It is one of the best known stereotypes about British people. They (or perhaps I should say we, as I am British too) love talking about the weather. Hot weather, cold weather, snow, sleet, fog, rain, thunderstorms, heat waves or hailstorms. Any kind of weather. Stereotypes are often loosely based on truth. This stereotype isn't based on truth, it is the truth. Not a day goes by in my British life without someone I know talking to me about the weather. If it's sunny, that's wonderful. If it's horrible, we moan about it. Even if the weather appears to be totally unremarkable, you can guarantee we're going to talk about it anyway.
Imagine this: you are stood at a bus stop, and an old woman comes and sits down. You feel like having a conversation with her. What do you talk about? The weather of course! Weather is the one thing everyone knows they can talk about. You don't need any special knowledge, and everyone can join in. Perfect.
|Snow in Cumbria - photo taken by my Dad.|
There is another reason we talk about the weather so much. It's so incredibly varied in
that we have a lot to talk about. At the moment, Great Britain is battling snow and ice. Airports are closing, roads are blocked, and there's a group of seven people in Britain Yorkshire that have been trapped in a pub for over a week! Last year there was a lot of snow too, but it started much later, only just before Christmas – whereas this year it's been snowy for several weeks already. In some areas of , the temperature dropped to as low as -25°. Scotland is accustomed to very cold weather though. Last year, one woman went out to get a turkey for Christmas dinner and couldn't return home for 2 months! Scotland
|A road in Cumbria after the floods in November 2009. Photo from StridingEdge.com|
In November 2009, my county, Cumbria, experienced massive floods. One person died, and lots of homes were badly damaged. This summer, in my region of
it didn't rain much, so there was a hosepipe ban. However, as soon as the ban was introduced, it started to rain everyday. They still didn't lift the ban though! England
So, although we may seem strange or eccentric, our constant chatter about the weather is, as far as I'm concerned, quite justified!
Chatter (n.) – unimportant conversation
Hosepipe ban (n.) - the water company prohibits the use of hosepipes, for example for watering plants or washing the car
Constant (adj.) – continuous, frequent
To be trapped – to be unable to leave somewhere
County (n.)– similar to a province, an administrative area of
(do not confuse county and country) England
Lift a ban – to end the ban
Why were hosepipes banned in some areas of
this summer? Britain
How many people are trapped in the
What were the consequences of the floods last year?
Why do British people talk about the weather so much?
Do you think they are strange (for talking about the weather all the time)?