Wonderful weather for bananas

I HAVE often wondered if it is a peculiarly British trait to talk so much about the weather. What happens in the rest of the world? Do the Greeks pass the time of day by saying to each other: It s hot, isn t it ? Do people living in the monsoon regions s

I HAVE often wondered if it is a peculiarly British trait to talk so much about the weather.

What happens in the rest of the world? Do the Greeks pass the time of day by saying to each other: "It's hot, isn't it"?

Do people living in the monsoon regions say: "Looks like it's going to rain today"? Are Eskimos in the habit of opining: "Bit chilly for this time of year. It could snow"?

I suspect it is not a major topic of conversation among any of them. But here in the UK it is different.


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Weather can be an opening gambit when meeting someone for the first time or the thing to say when chancing upon one's oldest friend.

There's nothing risky or controversial about the weather. It is a safe subject. As far as I know, no one has started a war over differing views on whether it is going to rain or shine.

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I did not appreciate quite how much time we devote to discussing the weather until I saw the results of a survey out this week.

This revealed that us Brits spend one whole day - 24 hours and 20 minutes to be precise - each year talking about the weather.

More than 1,000 people were questioned about the nation's obsession. Nine out of 10 admitted to talking about it with 39 per cent discussing the conditions twice a day. A total of 41 per cent estimated that their weather conversations lasted about two minutes.

Eight out of 10 Brits believed that talking about the weather was part of everyday life while 13 per cent thought it was a necessity.

A little over a third of survey respondents said Friday was the most popular day for weather talk, closely followed by Monday and Saturday. There appeared to be a mid-week drought when interest dried up before the weekend.

Perhaps not surprisingly considering the British weather, the most popular aspect of it is rain following by sunshine.

Four out of 10 of us talk about it at work, 35 per cent at home and 18 per cent when out and about. However, no one talks about it in the pub. Perhaps they are too busy yapping about sport.

Half of the UK tune into the TV to get the weather forecast while 15 per cent of the population prefer looking out of the window (obviously not interested in having the wider picture).

Our obsession is not all-consuming. The weather is the third most popular topic of conversation. Hobbies come in second while the top spot is taken by friends and family.

Changing the subject, did you know that UK households throw away a staggering 6.7 million tonnes of food every year, 70 per cent of which could have been eaten. That works out at a cost of �617 per household.

Spurred on by that, the Co-operative Group is to print storage instructions for fruit and vegetables on its fresh produce bags.

The advice includes keeping bananas away from other fruit and never putting them in the fridge. It comes a little late for the Adams household.

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