Winter in England
Well, winter has arrived in Santiago and it reminds me of winter in England, especially when I was a child.
Many people have a romantic idea of what winter in England is like: snow covered rolling hills, small robins (birds with red chests) chirping on a red post box, rosy-cheeked kids breathing huge clouds of steam running around sporting woolly hats and scarves and gloves, building a snowman complete with a carrot for a nose and lumps of coal for eyes and a smile.
Unfortunately winters in England aren’t quite like that. We don’t really get much snow (the last two years have been an exception), it’s far too cold to spend much time outside and the robins aren’t chirping happily on the red post box, they have actually frozen to death and are now stuck to it, motionless and stiff.
As a hater of cold weather and a staunch advocate of global warming, there are two main things which I hate about the English winter. The first is the rain. It doesn’t come down very heavily and it rarely floods, but it rains. And rains. For weeks. And weeks. When I say weeks and weeks I don’t mean that we get a few weeks when we get a lot of rain, I mean that the rain comes down non-stop for literally two weeks, without a gap or hint of stopping. Not only does it rain endlessly but this rain doesn’t come down from the sky. This rain comes at you sideways, whipping you in the face and leaving your cheeks and forehead stinging, red raw. The wind is so strong that it stops the rain from falling vertically and hitting the ground and instead seems to blow it directly into your face, no matter which direction you happen to be trying to walk in. There’s no point using an umbrella (it would get turned inside out anyway) and there’s no point trying to see where you are going – you will be squinting, trying to protect your eyes from that driving rain.
The second thing I hate about winters in England is the grayness. It doesn’t get light until 10am and it’s pitch black by 4.30pm, which means that we have about 6 hours of daylight. And when I say daylight I don’t mean actual sunlight – it stays pretty dark, cars have to keep their headlights on at all times and the actual sun won’t be seen for months (the only trace of it is a slightly less grey cloud which you gaze at, longing for it to move so that you might actually be able to see where you are going).
So, as you might have guessed, I don’t like winters. However, the winter in England is good for one thing: it gives us something to complain about. Us English love to complain and we love to talk about the weather (while drinking cups of tea and eating cucumber sandwiches). Complaining about the weather is a national pastime and the terrible winters we suffer for 11 months of the year have unified us and brought us together as a nation with one common goal – to moan and berate the cold weather and to yearn for the summer. And what do we do when it comes to August and we get our one month of summer, when we can actually see the sun and the temperatures start to hit 20ºC? We stand around sweating, moaning about how bloody hot it is and longing for the winter!
By Tim from England
How is winter in your country?
Does it sound better or worse than winter in England?
What is your favourite type of weather?