Have you ever seen a psychological study of why the English complain about the weather? Or why the English complain . . .
We all know the English talk incessantly about the weather. The Aussies remind us that poms whinge. Or rather, the Aussies dismiss “whinging poms” with a frisson of superiority!
Folklore has it that poms whinge about the weather to make small talk. That smirk of satisfaction begs explanation in turn. Why is it considered polite to whinge about something we can do nothing about?
If a South African is talking, they would advise you what to do about the weather. The focus would be on action and the focus would be on the battle of life fought successfully against willful, unhelpful and unbiddable elements.
If an Australian is talking, they would be proud of Australian weather. I’ve never deciphered that either. Proud of something you had nothing to do with making???
I know how to treat with a South Africa. They want to “do”. They want to be competent. So simply ask to borrow their umbrella! They will make sure you get back to your car dry – and probably get your shoes cleaned for you to.
I’ve cracked the English whinge. You say sweetly: “I like English weather. Everything changes so fast. If you don’t go out for a single day, you miss the daffodils, or a tree that has changed color”.
The English man or woman is left in a dilemma. Continue whinging and imply England is not up to scratch? Won’t have that!
So they start being informative. You’ll hear all about the plants they love. Your walk to work, or your previously insalubrious train ride, will take on a fresh look as they point out all the best bits of scenery to look out for!
And it works on other topics too. The English are as volatile as their weather.