July 27, 2009
My Greek Cypriot father-in-law jokes about the British obsession with the weather – but how can we be anything but obsessed with it at present?
I ventured out this morning (in the last week of July) in moderately summery attire only to find it was cold enough to require a jumper and wet enough to merit wellies and woolly socks. So much for the “BBQ Summer” that the Met Office was confidently predicting a few months back. We haven’t had a BBQ in the garden for at least two and possibly three summers now, and have enjoyed a meal outside only a couple of times so far this year…
It means British holiday destinations have to be good at handling visitors no matter what the weather – indoor pools become more important, cosy log fires and good central heating are essential (ie not those systems that are switched on only come October!) and spa treatments, good books and comfortable seating areas (blankets optional) take on added importance. Comfort food also moves up the priority list – salads don’t hit the spot at all if you are feeling cold and damp, whereas shepherd’s pie will keep guests at the table happily quaffing wine and chatting for a long time!
It was unseasonably damp – torrential rain and stupendous thunderstorms – in Cyprus in late April; great for sorting out the water shortage and topping up the reservoirs, but not so good for visitors seeking sunshine. Villas there are built for hot weather conditions, so we were fortunate that ours had an air con system that converted to hot air convection; it was a real life-saver, as I had packed cool clothing and wasn’t prepared at all. I guess global warming is affecting weather patterns everywhere and we should pack for all weathers no matter where we go. At least we Brits are used to that! Sue Ockwell.