It’s a well-known fact that all conversations between the Brits start with a summary of the weather. We are famous for it, foreigners laugh about it and we can’t stop doing it. Wind, rain or shine we’ll discuss it, moan about it or welcome it, but we will talk about it.
The Algarve has a temperate, sunny climate and is famous for averaging over 300 days of sunshine each year. The Brits have upped sticks and moved here in their droves for this very reason. And yet... we still start all our conversations about the weather. Not about the seasons, but what the daily weather forecast is or was, and if it’s right or not.
In the Summer
We have glorious sunshine in the summer when temperatures soar and rain is rare. Everyone heads for the beach or the pool or garden to enjoy the extra vitamin D and top up their tan. Are we happy? Well just listen to the Brits and judge for yourself. “Boy, it’s hot today,” and “I’m sweltering!”, or “Hot innit?” or even, “Could do with some rain for the garden”!
In the Autumn
Then along comes the autumn: the Algarve is famous for long Indian summers. It stays warm with an occasional shower well into October, sometimes November. And you’ll no doubt hear the Brits saying things like: “We’ve had two days with rain, what happened?” or “When’s it gonna rain? We need it,” and “It’s about time it cooled down”.
Winter in the Algarve
Winter arrives, golf courses fill up, and you’ll hear “Gosh it’s cold, it’s only 18 degrees today!” or “Roll on summer, this weather is terrible”. Which usually means it’s rained on and off for a week, the farmers and gardeners are celebrating, the fields are turning a lush green and fruit blossom is everywhere, perfuming the air.
Spring comes early in the Algarve and with it the new lambs and kid goats and in fact babies from all over the animal Kingdom. Trees sprout their new leaves and buds appear everywhere and fields and roadsides are smothered in wild spring flowers of every colour. And what do the Brits talk about? The weather! March winds and April showers dominate the conversations.
So what is it with the Brits and the weather? Of course in Britain the weather can change five times in a day and it’s awfully difficult to know what to wear. Carrying an umbrella is de rigueur at all times of the year. All seasons can be mild or cold, wet or dry and it’s a good opening to start a conversation - but in the Algarve?
Is it because we are so used to changeable weather that we can’t change our speech patterns? Or is it because it’s a safe topic that won’t offend anyone? It just seems that whatever the weather we have to comment and moan, until we see this!