Yes, this is a post about the weather.
A Nicer Day. Kensington Palace Garden, London, England. October, 2014.
On a morning that wasn’t just wet but pouring (the walk from the bus into the tube station we were meeting in wasn’t far but I was more than happy to have a hot to save my face—my pant legs were less lucky….), a friend I was meeting for tea asked me, ‘What is the leading topic of conversation in the UK?’
The answer isn’t hard: The Weather.
One of the interesting things I’ve found living in London these first couple of months is that the weather is crazy (which I knew going in), but it’s also practically a past time. In some ways, this is a lot like Los Angeles. We also get a kick out of talking about the weather; there, it’s because of how perfect it generally is. That’s what I find interesting about the topic in London. It’s more than just small talk that can be tuned out, skipped over, or ignored for more interesting small talk: It’s an actual topic.
But I won’t bore you with the details of talking about talking about weather… that was a strange sentence.
Instead, let’s talk about dealing with this weather when it comes along (which is all the time now).
When it’s cold and wet out, whether it’s where you live or when traveling, the practical truth is you don’t really want to do much. There are people everywhere who talk about loving the wet and cold but even those enthusiasts eventually want to just come back inside! (I know quite a few who like it BECAUSE they can just stay inside!)
If you are traveling or living somewhere new like me, however, staying in, while tempting, isn’t really the experience you came out for, is it?
This is a lesson I’ve been learning these past weeks as the London I was expecting suddenly appeared on the horizon. You can unintentionally stay in for days when you don’t have to go out for work or classes or pre-booked appointments, but what is the point of going to a new place if you only see the four walls of your room? Exactly: none.
So what to do?
Invest in layers, a coat, a hat, some boots, and some gloves and go out anyway. Maybe these aren’t days for long walks in the park (though that could be interesting), but there are tons of places to go where you can still see the sites while weathering the weather!
Museums—art, history, science, and a full range of other topics— are generally free, have tons to do and see, (usually) have places to grab food, and are dry. And who knows, on the way home, you can grab some tea or coffee and have a talk about the weather!
Another friend from the states emailed me saying: ‘weather is half the experience’ so go out there and get it while you have the chance, right?
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.