To be honest, it's not that fair a stereotype. Yes, Winter & Spring ARE wet, but then, that's because it's winter and spring. Our summers are occasionally a bit damp, but for the most part, we have quite nice summers. I know there are some of you out there that moan about the heat, but get over it.
Many years ago, we had a massive storm system that many referred to as a Hurricane, but some technicality in how it was formed (or something) means it wasn't, just hurricane force winds. Lots of stuff was knocked down and blown away. Masses of devastation - house, trees, small pets (I imagine)...
Personally, I slept through it. Kellie was on a plane flying through it.
When the weather is particularly bad over here, it makes the news. Every now and then, a tornado will appear somewhere and make the headlines, and "freak weather conditions" will dump a shed-load of snow on one little area, but for the most part the weather over here is a British past-time. We talk about it, we discuss it, generally we complain about it... Too much of one kind of weather, not enough of another kind - until the other kind arrives, then that's too much. And so on.
I'm not even going to start on two inches of snow bringing the country to a grinding halt every winter.
So imagine my surprise last night, when my cousin retweeted a severe weather warning from TORRO - the Tornado & Storm Research Organisation. No, let me rephrase that.
Imagine my surprise when she retweeted a fricking Tornado Warning from TORRO.
Now, we'd already heard that the wind was going to pick up, and it was going to be wet from late evening till the early hours, but to get upgraded to "Look Out, You're Going To Die" is a whole new ballgame.
There are two points to this post that I've already covered. The first is obviously the weather - that is the key point here. The second, however, has been a subtle undertone.
That of us being British.
You might not like us, you might think we're snobby or aloof, but stuff like this is our bread and butter. Cities destroyed in the war? Keep Calm & Carry On. Mad Cow Disease? Just burn all the cows. Swine Flu panic? Meh, it's just a cold.
And so on and so on.
Last week, Scotland got hit by equally wild weather. They were being blown left, right, centre and up their kilts. Gusts of 160mph. Scary stuff. Hundreds of millions of pounds of damage. And what did the Scots do? They nicknamed it Hurricane Bawbag which is Proper English, is Hurricane Ballbag.
Why? No idea.
And what has been one of the most popular storm-related videos relating to their mental winds? Has it been a roof torn off a building and thrown across another? Has it been a tree fall and smashing into a bus full of children?
We tend to just get over it.
So anyway, back to the Tornado Warning.
You may be wondering how we deal with tornadoes over here in Blighty, and that is a very good question. I saw the message on twitter and thought "Wow..." and promptly ordered a curry, and Kellie & myself sat and watched House all evening.
The rest of the county NOT on Twitter? To be honest, they probably didn't know about it. We don't get the emergency services driving by slowly with a loudspeaker giving advice or warnings, there was no emergency broadcast, no sirens...
I suspect most people had the same response as me to be honest... "Pfft right..."
Doesn't matter that this information came from real scientists. Doesn't matter that precisely ZERO of our properties are tested against Tornadoes. Most Brits think the same way.
We went to bed around midnight, and it was windy. The house was shuddering with each gust, you could hear the deep humming noise of it blowing down the chimney, the noise of leaves being blown down the street, and torrential rain hammering against the windows. I took my meds, Kellie fell asleep, I read for a while, dozed off...
Typical night with Mother Nature providing the soundtrack. Didn't even need to put on my rain-noise-maker thing to help me sleep!
This morning, the sun is shining. There are no reports on the news of any "devastation" and the only thing on the local news is "Essex braces for more high winds"
Was there a real likelihood of tornadoes? I don't know. I suppose scientifically there was a good just, with the right conditions in the right places, but I imagine trying to predict the weather is like...
Well, predicting the weather I suppose.