Magazine article The Spectator

Blue-Sky Dreaming

Magazine article The Spectator

Blue-Sky Dreaming

Article excerpt

We don't have an extreme climate, says Richard Mabey in Tu r n e d O u t Nice Again (Pro f i le , £8 .99). We don't have tsunamis, active volcanoes, monsoons or Saharan duststorms.

'What we rea l ly su f fer f rom i s a whimsical climate, and that can be tougher to cope with than knowing for sure you're going to be under three feet of snow every December.'

Perhaps appropriately, then, he has written quite a whimsical little book, scarcely longer than a pamphlet, exploring the glorious oddne s s o f Br it i sh weather w ith cha racter i st ic elegance and perspicacity. East Anglian gales, 'ranting uninterrupted from the Urals', are 'a sight more brazen than the tree-top gossip of the Chilterns'. As Britons we 'expect to be punished ourselves should we ever be ble s sed w ith an inord inately perfect summer. "We'll pay for it, " we gloomily predict. …

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