Tuesday, October 16, 2012

English Sunshine

I have to admit, the weather here hasn't been what I was expecting.

Let's be real. Everyone has an image of English weather in their heads: cold, rainy, dreary, depressing... you get the picture. And that was what I was expecting, though from doing some research I did know that it wouldn't actually get that cold. (I mean, obviously it will be cold but not really much colder than it will be in the States during the time I am here. England's coldest months are January and February so thankfully we will avoid them).

I was actually under the impression that rather than being colder here than America, it will just get colder sooner. And perhaps that's true but it hasn't really happened yet.

I absolutely hate being cold, so I usually wear more layers or heavier coats than I need to. If we're going somewhere and no one else it wearing a jacket, I'll still bring one, and probably end up carrying it all day. It's not so much that I get any colder than anyone else, but rather that I'm paranoid.

Then we also have the fact that our flat is located at the bottom of a hill surrounded by trees so when I step outside to gauge the weather, I also think it is relatively chilly so I grab a blazer, or a heavier jacket if I deem it necessary. I then walk up the hill (which can heat up your body anyway) and then get to the main road where the sun is shining and it feels multiple degrees warmer. So I always end up taking off my jacket. It's actually amazing how much warmer it is on the main road than down by our flat. You wouldn't think that they were only a 10 minutes walk away from each other.

There also really haven't been very many absolutely rainy days so far.. I would say that it rains pretty much every day here, but not always for very long and it can be absolutely beautiful later on. I have only really had the occasion to wear my yellow raincoat a few times, and have only worn my colorful polka-dotted rain boots once since I've been here, so I might send them home with my parents when they come. We have had a few very rainy days in which all you want to do is snuggle in your bed and drink Hot Cocoa. Luckily, these have fallen on weekends typically, so I haven't had to leave my flat during the rain.

So, thus far I think we've been pretty lucky with the weather. And the fact that we're in England and I was expecting such dreariness makes the beautiful days all the more enjoyable because they come as a surprise. And really, we've actually seen a lot of sunshine. Certainly much more than I was expecting.

So most of the time here as autumn has begun, I haven't really needed any of my warm jackets or clothes. A shirt or jumper and blazer has sufficed. There was actually one instance a few weeks ago in which I went into the City Centre with Caitlin and I was wearing a short sleeved dress with tights and I had a cotton blazer with me. It was actually a beautiful day and most people in town weren't wearing any coats--some were even wearing shorts-- and I didn't want to put my jacket on because a) I want to blend with all of the British people and b) I wanted to enjoy this day for what it was. It's not often in October that you can really walk around in short sleeves without a jacket on and I wanted to take advantage of that.

So when my mom asked me what sort of coats she and my dad should bring when they come visit me in a few days, I told her that I haven't really worn heavy coats at all, and that I barely ever wear my heavier autumn coat and I let her do with that information as she would like.

But then, after talking with Dr. Schweitzer about when her family came to visit, it has occurred to me that part of the reason I haven't felt that cold here is because I have become acclimated to British weather. So now I'm kind of afraid that my parents will come and be cold because they need heavier jackets. But I'm sure my Mom will bring a heavy enough coat because she is always prepared, so I'm not too worried.

But if you see my parents wandering around Oxford absolutely freezing... it's definitely not my fault.

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