In Watching the English Kate Fox describes English people as using the weather as a tool that has evolved to help them start a conversation. In general she describes it as a way to start small talk and create a conversation. I didn’t really understand what she meant by this but after spending 4 weeks in the UK I realized it’s the immediate go to subject for English people when talking to someone new. During our first week of visits to the workplace of W&L alumnus I had the impression that our group had arrived during the greatest period of weather that England had ever witnessed. Every person we met at each site chimed about how the past three days of sun were immaculate and that we were so lucky. Since I had been there for only a week I assumed we were just really lucky and paid little attention to it.
Once I started work the weather was still brought up even though these couple weeks had some small scattered showers. Each time however I went into work the weather almost always seemed to come up if people didn’t know exactly what to say but wanted to continue or create a conversation. It was classic small talk etiquette but it seemed that everyone in England had mastered this specific form of small talk.
But I realized why they paid so much attention to the weather when I went to Wimbledon. After camping out on a lovely Thursday night to get in the queue for cheap tickets for Friday’s matches I realized how quickly the weather can change. On Thursday we looked and saw that Friday was supposed to be cloudy but warm. But throughout the day we witnessed everything from howling winds, overcast skies, bright summer sun with no clouds in sight, torrential downpours, and multiple tennis matches who became victim to rain delays caused by light pours for 4 minutes. It was baffling and all I could talk about for that day was the weather and the tennis matches that I had watched. It was so unpredictable and terrible at some points that it was just fun to talk about how much it shifted, how bad it could get, and how amazing the moments were when the sun came out. In summary the English weather is so unpredictable that it makes one of the best small talk topics because everyone has an experience with it that they could go and talk about for at least a couple minutes

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