George Mikes originally wrote the book “How to be an Alien” in the 1940s as a means of gently poking fun at the Brits. It was subsequently adopted by the Central Office of Information as a handbook for Polish refugees arriving here.
One of Mikes’s home truths is on how we like to talk about the weather:
“On the Continent there is one topic which should be avoided – the weather;
in England, if you do not repeat the phrase ‘Lovely day, isn’t it?’ at least
two hundred times a day, you are considered a bit dull.”
There are also other insights:
“On the Continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners.”
“Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game.”
In this spirit of discourse on the weather, I saw what I think is an interesting article in the FT over the weekend about the unusual amount of rain we’ve been having recently. While southern Europe is suffering in 40+ degrees centigrade, Britain is experiencing record rainfall figures. It seems this is due to the jet stream being further south this year, which has Britain in a low pressure trough while also carrying hotter air from Africa into southern Europe.