Britons like to talk about the weather, but that is usually polite small talk. The weather is so changeable and variable, therefore fascinating, yet not so extreme, and it makes for uncontroversial and inoffensive conversation. People complain mildly about the weather, something on the lines of it’s a little nippy today, isn’t it? The purpose is not to discuss the weather as such, though sometimes it could descend into an acrimonious debate on the existence or otherwise of anthropogenic global warming, or if one party to the conversation believes that gay marriages cause flood (as was claimed by a UKIP councillor Mr Silvester), but to demonstrate that people are happy to engage in a conversation, and bear no malice or hostility. It is, in other words, a social thing.
Yet, even the most weather-obsessed Britons must be becoming rather tired of the rain, especially in the areas that have been flooded or threatened with floods. I really don’t know how people cope with the relentlessness and the sheer volume of the water. The weather has been cruel, and the brief respites of sunshine only feel like cruel harbingers of more rain to come. The Met Office website is full of information, but the forecasts are gloomy in the extreme. I really wish this weather will be over soon, so conversation about the weather becomes social again, rather than something serious.