Winter, the British has just discovered, actually gets quite cold.
For a nation that spends a good deal of its time talking about the weather, the English are rather crap when it comes to extremes. The recent cold snap has had the country in a state of panic as they’re running out of salt to throw in icy highways and gas supplies run low.
Of course, the British have often been rather caught out by the change of seasons. There was the famous chaos on the trains when British Railways announced that there were ‘leaves on the track’ one autumn, plus further cancellations the folllowing year when the same declared the ‘wrong kind of snow’ had fallen.
Now that temperatures have fallen below zero, schools are closing and news reports are full of catastrophes such as one man who was hit by a sledge.
Yes, winter can be cold. Even sometimes colder than you expect. Remarkable then that people in Moscow handle it ok where the temperature rarely rises above -10 this time of year.
But of course the national tendency to obsess over storms in tea cups is one of the endearing features of the English, along with their love to games of cricket that take place over five days, their taste for salted yeast extract (a terrifying substance called Marmite) and such a love for tea that they write poems about it:
We had a kettle; we let it leak:
Our not repairing made it worse.
We haven’t had any tea for a week…
The bottom is out of the Universe. (Kipling)
Ok, let’s spin the globe – tomorrow we’ll laugh at the… Hungarians!