With Sydney basking in ‘the hottest May day since 1942’ and the rain sleeting down here in Sussex, I felt I should tackle the elephant in the room.Yes, you’ve guessed it, the weather.
Ever since I announced my move, the topic has featured in just about every conversation I have taken part in with the flow generally taking a similar direction…. “how can you leave this?” or “how can you go back to that?”
It seems that the weather is an obsession in both Australia and England. For Australians, it is a continual source of patriotic pride, whilst for the English, it is a constant source of national shame.
Having spent approximately half of 2012 so far in each country, I thought it was time to make a few initial observations and maybe to balance things out a wee bit.
Despite the fact the last few weeks in the UK have been rainy on most days and the rivers are getting swollen, it is interesting, nay ironic, to note that there is currently a hosepipe ban in place in the UK following a long period of dryness. Remember that Sydney?
Indeed, to the derision of many, the ban is still in place, despite April being the wettest in the UK for 100 years with an average rainfall of 120mm.
However, it is also interesting to note that in that same month, rainfall in Sydney was actually 20% higher (148mm).
A freak month maybe? Apparently not. March saw Sydney record 120mm (UK was only 36mm by the way) and this was coming out of the wettest Aussie summer for ages with 50 ‘wet days’ out of 90. I know, I was there and had the leaking roof to prove it.
And that followed on from last winter when I counted at least 10 weekends when football was washed out. Hmmm.
But when the rain stops, there is another interesting point to consider. Despite the many days of brilliant sunshine that Sydney enjoys each year, for me there is such a thing as being too hot. Skin-sizzling hot. Stay-out-of-the-sun at all costs hot. Slip slap slop hot.
I discovered to my alarm recently that after 20 years in Sydney, I was suffering from vitamin D deficiency, typically caused by lack of sunshine. The solution? More exposure to the sun – you know, that big yellow thing that gives you skin cancer. Oh, the dilemma.
I’m hoping that on those rare occasions when the sun feebly breaks through in England, I will be able to venture out without coating my body in a thick layer of factor 48 and maybe a bit of vitamin D will sneak through.
Now, I know that I’ll never convince an Aussie that their climate is anything but perfect. I also know that I’ll never get a Brit to stop grumbling about the weather. Continually.
But now with a foot in both camps, I reckon that the truth may lie somewhere in between. I certainly hope so.