If you read the "10 Things I Miss About Britain" series of posts you may recall that #1 on that list was the British weather. How ironic, then, that it should also be top of this list! But the British weather tops both lists for two very good reasons: (1) summer and (2) winter. Here in the Toronto area we have four seasons every year: winter, summer, fall and winter again. Spring seems to pass by during the night. You go to bed with snow all over your lot. When you wake up the next morning your lawn is waterlogged because the hot weather has melted six months worth of accumulated snow. Summers are beautiful here in the Greater Toronto Area, but pass in the blink of an eye and then it's winter again.
By contrast, summers in Britain are a rarity. I mean real summers, not the warm rainy season that comes every year. I mean, blistering hot sunny days when the only comfortable clothing is a T-shirt, shorts and sandals. I was in Britain last summer dressed just like that. I could read the look on some people's faces: "bloody hippie". Of course, it wasn't a particularly hot summer; I had just forgotten how cold English summers can be. A few days later I had to change my "bloody hippie" clothes for an overcoat, scarf and gloves - in July!
Everybody has a Mac
I saw another person wearing shorts and sandals; I presumed that he was an overseas visitor too. The standard summer garb for a Brit is long pants and "trainers" below the waist with a shirt and "wooly jumper" above the waist. And, of course a "mac" (raincoat) for when it rains; because, chances are, it will rain.
In the "10 Things I Miss Most About Britain" weather post I mentioned the summer of '76. Now that was a good one. The summer of 1977 was much anticipated but failed to deliver a repeat of the tropical conditions of the previous year. 1978 also produced disappointment, as did 1979 ... and 1980. By 1981 I had given up and was packing my belongings to move to Canada.
The summer of 1982 was very hot and humid - here in Canada. I miss the short, mild winters of Britain but I don't think I will ever miss the inconsistent, disappointingly mild summers of the British Isles.
"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese
Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.
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