Today is another beautiful day in sunny Saarbrücken. Although the chill of winter is still in the air, it’s clear that Spring is finally here. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you all some British insights on the weather.
Of course, the weather is very important to us Brits, and, in my opinion, to the English most of all. Where I come from, the vast majority of skies are overcast, to the extent that most people can distinguish between many kinds of grey sky. The optimistic call of „It’s brightening up!“ is often followed, a few minutes later, by „Do the burgers under the grill, love. It’s spitting again.“
I jokingly tell my students that the reason the English love to drink is because of the weather. The skies are somewhat monotonous, making our very lives seem monotonous. Not only that, but it rains so often that we have a score of classifications for rain based on its severity, ranging from ’spitting‘ to ‚bucketing‘, passing through ’smattering‘, ‚pouring‘ and ‚tipping it down‘ on the way. „We drink to cope with this most depressing onslaught of water from above,“ I tell them, but this is only half true.
You may have heard of the British ’stiff upper lip‘, and it is exactly this phenomenon that I think our weather has gifted us with. We remain a relentlessly chipper people, a people who race outside on the first day the sun makes an appearance, who return to the window one hundred times on a wet day in June, just to check that it is, in fact, still raining. We are the people who visit windswept, barren beaches, swim in freezing water, and stretch the definition of ’sunbathing‘ to its limit. If you are looking for a person who stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that it is rather too cold to be going around without a shirt on, come to England in late Summer.
No matter how bad it gets, a true Brit will always be looking for the gap in the clouds.
It’s brightening up!
Bonus activity: find all the words in this piece that describe the weather. Categorise them according to the kind of weather they describe, and then add ten of your own.