Thought I’d start with a classic conversation starter… the weather. It’s turned very cold today. Winter’s coming for sure!
A while ago I tweeted “touché! “Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.”~Kin Hubbard”. Frank McKinney Hubbard (a.k.a. Kin Hubbard) was an American journalist, well known for his humorous cartoons and quite a few observationally funny quotes.
But this blog isn’t about Kin, it’s about the weather. He’s right though, weather conversations are dear to our hearts (well, in the UK anyway) and I know I’m one of the nine-tenths! I have a friend who lives in Mallorca and I’m endlessly envious that she lives in (what I imagine to be) a permanently warm and sunny climate. Hence, most conversations include the staple question “how’s the weather today?”. The reality is that Mallorca is not permanently sunny nor permanently warm and my friend gets equally as miserable as I do when it rains or it’s cold. Which is surprisingly often, between October and March (well, surprising to me, anyway!). Apparently it’s cold now, but the tourists are still wearing shorts. Go figure.
The subject of British weather is critical to a proficient conversation between neighbours, strangers on buses and BFF’s. We think it doesn’t change that often – “raining again” – cue dramatic rolling of the eyes and an “hmph!”. We think it rains a lot! And now for the science bit… Actually, average precipitation figures in the UK this year are down 25% to 50% on the average for the last 30 years (with the exception of July & August, but I guess global warming is a whole other blog subject!)
So, if we think the weather doesn’t change much… why discuss it on a daily basis? A common denominator. With so many different people in the world each with different lifestyles and different problems, the weather is one of the few things that genuinely binds us together as a “human race”. Weather doesn’t discriminate, it affects us all. And so, in weather we have a common friend or a common foe. So Hurray! for the weather, I say. Anything that helps us come together, even if only for a brief conversation is worth celebrating.
And, as I’m sure you’re desperate to know, at the time of publishing; it’s cold, quite windy and raining again!