Thursday, 24 January 2008

British Weather

Mid-November 2007: Brewood is frosty and cold.
It's amazing that I've not specifically written about the British weather before. It's usually the first thing we talk about when we meet someone - "Isn't it cold?", "Isn't it hot?". The English have an remarkable capacity for finding the weather unsatisfactory, whatever it's like. In general, England has very temperate conditions, never very cold, never very hot. Until I travelled a little, I'd no personal experience of the extremes that some countries suffer on a recurrent basis, although I am old enough to remember (just!) the severe winter of 1947 in England. Snow fell in unprecedented quantities and life became a major challenge as transport faltered. Perhaps it was a hangover from the "Britain can take it" philosophy of the Second World War but I rather fancy that people generally coped better then than in recent times. It seems that only a few snowflakes need to descend today before train services are completely disrupted and our road system gridlocks. Then again, even before the snow comes, train services are usually disrupted and roads gridlocked.

No sooner had I commented in an earlier post on the lateness of Autumn in 2007 than the weather turned very cold and we had heavy frosts. Then it turned very wet. The weather seems to have ricocheted between frost, sun and rain ever since. In this area, we've had sleet but no proper snow, so far. I didn't enjoy the cold, but the heavy frosts can be visually attractive.

Mid-January 2008: The arch of Brewood Hall Bridge is almost filled with flood water.

Since Christmas, we've had an awful lot of rain and the ground is now very sodden. Many parts of the country are, once again, under threat of serious flooding with the attendant misery to families involved. On 20th January, at least one of the roads out of my village was flooded but passable. The brook which runs opposite my home was at a higher level than I've seen for a number of years.

In contrast, today, it's quite mild, although with a rather chill wind. It's pleasantly sunny with a blue sky and fluffy white clouds. At least the variety of English weather means you don't get bored!

Pictures of Brewood Hall Garden through the Seasons.