Friday, June 7, 2013

Whatever the weather

'You can't live somewhere just for the weather' I used to say, as we gazed out from our balcony across  the Pacific, sparkling under another perfect Malibu blue sky.

I stand by that. It was, and is, important to me to live in the UK, to be close to family and friends. The weather in London never put me off returning home, and the rather brisker climate in Saltburn didn't deter us either.

My first line of defence was that the British weather really isn't that bad, anyway. So what if the summer is a little unreliable? Always have a brolly in your bag and you'll be fine. Yes, our winter is rather longer and colder than the three weeks of rain they get in LA, but at least we get to enjoy autumnal mists and fresh snowy days perfect for snuggling in front of a fire. And then there's spring, of course. Seasons are a wonderful thing.

My second, and more principled line of defence, was that, as I stated at the start of this post, 'You can't live somewhere just for the weather'. If you could, well, we'd all move to Southern California. Or Provence. But we choose where we live for reasons more personal, more particular. It's about people, relationships, possibly career, and culture - but surely never just an external factor like climate?

I hate to admit it but after surviving the wettest summer and the coldest spring on record, I was starting to question my reasoning. After all, 'just climate' is the reason people are so smiley in California, I'm sure. Blue skies cheer everyone up - even if you see them all year round. And good weather promotes an outdoor lifestyle that just does make you feel good. It seemed like an age since I didn't need socks and a jacket in the UK, and that depresses me. Maybe climate isn't just an unimportant external factor after all.

TLOML texted me pictures of Los Angeles last week. Acres of golden beaches, populated with tanned Californians playing volleyball and jogging. Restaurants with year-round outdoor seating. It made me sigh, and again, wonder whether climate is rather more important than I had thought.

And then the sun came out here. The ice-cream van arrived. The beach was packed with kids playing. I sat in my dear landlady's garden and ate scones in the dappled shade of her apple tree. My sister looked after Lady P - easy enough when the weather's nice and she's just hanging with two happy boys in the sunshine - and I went for a lovely run. We all went to the beach together, and sat and had coffee in the sunshine. Lady P had her 11ses in our back yard. I haven't worn socks for days. It is magic.
Finally, she needs a sunhat!
So I suppose my new position is that yes, weather is important. The state of the sky does rather impact my state of mind. But the good news is, I only need a couple of sunny days every once in a while to make me happy. LA's sunshine is wonderful, but an extravagance I do not need.

That's my new line, and I'm sticking to it. (Whilst praying hard for plenty of sun this summer).


  1. I was never bothered by the English weather until I had three frisky boys who needed exercise.
    If you want to stay in the UK, make sure that Lady P is a nice quiet girl who likes sitting down a lot :-)

  2. Hopefully she'll be a girl after my own heart - likes nothing more than curling up in front of the fire with a good book while it's dark and rainy outside.

    Otherwise we may just need to head for the sun. I read your comments about being sock free, and about eating by the pool, etc, with some envy I must admit. Lucky frisky boys!