Alex Massie

Department of Britishness

Department of Britishness
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When I lived in Washington, I sometimes forgot that one of the things I missed about Britain was actually the weather. Sure, there'd be glorious spring and fall days in DC but much of the time the climate was boringly predictable and frequently oppressively unpleasant. The variety of the British climate provides for a refreshing contrast even if such happy thoughts are necessarily fleeting in, say, November or March. No wonder we talk about it so much*.

All of which is one way of noting that today - with temperatures still in the giddy 70s - 70% of my British Facebook friends' status updates concern the weather and either a how sunburnt they are, b) how they are loving the warm weather or c) how they would be enjoying it if they weren't imprisoned in an office. By contrast, two DC friends are currently lamenting the fact that the Washington summer, now in full-blast, has another four months to run. (Five actually, lads).

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A rural park: sheep take the place of humans on the Philiphaugh Estate near Selkirk this afternoon.

*The weather, of course, also allows for polite small talk with no expectation that any personal information need be volunteered at any stage of the conversation. That's another good thing about the British climate.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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