“Welcome to BBC Radio. Here is the news. London is in turmoil tonight as the effects of a long summer take hold. The warm summer season has lasted a whole eight days compared to the usual five ….”
Yes, it’s an oldie but a goody … as stereotypes go.
London doesn’t have the reputation for the best of weather. In fact England is meant to have the most cloud coverage in Europe. But as I have been here for almost two months now, I have to say that this reputation is not entirely correct, if not a fable altogether in my experience. I type this post as I sit in a park listening to Big Ben strike the hour of six in the evening, I see commuters crossing the Lambeth Bridge, and I am enjoying London being bathed in the glow of a sunset on a cloudless sky. Joggers run the path up and down the north side of the Thames as the cool breeze keeps their temperature in check. And I have to say that this has been the norm this summer and autumn.
All this while parts of my homeland are covered in a haze of choking red dust. Most of the Eastern Seaboard of the state of New South Wales in Australia is covered in red dust, brought by a dust storm that had it’s origins in Lake Eyre, South Australia. Twelves of record drought has led to this storm working its way through the desert, across to Broken Hill, headed straight for the Great Dividing Range and over to Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle and beyond.
Once again some people will cry the effects of Global Warming, while nay-sayers find documentation that this has happened before. After twelve years of drought you have to wonder, is this not actually the new ecology of the region? The work drought does imply that it’s going to rain sometimes, because droughts are meant to be broken. We can jump up and down on El Nino as much as we like, but when is it going to end? Seems to me that desert is the new drought and that we might have to find a new vernacular.
So I sit here watching the planes flying low into Heathrow across the city, enjoying the most of this northern sunshine, that numerous people warn me is going to come to and end all too soon. Maybe the unseasonal snows of winter will happen again this year in England. Time will tell.