Sunday, April 27, 2008
Londoners love to talk about the weather. One thing I’ve learned since I’ve been here is that the best way to strike up a conversation with a stranger is to talk about the rain, hail, fog, snow or other inclement precipitation that has plagued the city that day. Much as people like to discuss how the climate is ever-changing, the depressing reality is that the weather in London is always abysmal.
That is, it was until yesterday. Something happened yesterday that Londoners weren’t quite sure what to make of. A star, known to humans in other parts of the world as the “sun”, appeared out of nowhere and precipitated an obscure natural phenomenon the meteorologists told us to call “warm weather.”
As Londoners aren’t used to such weather, the entire city turned into one giant outdoor party. Hampstead was overrun with central Londoners making their first ever trips up “north” to the Hampstead Heath, Notting Hill‘s Portobello Market was even more packed than its usual shoulder-to-shoulder nightmare, and stiff upper lips everywhere were breaking into something that resembled smiles.
Having experienced this warm weather thing before, my boyfriend and I felt compelled to show our new city how to behave in such conditions. Appropriately, we bought a few cases of Bud Light (yep, they sell it here) and some hot dogs and burgers, fired up our grill, and invited pretty much everyone we’ve ever met in London to come to our backyard BBQ.
We weren’t sure how things would turn out, it being our first attempt at a party in our new city. But soon enough our terrace was filled with friends, coworkers, and neighbors. We broke out the supply of red SOLO cups that we brought from the States, enjoyed the cole slaw, deviled eggs, and brownies that our American friends made especially for the occasion, and cooked up some burgers with English-style American cheese.
While our conversations strayed well away from the usual London weather banter, we still couldn’t help but marvel at how beautiful the day was. Our first BBQ was a success; we just hope the dismal weather won’t mean it was our last.