Away From the Centre of Things

Where the sun was shining……

As a London resident I suppose I have grown used to how utterly focussed on the capital most of the UK media is, and let it pass without really noticing.  These last few days it has been thrown into vivid highlight, however.

It’s understandable to a certain extent; it’s the Jubilee Weekend, two public holidays and a number of mass participation events involving the Queen, outside on the River, at an open air concert and riding around in various open top carriages.  And, according to the news coverage, the weather has been fairly awful, but we plucky Brits are out there celebrating in spite of the weather.

My issue with the news, however, is that when I turned on the radio on both Sunday and Monday mornings the announcer told me that my day was going to be a trial because of the terrible weather forecast to over shadow my outdoor festivities and dampen my enthusiasm for celebration.  All this, while I opened the curtains to admire the bright blue sky, brilliant sunshine and the reflections of the buildings on the other side of the river in the still and shining surface of the Clyde.

Yes, the breeze was a little chilly when I walked, shading my eyes against the sunshine, for the newspaper, but that soon settled, and we were able to enjoy a day of warm weather in the garden.

I don’t know how far beyond Helensburgh the good weather extended because the available meteorological information is rather limited to that for the environs of London, which appear, at present, in the minds of the BBC radio current affairs programmers, to represent the entirety of the known world.

It reminded me of when I first returned to the UK after spending a couple of years in Russia.  There I was an avid listener to the BBC World Service, and a regular, if not necessarily enthusiastic, viewer of BBC Prime.  Both of these services offered extensive weather information.  It was only after I came back to the UK that I realised how accustomed I had grown to absorbing the comparative temperatures of, say, Moscow, St Petersburg, Abu Dhabi, Stockholm, Manchester and New York. The UK weather and news looked incredibly parochial and small by comparison.  This week it has appeared even smaller

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