Japan hit by earthquake; England watches on TV.

When the below blog was written, less than 40 people had been thought to be killed and no news about the nuclear power plant threats had reached me. The circumstances and death toll have now dramatically changed; my thoughts are with the people of Japan. Mark J Daniels, 10:15am 12/03/2011

We British are great at talking about the weather. We’re practically obsessed with it, and many a conversation starts with “does anybody know what the weather will be like tomorrow?”

From pubs and bars to hairdressers and barbers, ladies’ coffee mornings and on to shy singles meeting in the new Asda Dating aisles, those stuck for something to say in England will always strike up a conversation about the weather.  It’s the very core of an Englishman to want to be a meteorologist, whilst simultaneously getting on with the mundanity of our everyday lives.

And more than just talking about the weather, we love to moan about it.  Especially when we’ve experienced one of the longest, bleakest and coldest winters for decades.  Most of us aspire to travel abroad on holiday, heading for the Costa del Sol in search of hot sunshine and cold beer, and others flee the country altogether, emigrating for warmer climes in order to escape the grey and wet English summer.

I love to travel, too, and have been lucky enough to travel to as far flung destinations as Malaysia and Hong Kong as well as much of Europe and the Americas.  But I always come home, because while Great Britain might be grey, wet and miserable, here we don’t have poisonous spiders lurking in the trees nor crocodiles roaming the streets in search of somebody to eat for dinner. And we don’t suffer badly from earthquakes – the last major one we had in the UK knocked over a couple of plastic patio chairs, causing many to get very excited, but that was about it.

So I’m quite happy to stay here, despite the high fuel prices and ridiculous taxation and the constant attempt to blame everything that goes wrong on the melting ice caps.  Because here in little ol’ Blighty I don’t have to wake up each morning worrying about whether a tsunami has swept the tortoise away.

Many of us in England are able to sit and watch the scenes of devestation on our televisions, and feel sorry for the affected people.  Few of us will have the reality of it brought home to us, yet a customer has just left my bar having come in for a break from watching the news and waiting for the phone to ring.

His grandmother lives on the coast where the quake hit…

And with that thought I wish the people of Japan the very best ~ the scenes of devastation are terrible and it’s amazing that, at the time of writing, the loss of life appears to be so low.  I hope they are able to recover from this frightening natural disaster as quickly and safely as possible.

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