparation for the working day ahead is to have a sauna, on your way to work, fully dressed and shared with a carriage full of complete strangers. Embarrassment about sweat patches on clothes or bare flesh is a thing of the past, everyone is in the same boat. Arriving at your place of work dripping in your own sweat and the perspiration of others at least gives you something to talk about other than the weather. Hopefully the air-conditioning is working and someone has set it at a reasonable temperature for everyone in the office.
The midday sun, is accompanied by summer beats from car radios and smart phones, BBQs, and the sweet smell of last night’s alcohol consumption. The sunshine may not last very long, but every moment is thoroughly enjoyed. The lunchtime sandwich eaten over a keyboard is now carried to the closest park as it tastes so much better in the sun! The occasional sound of sunscreen being rubbed onto our red British sunburnt skin can be heard echoing across the cities. But, once lunchtime is over, it’s back to work, to endure the broken air conditioning, the strict dress code of the British workplace and to complain about the heat!