COLUMN: Moaning about the weather keeps us British - Nicola Farah

It's raining today.

Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:00 pm
A a couple caught up in a brief summer downpour, as short, sharp downpours could become an increasingly unwanted characteristic of the British summer. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

As I sit writing this at my desk, the rain is coming down in sheets outside the window.

I don’t have a coat because it was positively balmy when I stepped out my front door this morning.

That, in a nutshell, is my problem with British weather. Not that we only ever get a handful of genuinely hot days - if we’re lucky - and not that winter lasts for eight months of the year - which it frustratingly does. It’s the inconsistency that really gets my goat.

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In the past two weeks I’ve worn both flip flops and wellies. Yesterday I stepped out in a strapless summer dress and the day before that I had to pull my winter coat out of the boot of my car.

I don’t think it’s right that our summer and winter wardrobes have to share the same space all year round, or that we should have to check the daily forecast before deciding whether it’s sundress or jeans-and-jumper weather.

Is this column really an English person moaning about the weather? Yes it bloody is!

After all, moaning keeps us sane - about traffic, the cost of parking, the fact you can never get an appointment to see your GP the same week - even if it doesn’t change actually change a thing.

That’s human nature. And is, yet again, one of the things that makes us British as can be - along with overcooking our vegetables and not tipping.

A global research company recently carried out a survey to identify all the things that were central to our British identity and the results were rather telling.

First up was a preoccupation with talking about the weather. (Hmm, okay, agreed.)

Second was that we’re great at queueing. (Oh absolutely, there’s nothing I like more.)

Third was sarcasm. (See previous answer.)

Fourth was watching soaps (not if I can possibly help it but my entire family does have a serious Coronation Street obsession.)

Fifth was moaning. (There may be something to this...)

Some of my other favourites that made the cut included curtain twitching, an obsession with class, gossiping with the neighbours over the fence, looking uncomfortable on the dance floor, an inability not to comment on how other people raise their children, DIY on a bank holiday, desperately wanting a tan, swearing by a soothing cup of tea and a fondness for mowing the lawn.

I think they’ve got us nailed.