Friday, 23 November 2012

Snippets of weather

Talking about the weather (as we did in yesterdays posting) is both a national pastime and frequently used by everyone as a conversation starter. Weather-obsessed British people spend on average six months of their lives talking about whether it's going to rain or shine, according to a survey published recently.

Speculation about whether it's going to be wet, complaints about the cold and murmurings about the heat are also the first points of conversation with strangers or colleagues for 58% of Britons, it recorded.  The study of 2,018 adults by pollsters found Britons talk about the weather for about 2 days every year and the subject comes up more often than work, what is on television, sport or gossip. 19% of over 65s questioned also believe they can predict the weather as well as a professional weatherman.The most usual explanation for the British fascination with weather is that it is so changeable. 

Never more so than when boaters collect together. Often the conversation is filled with little snippets such as "Hi, did you have a good Summer out on the boat?" "Yes indeed, we had a great picnic that afternoon." Or the boater who had a look out of the side hatch to see what the weather was like. His wife enquired from their bed what the weather was like. The boater replied "I don't know, I can't tell, it's much too foggy?"

Or the apocryphal story of the boating couple. Where a man and his wife were having a siesta when suddenly their mobile phone rang. The husband picked up the phone and said, "Hello? after a couple of seconds he replied  "How the Great Heck would I know? What do you think I am, a weatherman?" He then hung up and settled back to sleep in the bed. "Who was that?" asked his wife. "I don't know." he replied.  "It was some bloke who wanted to know if the coast was clear."

Although boater Fred was a qualified meteorologist, he ran up a terrible record of forecasting the weather. Fred told me that when he checked on the accuracy of his predictions he had been wrong almost three hundred times in a single year. So Fred decided to move his boat to the Milton Keynes area and apply for a similar job with a new charity. The tricky question on the job application asked for the reason why Fred had left his previous position. He said I wrote, "The climate didn't agree with me." I am sure with the god given accuracy of his predictions, Fred will fit in just fine.


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