Cloudy with a Chance of Cloudy: A Word about the Weather

19 Jan

(Above:  This week’s weather forecast for Oxford)

My dad grew up in Oregon. I remember him always telling us that “Oregon is the prettiest place on earth when it’s sunny…both days out of the year.” England is much the same way. In fact, if you’ve ever been to any city in the coastal Northwest (Portland, Seattle, San Francisco) then you already have a pretty accurate example of British weather.

Just take Portland, add some old buildings, subtract the hippies, and voila! You’ve got yourself a typical English city!

Since the weather in Great Britain rarely moves beyond the ever-present drizzle, meteorologists communicate the daily forecast in terms of varying degrees of cloudiness. For example, instead of saying that tomorrow is “slightly cloudy” they characterize it as either “black cloud” (very very rainy), “dark gray cloud” (very rainy), “gray cloud” (normally rainy), “light gray cloud” (slightly less rainy), or the relatively happy “white cloud” (not quite as rainy). It’s actual a very scientific system.

The moral of the story? Keep an umbrella with you at all times. Nine times out of ten it will rain.

Important Notice:

There is an upside to this bad weather if you’re a girl. You know all that time you spend curling, straightening, and otherwise primping your hair each day? Well, in England it’s absolutely pointless! No need to make more than minimal effort on your hair if it’s just going to get damp and frizzy minutes after you walk out of the house, so save yourself some time and monetary investment. Don’t try to fight it; just embrace the messy hair look. Walk past the shiny straighteners and hair equipment you see at the store and just opt for a brush and a headband. Done.

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5 Responses to “Cloudy with a Chance of Cloudy: A Word about the Weather”

  1. onevoice January 19, 2011 at 5:03 am #

    So good to talk to you today! I miss you muchly, for sure.
    What you said in the ‘important notice’ is SO true. I still find myself shunning my straightener in favor of the who-gives-a-flip hairstyle (get it? hairstyle, flip…? lol) because I found it was just better to embrace the frizzy, damp mess than to fight it. I’m glad you’ve already learned this about English weather! Now you just have to memorize the Celcius conversions. It won’t take long though, lol. P.S.–fun game to play with the Brits: tell them that back home, it usually hovers around 35 C (roughly 90 F) degrees in the summer and watch their eyes buldge. Priceless. 🙂
    Miss youuuuuuuuu!

  2. onevoice January 19, 2011 at 5:03 am #

    Ack! This is Hayley, btw. Ha, sorry about that.

  3. Maggie January 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    You are so right about the hair comment – I hadn’t thought about it but so true! 🙂

  4. gasman06 January 20, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    One other thing about British weather, never let it get in the way of doing the things you wish to do. Just remember to take clothes for 3 seasons, wet, cold, semi-warm/drier. If you don’t like the weather,wait 10 minutes, it will change. Enjoy yourself to the fullest.

  5. bholman08 January 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    I feel the same about the hair situation. My hair is unmanageable and it’s all ok. Ireland has about the same weather. But it’s been pretty great the past 3days. No rain!!!

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