Winter is here

England’s best, and only, weather during the Christmas season.

As I write this it is raining outside, not summer rain as one might expect at this time of year either, but stormy rain, heavy rain, rain that will soak you in seconds, rain drops so large they crash and break against the windows. I am getting the urge to go and stand in it, to stand stationary in the middle of the street as everyone else hurries for cover, sheltering under books or coats or umbrellas. But I won’t. I don’t want to ruin my shoes.

This rain had me wandering along a rather odd thought path. Is rain the most dramatic of weathers? In my opinion it is certainly near the top, the grey clouds, the darkness, the noise as the rain hits the pavement. Even just considering how far each raindrop has come before it collides with the ground. The speed of each drop, the time it has taken for each drop to form; what I am saying is that a lot of work has been put into to creating this rain, and I think we Britons should be more proud of our most common weather, or at least the one that is heavily associated with this isle.

To back up my idea think about every film you have ever seen. Now think of every emotional bit in every film you have ever seen. How many of those scenes have occurred in the rain? Of course it isn’t all of them but how many? To name but a few examples, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Spiderman, Garden State, Saving Private Ryan, Pride and Prejudice, The Shawshank Redemption, and even The Matrix Revolutions contains a dramatic rain scene. Surely there must be a reason for all this rain? Of course anyone can spout off the old cliché that it reflects the emotion in the scene because it mirrors the tears shed, or maybe it is just because the film studio had that particular machine and the director really wanted to see it work. Who knows for certain? Who can possibly care? Well, my dear readers, I do. More than this, I feel rain should be given the praise it deserves. For too long we have complained, criticised and hated rain; for too long we have blamed it for ruining our days.

Even if to stand in the rain is too great a statement to make, I am sure you have all experienced that cosy feeling when, curled up on the sofa, you listen to the rain against the window pane. If good for nothing else, rain makes us appreciate the roof above our heads, the warm fire, and a cup of tea.

Ruskin once said “Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilaration; there is really no such thing as bad weather”, and he is perfectly right. I am blaming the weather forecasters for this bias we have for certain types of weather. It is they who lead us to want the sunshine; I admit that a sunny day does cheer one up, and that to play a sport in the rain is hell. However, say it never rained, say it never snowed, or blew a gale, or thundered, or a mist didn’t hang in the air every once in a while, would our love affair with the sunshine continue? No, of course not, too much of a good thing and all that tosh.

I adore this time of year; I love the weather, the clothes you get to wear and the fact that in the middle of it all comes a time when parties, food, drink and presents become the norm. Who could possibly prefer it over the summer?

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