A Summer of Re-Balancing

July 19, 2012

This short post is motivated by the incessant occurrence of a single topic of conversation related to the British people’s favourite subject: the weather. One of the popular topics amongst those who fail to keep track of life is the wail against the weather spouting from every mouth like some Romanesque fountain figure: “Why is it so wet this summer? Isn’t it awful?”

To understand why it is so wet do we need do no more than cast our minds back to the end of the last summer. In the middle of 2011 the weather was pretty awful too – June and July were very wet, but then things began to clear up and from then on – for almost six months until the middle of May 2012 – we have unseasonably dry weather. Remember? We weren’t snowed in. There wasn’t endless rain through the Winter. There were no Autumn storms. It was calm, placid, and particularly and peculiarly dry.

Looks at the pretty grey clouds – ah, summer!

Then, in early Spring, we had news reports where farmers and Water Board representatives were being interviewed about how they feared crop failure this year because the water table was so low. Reservoirs were almost drained. Water Boards put a hose-pipe ban in place at an unprecedented time of the year – normally they don’t issue restrictions unless there’s a particularly dry June and July.

Then we got to the middle of May and the rains came. And they didn’t stop! We have had almost two months of solid, strong, huge downpours of rain. Constant rain. Never-ending rain.We’re sick of the sight of grey clouds.

Yet, when we come to complain about this spoiling this event, or postponing that one; when we hear of floods in low-lying regions and flood plain housing estates; when we wonder whether we ought to take up foreign holidays again just as we were getting used to holidays in this land….let’s remember that to truly balance things out we should have another four months of rain. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but we ought to count our rain-soaked drowning blessings!

It’s not awful – it’s Britain re-balancing.


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  1. Coming from hot, dry Perth in Western Australia, I never complain about rain. We always need more of it. But I can see why you might complain since your summer day is probably colder and wetter than my current winter day. But then, that’s why you guys have a beautiful green land and we spend 9 months of the year eating dust and turning into wizened brown gnomes at 50. 🙂

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