Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Definitely worse in Britain

...The weather that is. With the exception of an hour or two on Tuesday afternoon, it's been cold and wet. Temperatures of +6C to +8C - it feels utterly dismal. Shivering when I should be basking in spring sunlight.

The drive up and down the M40 from London to two sites in the West Midlands was rain-soaked, spray on the motorway surface, cars with fog-lights on. My plan of diverting off the M40 to sample a typical English pub with my Polish study tour came to nought as no one had the slightest intention of getting out of the minibus to get drenched. Tomorrow it will be warmer (+14C) but the BBC's weather forecast predicts rain, and rain on Friday, and rain on Saturday, and rain on Sunday (by which time I'll be back in Warsaw).

And all this with a hosepipe ban, an official drought order - your garden may be flooded, but you cannot use a hosepipe to water it!

While the authorities are at pains to point out that England has endured the driest 18 months in a century, and my recent visit to the UK was bathed in sunshine, I still far prefer Warsaw's climate to London.

Sunshine is good for us - in moderation of course - and apart from producing Vitamin D for us, it also lifts our moods by releasing serotonin into our bloodstreams. Having said that, as a population, Brits seem no more or less happy than Poles - perhaps overcast skies are just something one learns to live with.

UPDATE: Weather for the morning of Thursday 26 April, from the BBC website...

UK Today

Showers or longer spells of rain for most areas.

Showers across England and Wales becoming heavy, with hail and thunder in places. More persistent rain across other parts of the UK, especially northeast Scotland. Light winds over much of Wales, northern and central England but staying windy elsewhere.

From primary school geography lessons, where I learned that Britain has an Atlantic climate, with mild winters and moderate summers, whereas Poland has a continental climate with harsh winters and warmer summers, I have appreciated the difference. Yet since my childhood, the climate in the British Isles has changed, with unpredictable bouts of severe weather cropping up all over - heavy snowfalls, droughts followed by floods, records for high and low temperatures being broken with increasing regularity. In Poland, if anything, the climate has become more mild, with summer downpours and flooding being the only tangible evidence of climate change.

Perhaps this is one reason why Poles are more sceptical about climate change than Brits.

This time last year:
Miracle on the Vistula

This time two years ago:
Collapsing footbridge over Puławska

This time three years ago:
Four-engined jets at 30,000 ft


AndrzejK said...

I always suspected that Poles born in Poland are wimps, but not to hazard out into the rain with the promise of a proper English pub lunch takes wimpdom to new lows.

I recall that on obozy we would tramp across acres of mud just to get to the local hostelry to enjoy a pint a snakes bite and a packet of cheese and onion crisps.

whitehorsepilgrim said...

How sad, there are some great pubs in the M40 corridor.

In south Oxfordshire I'm seeing village ponds empty for the first time in years and - until the rain came - streams dry. On the fields the rainwater pools as the ground below is so dry as to not be absorbant.