Whether the weather be good or bad…

I love England. I love Oxford. But I have noticed that there is a remarkable amount of discussing the weather that goes on here. Nowhere else have I reverted to that social stereotype of “chatting about the weather” during awkward situations so often. I’m not complaining, mind you – I’m just stating an observation.
[An aside: my typing volume has apparently reached critical mass and has chased one of my flatmates out of the kitchen where I am sitting. While I am known for typing vast and loudly, it is also only in England that I have become quite so aware of how much the volume of my typing noise annoys people. I swear, though – it’s partly my keyboard’s fault. Its keys are small and make staccato noises that appear to bother people. Am I the only one who loves the sound of typing?]
Back to the weather, though. It does’t matter whether it’s absolutely gorgeous outside, the sun shining proudly over the Oxford spires, or whether it’s grey and cloudy and depressing and grey (when it’s grey, it’s so grey that it deserves being mentioned twice). Either way, people will discuss the misery or loveliness of it, and will complain or rejoice. I find that concentrating on the miserable weather, when it’s as it is today, makes me far more aware of it. I prefer to ignore it and just get on with things. Otherwise, I’ll succumb to that most lovely of prospects – the rainy afternoon nap – and will be lost to the world for several hours.

Is this a thing anywhere else? This constant discussion of the weather? Or am I right in my supposition that it’s peculiarly English/British?


PHOTO /  Earthwatcher


2 thoughts on “Whether the weather be good or bad…

  1. We definitely discuss the weather a lot in Canada. Mostly to complain about it (summer, too hot; winter, too cold; rain, too wet; nice weather, not long enough . . .). It’s considered a safe topic, and I guess the stereotype holds true that we don’t want to offend anybody yet we want to be pleasant and polite. So you have to talk about SOMEthing, even if it’s just briefly because you don’t actually want to say anything more than “Hi isn’t the weather nice/awful” to your neighbour/customer/family/acquaintances/&c.

    The plus side is that Canadian weather is so erratic that you’re basically guaranteed to always have something “noteworthy” to comment on. Minus ten and snow yesterday, plus twenty and sun today? What is the weather doing?! Canadian weather is like a national treasure, or everyone’s nemesis, or something. (Or the weather could be crazy lots of places in the world, but we’re too apathetic/complacent to complain about anything more important, like politics or religion or whatever.) *shrug* =]

  2. I think it’s quite common in Northern Europe in general (or anywhere it’s cold, I guess) Scandinavians are about as obsessed with the weather as the British are.

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