Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Our Obsession With The Weather

I often eavesdrop telephone calls, not because I'm interested in what's being said, but more because I'm surrounded by fairly deaf [as well as crumbly] people, so they tend to shout into their mobile phones. Therefore it is in fact difficult if not impossible to avoid hearing scintillating and fascinating one-sided conversations.

This morning I was treated to [from 2 rooms away at about 80 decibels] -
'Is it sunny where you are?'
'Is it cloudy?'
'Is it raining?'
'I wonder if it'll come our way?'
This to a five year old who like me, couldn't care less about the weather.

I'm wondering how much money we Brits are wasting on our mobile phones making inane enquiries about the weather of the recipients of our phone calls.
My grumpy old man asks about the weather of everyone he phones, then he'll tell them what it's like where we are even if they're only 2 miles up the road!
Of course Asda Mobile is happy about this as it makes his phone calls 3 times longer than necessary. In fact because of our obsession with the weather I'm sure all the mobile phone companies must be rubbing their collective hands.

Now me, I hardly ever talk about the weather unless it's an obvious chance to show off -
'Oh dear, is it raining there? What a shame, I'm sat in the lovely sunshine getting brown and there's a nice sea breeze so I'm not too hot'
I suppose I'm lucky, I rarely, if ever worry about what the weather is going to do, this is:
  1. Because I'm waterproof - as are most of us.
  2. Because I'm idle so don't need to venture out.
Take last weekend for example, I was informed by several people on Friday that it was going to be sunny on Saturday, so I did the sensible thing and Saturday was spent topping up my tan. Whilst doing that in a snoozy half-reading my book kind of way, I overheard yet another mobile phone conversation from the caravan next door that informed all that it would be dull on Sunday, so I decided that Sunday would be a good day to top up my blog - there were some menial tasks that I was going to mention that I'd done but I like to give the impression that I've got a maid for the washing and ironing, so I won't bother.

I know for a fairly small island we can have an amazing variety of weather all on the same day, often all in the same place. But why do we keep talking about it? I suppose that with our British reticence it's a great way of breaking the ice and probably without the weather to talk about we'd be struck dumb.

We can walk to the sea front and speak to at least half a dozen people and there won't be one of the conversations that doesn't include the current weather, also what it'll be like later and often what it was like this time last week or even last year: -

'Ay up me duck'
'Int it luvly?'
'Yeh, burrit it rained in t'naight.'
'Did it? Ah dint hear it'.
'Oooh yeh, there wus six raindrops abaht 'afe past three and it blew a gale. It were dark so ah switched laight on ter ay a look at t'clock.'
'Well I dint know owt abaht it and I nivver shut me eyes cos ah wo too 'ot t'sleep, yo musta been dreaming.'
'It were 'otter than this last wick, wo yo here then? It melted yer icecream afore yer could pay ferrit.'
'It's gunna be cowd next wick, ah saw it ont'weather.'
[We're a mixture of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire if you were at all worried about the dialects]

These aren't even conversations with holiday makers, who I can quite understand worrying about our great British weather when they've saved up for a week at the seaside - only to find they've missed the brief glimpse of sunshine because they inadvertently blinked at the wrong moment [been there, done that, got the t-shirt]. No, these are fellow caravan owners gathering on the sea front for a moan - I'm in such good company ...

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