London Life, Californian Weather

“When a man is tired of London, he goes and lives in California,” quoth the grand old mephitic philsopher Sir Jack “Boswell” Jimbobberty of Hull, quite wrongly in my opinion. No, it’s not tiredness which drives anyone from London, or boredom, dullness, doldrums, weariness, apathy, or any lacking of interest. There’s usually just the one thing that does it, and that’s as predictable a thing as you might expect: the weather.

I’m perfectly happy with London aside from that one issue of the inevitable unpredictable clouds. If you could transport Californian sunshine to London, I’d leave the surfboards, the canyons and the orthodontically perfect smiles behind in a jiffy, lovely though they are, and return to the teeming complexity of this wonderful capital city more often that the few months a year my aching body can stand.

London is genuinely one of the world’s great cities; all complexions, nationalities, languages, attitudes, shades of skin, types of intelligence and senses of humour (spelled with a “u”) are to be found (also spelled with a “u”) in this two thousand-year-old metropolis. Just as you’re sure you’ve understood it, it reveals another aspect of itself, it reinvents itself. At the moment you’re sure it’s dating rather well, it capriciously modernises (spelled with an “s”). As soon as it seems parochially subservient, it usurps its place in the order of things and gets uppity with you. It refuses to lie down, and yet it is a city, unlike most American cities, which does get regular, healthy, refreshing sleep.

Wandering through the centre (spelled “re”) of London on a Sunday morning in the summer sunshine, one can almost imagine that down the piss-stained alleys lie secret orange groves and vineyards, that in the vast and manicured parks, the great London planes might harbour (spelled with a “u”) rainforest fauna, that walking on the south bank of the Thames (pronounced “Temz”) one might stumble upon a secret beach, a bunch of hippies having an arty party which everyone can join in…

If only the weather was like California.

Photo: Pixelthing

This entry was posted in blog, London and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to London Life, Californian Weather

  1. Donny Bahama says:

    While I’d hate to discourage (spelled with a “g”) anyone from visiting our lovely state, as a resident of Southern California, I’d have to point out that our famous “california sunshine” can be more than a little elusive. I live right on the beach, and most days, I don’t see the sun until after 10 AM. A phenomenon well known to San Diego residents as “June Gloom” causes that month to be mostly dreary. In most years, “June Gloom” is preceded by “May Gray”. (Or is that “May Grey”? At any rate, no relation to Earl.) This year, June Gloom has extended well into July. In fact, the 4th of July (America’s Independence Day but more significantly, the day upon which the masses flock to the beach) was terribly foggy. (See photos on my blog.) But while it cleared up nicely toward the late afternoon, the respite was short-lived as the fog rolled back in just in time to obscure the fireworks. All that said, it doesn’t rain much, here, which makes rainy days a bit of a luxury… a wonderful excuse to stay in one’s jammies all day and read a good book or perhaps do nothing at all.

  2. jack cheese says:

    This is true; however, California wouldn’t be able to produce decent wine without the fog – another reason to enjoy it.

  3. robertas says:

    I do not think I could ever get tired of London.

    And I don’t even mind the weather.

    That might have something to do with the fact I spent 3 months studying in Birmingham… for the first 3 weeks it didn’t stop raining… not a drizzle or spitty spotty rain but a full-on proper gale. Once my body finally adjusted and near suicidal thoughts have been banished (that also might have something to do with the fact I was permanently hungry because food was for the lack of a better word crap) I was fine.
    I even refused to purchase an umbrella 🙂

    Now that I come to think of it, we did go down the pub an awful lot, so maybe I did not really adjust, it was just copious amounts of alcohol … 🙂

    Hm, Mr. Cleese as an Englishman maybe you can answer my question, because I asked my foreign friends and they did not know how to explain it…

    Is English weather the reason why when you come to warmer parts you lay in the sun in the middle of the day like lizards? 🙂

    I tried to explain to my friend he should really use a sunblock but he refused… and went to the beach at 1:00pm when even lizards look for some shade 🙂

  4. kisch says:

    Huh, coming from the North-West of Russia, I can only praise London weather ! :-)))) When I come to London in March and there is green grass, flowers and sunshine… and in my home city we still have snow… I would die in California, I can’t stand the heat.

  5. emenzies says:

    When you coming back to SB? Missing your “tallness” about town.

  6. Ah yes, hitting the wall that is London. It should not be that way but usually hits. I say it should not be so because you really do feel like on an island people are supposed to stick together but now they are sticking to their home fixtures and remodels and anyone not making masses of pounds will be driven away or forced to stay in cohabitation with one’s ex. And here I am an American in London because I think it’s a place of fortune!!Once upon a time I was falling in love and now I’m only falling over Lambeth Council’s idea of proper side walks. Had my London melt down a few days ago, usually hits after two months away from California where I grew up in a small city called Piedmont in the Bay Area. It’s a tony place surrounded entirely by a Pixar generated force field designed to keep out most blacks in the neighbourhing city of Oakland, all Muslims and now that raving anti Zionist Mosque building paleo conservative Gordon Brown. Piedmont is also known for the Leonard J Waxdeck bird calling contest and acorner shop that sells Ben and Jerry’s marked up to 6$. I was big hit in the storied hills of Piedmont with my rastaman vibration jacket, marshmallow eating scrub jay, Python quotes and 38.7 inch bust line as a tween. I recently read an Oliver Reed bio and “discovered” Michael Winner so when I read in today’s’ paper that he had teamed up with you Mr. Cleese, on a Mr. Toad’s wild “It’s Tuesday it must be Xanax and Châteauneuf-du-Pape” road trip I had to extend to you my best wishes and love. You influence my every move on you tube and all my loyal subsribers realize that…I’m tall, ariticulate and buxom just like you and I think the world should be easy which means I’m usually pissed off. When you see a chance take, it when you find romance fake it, because it’s all on you. I belive in that statement and wish you all the best again and again.

  7. That “anti Zionist Mosque building paleo conservative Gordon Brown” thing was just a joke.

  8. Mrs. Hawkins says:

    I love to travel and have tried living abroad for a few years, but it’s always nice to come back home to the Bay Area. Fog in the morning, sun in the afternoon, and then fog in the evenings. I love it! You rarely have a night in the summer when you need to roll around trying to find a cool spot on the bed.
    The wine country in the fall during the crush, ooohhhh. The wine country in the spring when the mustard grows between the rows of vines, ooohhh. The wine country in the winter when very few people are around and you have tasting rooms all to yourself (well, maybe a few other people), ooohhh.

  9. Wendy says:

    I’m a Brit living in California. I do prefer the weather here, although I do miss having “seasons”.

  10. lemonbaden says:

    O! I love English weather! I love the fact that it’s all misty and damp and freezing in July- far more atmospheric than the awful muggy heat we get here in summer instead. When it’s cold and rainy I can put on my big boots and go outside (only my bog boots) and get things DONE. When it’s all moist and melty nobody can do anything. I’ve never been to California and actually the thought of the hot weather puts me off!

  11. webmacher says:

    Hot weather? in San Francisco? Hahahahaha. I’m not being fair. It occasionally does get sunny and hot, but we’ve had a lot of damp fog this “summer”! (The central valley and SoCal are another story, of course.)

  12. EllenRonnie says:

    Wendy,
    After living in L.A. for 12 years, I’m now in upstate NY, I can tell you that seasons are overrated. We had six months of winter, and now a brutal hot, humid summer. I miss the 5-day forecast being exactly the same. I also loved how the temps dropped considerably once you left the Valley and entered the Westside. Sigh…I miss L.A.

  13. marmitelover says:

    Cured forever of leaving London after that awful year in the South of France. Never been so bored in my life.
    California, very nice, but a mere suburb in global terms.
    There is a reason why London is at 0 degrees of longitude and not just because we wrested the privilege from the French! (who wanted it to be in Paris)

  14. JtheTroubleMaker says:

    I’d gladly give up sunshine forever, just to live in London…or anywhere in England for that matter.
    A girl has to have dreams…

Comments are closed.