“Whan the sunne shinth make hay. Whiche is to say.
Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.”
~ John Heywood, A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546 ~
There’s one thing that I’ve noticed time and time again since moving to England – its residents well and truly embrace good weather. Australia on the whole can generally expect a good few months of clear, warm sunny days every year. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s not (like when it leads to a drought), but that period of delicious, it’s-good-to-be-alive sort of weather is pretty much expected. In fact sometimes the poor ol’ Aussie can get a bit grumpy and peeved off if the sun doesn’t come out for a few days.
Here in the U.K. though the weather’s a little more unstable and a lovely sunrise can quickly disappear into a drizzly morning, then a cool and cloudy afternoon, before clearing again in the evening. That’s why when the sun does shine over consecutive days, people get out and enjoy it.
When I think back to my life in Australia, there must’ve been hundreds of beautiful days I wasted hiding indoors doing housework, binge watching a television series or running errands. Then, it was a given that the next weekend, or the weekend after would be nice so I could spend sometimes outdoors then.
In England I get the feeling that when good weather arrives anything not pressing gets tossed out the window and people go ‘Sod it, let’s sit outside and bask’ and it’s exactly what I witnessed a few weekends ago when the U.K. experienced its warmest, sunniest weekend of the year so far.
Although I had commitments that kept me inside for most of one the days, I mustered my inner Britishness and seized the opportunity to celebrate the wonderful weather.
I went to the lovely grounds of the Malvern Priory, right in the town centre.
I bought myself a cup of coffee and just sat. I saw children with bare legs playing, old women gossiping on benches and loved up couples strolling hand in hand. It was like the world was just right and everyone was content.
Squirrels darted around and blossom laden trees swayed ever so slightly in the light breeze. I could spot dozens of walkers on the Malvern Hills and hear an orchestra or string quartet practicing in the Priory.
A middle aged couple came and sat down beside me and we made small talk about the lovely weather before sitting in companionable silence, just watching the scene before us.
I really love that ‘the sun’s out, let’s celebrate life’ attitude and it’s something I hope I can incorporate more into my day-to-day life. I can be a sucker for routine and regiment, but my time in England is teaching me that sometimes ‘the other stuff’ can wait and it’s more important to go and sit outside in the sun. Do you make hay while the sun shines?!