British weather rocks!

English weather gets a bad rap. I just love it and will try my best to explain why.

It’s never hot and humid, the lighting is softly dimmed and when it rains, it’s more of a drizzle than a downpour.

Hot and humid makes physical activity unpleasant. Animals in hot climates tend to sleep in the heat of the day and have their more active times in the morning and afternoon. This is because we produce heat when we’re physically active and hot and humid conditions make it harder to expel that heat.

We also sweat more when it’s hot and humid. In Britain, you can wear the same shirt two days in a row and it still doesn’t stink. In hot and humid climates it’s not uncommon to change shirts multiple times per day.

The sun is softer in Britain. I don’t need to wear sunglasses as often, I rarely need sunscreen and I’ve never got sunburnt here. Someone turned the lights up too high in New Zealand. It’s a dreadful waste of energy and they really should be dimmed. My non-voluntary New Zealand hobby is squinting.

I absolutely adore Britain’s grey days. I can open my eyes wide again and see so clearly. It doesn’t hurt to observe the landscape. The colours are softer and more beautiful on grey days and the photographs are better and more interesting.

I rarely see torrential rain here and it’s never like the downpours so frequently observed in Auckland. The clouds in Auckland really chuck it down. It’s like a wall of water falling from the sky. The drizzle of Britain is far more pleasant. You can still go about your regular outdoor activities – like cycling – without having to change clothes afterwards .

I know what you’re thinking: its been a good summer, it’s still spring, wait until winter…but I know what British winters are like and I say, bring it on!


  1. I share your hatred of glare, heat and humidity although I love torrential downpours with a lot of thunder and lightning. Hard to get motivated when there’s too much greyness and drizzle. (Must have reptilian descendants as I need some sun to get moving.) I’m a great fan of Canberra’s weather through spring, summer and autumn. It’s sublime and there’s rarely any humidity. Can wear the same clothes for months without washing too! πŸ™‚ Get heartily sick of the cold and darkness in winter, though. Glad the UK weather is enhancing your quality of life!

    1. Heat and humidity are over-rated. If you spend your life in air-conditioned housing and air-conditioned cars and air-conditioned shopping malls, then perhaps it’s tolerable, but that is not quality of life by my definition.

  2. In the interests of honesty while blogging, I feel the need to disclose that on the ride to school/nursery this morning it chucked it down big time. It’s still too hot here to wear a coat so I didn’t take my rain coat and ended up getting drenched and have had to change my clothes. But this is a first and I would say that this scenario is “very unlikely” to happen again πŸ™‚

  3. I think weather is what we adapt to. Here we have the hot humid weather about 4 to five months a year. When its to hot and humid I simply don’t go out unless I have to, even then the temp has to be in the upper 90’s before I even think about turning on the ac in the car. In the house when it is hot I just strip down to a pair of sleep shorts, turn on the ceiling fan and am very comfortable up to about 84 degrees, only them will I use the ac in my house. Yet the majority of others around here are just like you described moving quickly from one air conditioned place to another. I also am a big fan of the sun and maintain a dark tan year around, cloudy, dark days tend to depress me and we have a lot of them in the winter here. So I guess even though are taste in the weather are completely different we are content to stay where we are πŸ™‚

    1. Most of the people I know think I’m crazy to like this sort of weather so much, but it’s as you say, we all have our own tastes and this is mine.

  4. After finishing the blog rounds, I will take my early morning walk. While I don’t live in an extremely hot climate, I will come home sweaty from the humidity. And I even wear sunscreen at night. 😦

    As another commenter said…we adapt.

    1. Sunscreen at night? Why? I hate feeling sticky and sweaty and I find that sort of heat oppressive. But I realise that some people like it and that is probably a good thing, otherwise we’d all want to live in the same place.

      1. I have the same freckly complexion. I call it Celtic skin and it never tans, just burns. It makes me want to avoid the sun whenever I can.

    2. I didn’t adapt well to hot humid weather in Brisbane even though I was raised there. It didn’t bother some of my siblings but it sent me crazy. The sweat just poured off me and I felt damp and stinky all the time. Yuk!

  5. Rain in Lima is just a light mist really. It never ‘rains’ as Lima is in a coastal desert. When I lived there I could walk in the Lima rain from work, 25 minutes, home and not get wet. Hence the city never gets washed which is why it’s incredibly dusty and dirty.

    Here in Rio it rains, torrential, pissing down, raining cats and dogs type rain, going from dry to flooding in a matter of minutes.


    1. Rio rain sounds like Auckland rain and according to Wikipedia, they get a similar amount of rainfall per year. Auckland: 1240mm; Rio: 1172mm

      I wouldn’t like to live somewhere that didn’t get any rain at all. I think around 600-700mm per year is a good amount.

  6. Good for you Rachel! We Brits love nothing but to complain about our weather no matter what! After living in California for 17 years I tell anyone and everyone here when they complain about the rain that they would hate living in a climate where it is hot, dry, not a cloud in the sky for months at a time.
    There is a drought in CA at the moment so my friends tell me. I remember when we would get the rare drop of rain in the ‘rainy season’ over there, I would dress my kids up in wellies, raincoats and with their umbrellas so they could dash out to splash in the puddles! All their gear was from here of course! Everyone thought I was mad, except for one friend over there who hates the heat and loves our British weather.
    Sometimes we can have relentless grey days and they do get me down. The rain I love, thunderstorms, love, weather I love. We didn’t have ‘weather’ in CA, not really. I do love our British summers too, as you say, it never gets so hot that we can’t go out in it.
    I have to say though I did get absolutely drenched yesterday, unloading my groceries from the back of the car just as the heavens opened! But it wasn’t for long.
    I love the weather here and never take it for granted. I hated the way of life where I had to be locked up in my air conditioned house because it was far too hot to go outside. I did a blog post about it actually a while ago, and wrote about how as Brits, we love to go for walks and how when I lived in CA I couldn’t understand why nobody did this until I realised that it was just way too hot to go out in the midday sun! Even then, I still couldn’t get used to that.
    I do enjoy the heat when visiting or on holiday but so glad to come back to the lovely weather here. So glad that you are enjoying it too πŸ™‚
    Have a lovely weekend, look forward to hearing what you get up to! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for your fabulous comment! The not having ‘weather’ part I really agree with. I grew up in Brisbane and it was day after day of cloud-free, sunny, blue skies. I can remember my Dad often saying – whenever he saw a blue, cloud-free sky – “what a beautiful day”, and I would just think to myself that it was like this yesterday and the day before and the day before that. What was so beautiful about it? I never really understood and that was before I had lived elsewhere and experienced some different climates.

      The not being able to go outdoors in the middle of the day is extremely limiting too. It’s nice to be active and outside in daylight hours but awful having to stay in doors simply because it’s too hot.

      And there’s nothing quite like jumping in puddles.

  7. Douglas Adams wrote a passage about a lorry driver who thought he was cursed because everywere he went it was raining. What he didn’t know was that the clouds thought he was their God and they loved him. Oh! how we are blessed. πŸ˜‰

    1. Ah, Douglas Adams is great. I hadn’t heard that one before. I used to watch the tv series, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, when I was a kid. I still haven’t seen the film they made but it’s on my wish list. I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually.

  8. I agree Rachel. I used to love cycling over Wimbledon Common to Roehampton College. A glorious place to stop was at ‘The Windmill’ for a coffee and lemon slice.The only time I didn’t cycle was if snow was on the ground, but even when winter does hit you’re ready and prepared for it.

  9. Hi Rachel,

    A little heads up. Your post does not have its title when viewed from the reader. I’ve found this happens if there is a space after the last letter. Alternatively, it might be the exclamation mark, but it seems less likely. Have a good weekend. πŸ™‚ Gram

    1. Thanks, Graham. I didn’t know but have done some investigating and it seems that if the first 15 characters of the title match the first 15 characters of the post, then it doesn’t display. Weird. I might have to change my first sentence.

  10. I was once told by a chemist at a paint manufacturer that NZ has some of the most intense ultraviolet light in the world and it was an ideal place for them to expose paint samples to determine how they faded.

    A much larger proportion of the southern hemisphere than the northern is covered in ocean. As a consequence there is much less atmospheric dust in the south, meaning that sunlight is less filtered.

    This was a subject of much discussion among 19th century landscape artists. The difference between Britain and Australia was exacerbated by the growth in Britain of heavy industry, which produced clouds of aerial pollution that culminated in the London “pea soup” fogs of the 1950s.

    If you compare, say, a Turner painting set in the north of England,, with an Arthur Streeton painting set in regional Australia,, the difference is clear and stark.

    European industry has cleaned up its atmospheric pollution act but the northern hemisphere now has a huge injection of industrial pollution from China and smoke from burning Indonesian forests helping to maintain the gentle, filtered light that you enjoy.

    1. Interesting, thanks. It’s true that on a sunny day here, the sun feels less fierce. I’m not convinced that this is entirely due to pollution in China. Where’s your evidence? πŸ™‚ I, like Eve, would have thought Indonesian fires would be more likely to affect Australia than the UK. And is there no influence from Earth’s orbit around the sun and the tilt of the Earth?

      The other thing is that there just aren’t as many sunny days here. It’s cloudy quite often and that is why we have so many grey days. Are you saying that England is cloudier because of pollution and dust?

  11. Very interesting, Mike. Unfortunately, I was unable to access your Turner example. However, the ABC (Asian Brown Cloud) would surely affect Australia’s weather as much as that of the northern hemisphere’s? At the time of the last drought here, one theory held it responsible for our lack of rainfall. I am pleased to read though that blinding sunlight does have some positives associated with it.

  12. That frightful heat of the tropics and sub-tropics no doubt affects the brain also, Rachel. Not many great scientific advances ever came from the tropical world. Is the Russian winter responsible for their high proportion of great chess players?
    Unfortunately, most of us have to accept our lot and adapt.

    1. I suppose if you have nothing to do but huddle up inside when there’s thick snow outside (and you can’t afford to ski) then you may as well play chess.

  13. Many years ago, Rachel, a friend of mine living in Scotland with young toddlers told me that having to rug three kids up to the nines just to dash out for a bottle of milk at the local store became very trying by the end of a long, cold winter. Perhaps she wasn’t a “be prepared” type. She now lives in Brisbane.

    1. I don’t mind the rugging up in beautiful winter woolies and coats and boots. It’s preferable, in my view, to smearing sticky sunscreen over every visible inch of flesh on myself and children and definitely a lot quicker.

  14. In the tropics all one needs is a swimming pool in the backyard, cheap clothing and a bit of sunscreen to keep little ankle biters amused for hours, even days, on end. Go ski-ing and you’ll still need sunscreen.
    Do mothers with young children reminisce with such enthusiasm about long, wet, cold winters? I wonder……..
    Looks as though you are well prepared for winter though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s