PS: Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation.1
Weather in England is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get! Unfortunately none of us wrote that, however the quote is to be taken seriously! Let us describe you the fifty shades of weather in England.
Actually we were kind of happily surprised by the weather here. Our first two weeks were spent under the unexpected sun of Cambridge, and, even though it wasn’t really hot, we were able to discover the city without being wrapped up in big waterproof coats.
The main problem was that all our rides are done by bike (for most of us), so the next two weeks were spent wondering when the rain will come and at what point we will need to buy a waterproof coat. Yes, we hadn’t come quite fully prepared… However, as we are writing those lines the rain did not surprise us (yet) at 8 am in the morning on our way to Downing. As a result you may guess that, as we are believers of the last hour, none of us bought that « waterproof poncho » so useful when you are on your bike but much less appealing when you’re entering your classroom… However it is mid October, we might want to hurry…
The reason we might still be hoping for a semester without rain (or at least when we are on our bike) is all the whispers we hear… Rumour has it that Cambridge has this micro-climate where you don’t get much rain… What you can get however is that fog surrounding you and preventing you from seeing your own feet. Have you seen the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Why do we even bother to ask? Of course you’ve seen it! Well you see at the very beginning when McGonagall is a cat and Dumbledore shutting down all the lights (party’s over!) well that is the fog, those clouds surrounding everything. And that is typical English weather: how cheerful!
The good news is that Cambridge actually has a lot of nice pubs and coffees to stay in, drinking hot chocolate or a beer depending on the hour (or not), to wait for the rain to stop.
Another issue might be to find out what you are going to wear for the day! Indeed language and food habits are not the only things that distinguish us from the British: it’s like they don’t even feel cold! So when you are wearing your boots, scarf and winter jacket they are probably in a tee shirt and feeling comfortable!
Oh! And a skill you should practice before going to UK: finding your umbrella in four seconds, opening it for five and then putting it back into your bag because the rain has already stopped… Or just put a scarf on your head and spare you the trouble! We actually found you the perfect accessory: this pretty and fashionable plastic hood perfect on a rainy day!
So what about the weather? … Actually who cares about the weather? Our advice: don’t mind it! And you know what they say: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” ²
(By Philippine Heraud, Mona Lheureux and Bérénice Comolet)