Everybody knows that the British weather is terrible. It’s cold all the time. When it’s not cold it’s raining. When it’s not raining, it’s overcast. When it’s not overcast, it’s windy, and when it’s not windy, it’s cold. Then there’s the occasional bouts of snow, and summer usually lasts for at least one whole afternoon.
Except that it’s not actually that bad in reality. Birmingham, for instance, is no cooler than Vancouver (which nearly everyone rates as the best place in the world to live), and it only gets 10% more rain than Cape Town (which nearly everyone else rates as the best place to live). It’s just that everybody here seems desperate to perpetuate the myth that the weather is terrible. If it’s a sunny day, they’ll say “Ooh, it won’t last. This is the best it’ll get all summer, so enjoy it while you can.” If it’s warm, you’ll get “Ooh, roasting, innit? Haven’t ‘ad a day like this in years. Prob’ly won’t again neither.” Why is that? Call it loonspuddery if you like, but I think there’s something going on here. It’s one of two things.
One option is perhaps more plausible. The British are brainwashed. Generation after generation have been fed the lies their whole lives, from parents, teachers, vicars and priests. Continuous contrasting of the clement colonies with blustery Blighty has taken its toll. Combine this with a steadfast refusal to look the statistics full in the face (or an inability to know what to look for, know-wha’-I-mean?), and you get an ill-founded, yet steadfastly held belief that everywhere is as grey as Glasgow, as wet as Wales, and as cold as Carlisle. And any information that gets produced that contradicts that is either pooh-poohed or refuted vigorously.
The other option is that the British Government is tired of foreigners coming and living here. And so they’ve got together and come up with a cunning plan to get the population to talk down the weather in the hope of frightening away everyone else. The problem with this is to try and organise the Brits to do this without letting the targets know what’s going on takes a bit of ingenuity. The answer is: it’s subliminal. There’s a secret message sent out to the whole country every day, telling them what to say about the weather for that day. It’s all done using the corny puns in The Sun. If you put them together in the right way, they spell out the message for the week. Here’s an example (from the Saturday Sun, April 23, 2011):
bikini, fair, might, dear, heavy, you, up, sunny, true, three, right, not, off*
It’s obvious what the message is:
Three [days] sunny [and] fair? Not true, you [take] bikini off, dear. Might [be] heavy [rain] [coming] right up.
You may think that’s a bit far-fetched, but if you’ve grown up with this stuff coming at you since the time you can read, you’d pick up it pretty quickly, I’m sure.
So there you go – take your pick as to which one you believe. While I go and drown my sorrows. Because I’ve no doubt completely jinxed the three weeks of fantastic sunny, warm weather we’ve had, and have sentenced myself to long, cold, dark, miserable ‘summer’.
* Yes – seriously – there are that many cheezy puns in each issue. In order, they’re on pg 5 (be keen/bikini), 6 (fare/fair), 9 (mite/might), 12 (Gere/dear), 17 (Hef-y/heavy), 18 (Lew/You), 31 (up/pup and sunny/[Nissan] Sunny), 35 (choo/true), 44 (free/three), 77 (right/write), TVBiz 1 (not/knot) & 3 (off/Hoff).