As I sit here gazing at the snow falling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the harsh reality of a North American winter sets in. The thermometer has struggled to get above 0 Celsius (or 32 Fahrenheit) since I returned from my 3 week whistle-stop visit for Christmas. Is it just me or do all English people still struggle at first to deal with the loss of all that unpredictable weather we receive on our fine shores? Ok, it's just me then. The confusion of hearing my alarm clock waking me up for football training at 6am stating that the temperature will be "a chilly and icy 32 degrees today", is startling, this is yet another factor which sets Britain apart from the rest. We measure the weather in Celsius and we drive on the left side of the road, Rule Britannia! A wry smile breaks over my face as I hit the snooze button.
I am use to a hailstorm in the morning, a foggy afternoon followed by sweltering temperatures; all capped off by an evening of driving rain and force 9 winds. Yet here the weather is much more predictable. I no longer need to glance out of the window to see which coat to deploy, every single day for the last month I have placed my huge Eskimo-esque coat upon my shoulders, complete with thermals underneath, and trundled out amongst the swirling snowstorms. Everyday im told that the real winter storms will begin soon; I look back in utter disbelief as my red raw cheeks are still frozen solid and aren't responding to the warmth of a cup of tea (one English tradition which certainly will never be lost in my eyes or anyone else’s!) The sad fact is i actually long sometimes to look out the window and hear the howling wind screeching up the Solent and see flimsy trees, fence panels and any other moveable objects fly before my very eyes.
Who would have thought it, as i wait for the bus and a huge snowball misses my head by inches, that i would trade this winter wonderland for gale force winds and hailstones on Weston Shore? But i would.