Saturday 01 March 2014

If the world were a school playground and the countries were pupils, England wouldn’t be the ‘cock of the school’. It wouldn’t be the heavily bullied kid. It would be a vaguely friends with one of the bullies. The bully wouldn’t respect it, but they would occasionally be seen to do things together and so England would often be OK.

England would go on and on about its own inadequacies. One of the main things it would try to make jokes about would be that it is obsessed with the weather. “Uh oh, I’m talking about the weather again: silly old England going on about the weather. That is so like me and not like anyone else at all.”

What someone might point out to England is that the weather is quite important and talking about it is not odd. The weather is part of news reports all over the world. The Weather Channel is not something exclusive to England. The weather is important. It’s OK to talk about the weather.

“Stop apologising for talking about the weather quite often, England,” I might tell the once great country. “The weather influences quite a lot: your clothing, if you are warm enough, if it is safe to walk on a tightrope, weather you should relax about having your washing on the line when you’re out shopping, how a horse will perform in a horse race, whether a house you have built on sand will collapse, how nice the summer will be, how harsh the winter will be…I could go on, England, but…

“Oh and if you think you maybe talk about it a little more than some then maybe you do. But you have seasonal inconsistent weather and it’s bound to be a less significant thing for places where it’s always the same. But you know what? They talk about the weather all the fucking time they as well. Eskimos have loads of words for snow, it’s not because they aren’t talking about it. They bang on about humidity in hot places.

“Just accept it: people are interested in the fucking weather. It’s not specific to you – cut the oh I like cups of tea, queuing and weather shit – people drink tea, queue and talk about the weather everywhere.”

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