What do you do when all days feel the same because you can’t get out of the house without being washed out by a wall of rain?
Well, you stay at home, you read, you bake and basically you have to invest in a huge umbrella that doesn’t break as soon as the wind blows.
I am coming from a sunny country, close to the sea, and here I am, stuck indoors, bewildered and waiting for a ray of sunshine. To anyone contemplating moving to London, I would say: beware! You need to be used to the rain over here.
Mind you, the British are not afraid of the rain at all. They are actually a perfect example of a successful adaptation to the crappy weather. At my daughter’s school, they have this wonderful expression: “all-weather sports”. Don’t fool yourself, it sounds nice and anodyne, but it means that your precious little darling will play lacrosse or other sports even if it is pouring, or snowing, or freezing. In France, you would sue the school for less than this. My mother wasn’t letting me out of the house without a hat during winter, and I had at least three layers on me during springtime… Last week, in France, my grandfather was giving a hard time to my dad because he didn’t have a hat on…some things never change.
But look at my daughters: I have to fight every morning for the younger one to make sure that she gets her rain proofed coat on, and I am lucky if she doesn’t forget to put her jumper on. As for a scarf or a hat, well, I had to get used to the fact that she is not going to wear any. We keep losing them anyway. The older one likes to show off her toned legs with fancy tights and short skirts, whatever the weather. A scarf is only a fashion accessory, and the one she took this morning had skulls drawn on it. I am really out of touch. Sigh.
Where did I go wrong? Why did I have to listen to my mum and keep warm at all cost when my darling daughters are not afraid of playing half-naked in the rain? I have shouted, threatened, punished, explained that they will get a cold but nothing has worked so far. To add insult to injury, they are rarely sick, and have pointed out several times that they are fine, thank you very much for your concern Mum.
I have come to the conclusion that it is a cultural thing. It is part of the British education to be used to the cold, the rain, the wind and any adverse weather in general.
While I am writing the sun has started to shine. Finally. And guess what: my little one has just told me that she is too warm now. Some things never change.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London