The British attitude to a bit of sunshine…

I can remember a time back in the early 90s when no-one wore shorts when it was sunny. Seriously, it could be 28 degrees (although to be fair, it never got above 20 degrees in the summer in the 90s, it was the frigid decade) and not one man would be seen wearing shorts. Apart from me, that is. I’ve always enjoyed airing my legs if there’s a moderate amount of warmth. Whether other people enjoyed the view is, of course, up for debate.

It’s nice to see that this attitude has changed and quite a few men of all ages whip their legs out and wear shorts once it gets sunny. Even if one doesn’t necessarily expect to see that in April…

But thinking about this change in attitude towards shorts-wearing set me wondering generally about British people’s attitude to the occasions the sun appears from behind typically grey British clouds. What else has changed?

Well, there’s sitting outside cafes and coffee shops.

People perch on rickety chairs and wobbly tables as buses and lorries rush past, showering the unfortunates with another stale blast of pollution. I blame this one on people taking holidays in Europe, seeing ‘pavement culture’ and desperately trying to relive it in our frozen climes. There’s probably little more sad than seeing people hovering outside under those (incredibly environmentally-unfriendly) patio heaters, convincing themselves that they’re having a good time.

Then there’s the unfortunate tendency to strip off T-shirts as men wander down the street. It’s really not the  pasty flesh that’s on display to all passers-by that bothers me, it’s the fact that it’s virtually never warm enough in the UK to really justify this. Save it for those Mediterranean holidays, guys.

Of course, the other thing that’s changed is people being more willing to be out in the garden, often for that ubiquitous  Australian invention the ‘barbie’. Clouds of smoke drift across neighbours’ gardens as ‘outdoor cooks’ vaguely attempt to work out why one side of the burger is incinerated while the other side remains raw (or possibly even frozen). Meanwhile people gather in the sunnier parts of the garden, wondering whether they should actually have worn another layer and chatting loudly. It’s an incontestable law that most British people cannot spend time in their gardens without raising their voices as if yelling to someone on the other side of the street and/or turning their music up to volumes which many nightclubs would be proud of.

Still, I shouldn’t complain. A bit of sunshine and warmth is still preferable to the overcast or wet days that the British summer often brings!


2 thoughts on “The British attitude to a bit of sunshine…

  1. You would fit in in Canada; I’ve seen people walking through snow in flip flops. As soon as it gets above zero some people start pulling out their shorts and T-shirts :p.

    This summer will be my first British summer as I’m moving the the UK in a couple months time. Coming from Canada your winter weather is absolutely lovely! Coming from minus 30 to plus 8 puts you in a very cheery Spring mood.

    I’m a little worried that the summer’s there won’t be as warm as ours though. Last summer my boyfriend (who lives in England) was complaining it was too hot to sleep at night. I told him to turn the air conditioning on and he said houses in the UK don’t have air conditioning. So that was my first clue that summer’s may not be as warm as I’d thought they’d be! Though our summer’s are painfully short (about 2 months of good hot weather) they would be hard to weather without air con. What sort of temperatures do you get in the summer? Does it get up to plus 30? I’m hoping so!

    At least the climate in the UK seems to be on an upward trajectory; I am definitely okay with that as our weather just seems to get colder every year.


    • I think our climate is a bit less extreme than Canada’s!
      We don’t often hit 30 degrees (a more typical ‘high’ range seems to be 22-28), although it depends on which part of the UK you’re in. The South-East corner tends to get the warmest (And driest) weather.
      Central heating is common over here, but not air con.
      Hope you enjoy the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

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