Posted by: Corri van de Stege | July 21, 2007

The English weather – July 2007

On my way back from London the carriage has nearly emptied out two stations before I get of. It’s late morning.  I’ve had meetings the day before, ending in a final get together with a colleague to discuss various issues.

It’s quite a pleasant time to travel, I discover, no pushing and shoving, no trying to find the last available seat.  I am in fact able to spread out with briefcase and laptop and manage to catch up on e-mails (off-line) until I get drawn into listening to a conversation between two conductors, who are sitting opposite each other across the isle.  They are pleasantly relaxed and I wonder briefly why there are suddenly two conductors on a nearly empty train, whilst most of the time there is not a single one.  They discuss the weather, looking outside and shaking their heads, sitting back comfortably.  One is a heavy and cheerful looking chap, his hair cropped very short, expansive and nodding most of the time while the other one is thin, with straight black hair combed back, Harry Potter glasses on his nose discussing the pros and cons of the English summer holiday with self-assured conviction:
‘ This weather is really awful again, isn’t it?  It’s actually quite cold, unbelievable.’
Nod and smile ‘mmmmmm’
‘And there they are trying to tell us that we were going to get a really hot summer with all this climate change’
‘Yes, you can say that again’
‘Look at it outside.  It’s really grey.  But then of course all this rain may also be part of global warming.’
‘Yes, that’s what they say.’
The train moves along at a steady pace, the flat landscape outside looks forlorn in the drizzle, empty and disappointing, waiting for the next downpour and perhaps even flooding. 
They sit and watch silently for a while as the train stops at a small station, opens its doors and closes them again, without anyone getting on or of.  Then it resumes its steady pace through more grey and green and flatness.
The two resume their conversation once the train is full speed again.
‘And it’s not getting any better for the weekend, is it.  The forecast is for a lot more of this, flooding again and all that.’
‘Mmm, no, it’s not getting any better.’
‘I remember Easter though, it was really nice and we had a barbecue outside.’
‘Yes, you’re right, what can you say.’
‘Yes, it was really hot then. ‘
They sit pensively and quiet, contemplating. 
I have packed away my laptop, retrieved my raincoat from the rack and get ready to leave the train at the next station, when it is being announced.
The cheerful looking conductor is suddenly behind me and gallantly opens the door as the train stops.  I wonder whether he is relieved at having found an escape from this conversation.  


  1. Really disappointing you have this extraordinary weather, but my guess is that summer will arrive although seasons may have been “dislodged” because of the changes in cycles and naturally through the warming-up of our atmosphere. Let us cross our fingers for the good judgement to make itself noticed in our leaders.

  2. Jose good to hear from you. According to today’s newspapers there’s one observer who suggests that reducing the world population is the most effective way to stabilise world climate (less demand on the ecosystem). However, I don’t quite think my two chaps where considering that! Meanwhile, parts of England are flooded once again.

  3. I marvel at the really deep thoughts of those people who do not preach with their example! Why that observer did not is something to be asked of him/her.

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