I was warned about the weather I was entering in Britain, that it would be cold and wet. Well, I thought I would prepare for it and researched the best clothes. The most important was waterproof shoes (not leather..no leather is waterproof for long)) with a good tread for the multitude of mud. These are faux doc martin boots I bought from shoe city and have been a life saver. They walk through mud and puddles with immunity and no slipping.
I bought a host of woolen socks..not cotton, as cotton, when wet remains cold. I topped that with vests and leggings, which surprisingly, the warmest and driest are made of artificial materials or wool (but wool is scratchy to wear and artificial textiles tend to let you sweat. I bought a good raincoat and feather puffer vest that covers your midriff yet allows movement and is light to wear. These have been lifesavers, thanks Kayway (excellent South African maker of hiking gear) and a gift from Imhoff Waldorf school.
The weather has been surprisingly different from usual I gather, as the rain only arrived a month after it should, and daffodils are blossoming a month before they should. In Britain the way that the weather is viewed is rather different to South Africa, where the sun shines and there is occasional rain. Here everything is back to font, and the weather man tries desperately to sound optimistic. These are some of the actual comments made by the very frequent weather reports (a favourite British conversation ) on BBC TV as seen through sunny South African eyes:
“Occasional Patches of sun”
“Temperatures will even be in Double digits.”
“Some occasional breaks in rain”
“Temperatures actually rise through the night.’
“Sunshine in short supply”
“We Could even see 16 degrees!”
“You may actually get some glimpses of sunshine.”
“Some brights spells possible”
“Hopefully we’ll get some sunshine sometime soon.”
“Unusually warm (14 degrees)”
“Cloudy with An occasional spit of rain”
“Now you might be shocked to hear Tomorrow we might actually get to see some sunshine.”
“Looking at highs of 13-14degrees.”
“Some tantalizing glimpses of sun tomorrow.”
These only are supposed to blossom in late January, but are blossoming now. Global warming? Just the earth breathing?