The other day I drove through the pouring drought to Folkstone, my windshield wipers furiously flinging the water away so that I could get to the train on time. And when we came home hours later, we drove back through the drought-parched jungle of southern England while more drought clouds dripped sprinkles on us, taunting us with our inability to use a hosepipe.
See how I've adjusted my language to the dialect of my adopted country? I know now that a "drought" is really a fancy British word for "malingering showers". And a hosepipe ban, a necessary component of a drought, is more of that wry British humor Americans seem incapable of understanding.
We spent Tuesday in France, where they seem to be having a drought on, too. The fields between Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer were verdant and green, and the whole time we were in the Nausicaa aquarium the cold rain poured outside. Even the fish were glad to be indoors on such a day.
Some water companies lifted the hosepipe ban yesterday, in a fun little twist on irony. Yet my water company, Veolia, is determined to stick to the script. No hosepipe relief for its customers, no sirree! We'll suffer through this drought thingy, come hell or high water!
High water it is, then.
Americans watching our damp Jubilee celebrations were probably wondering why on earth England scheduled a Jubilee during a "drought". (Scare-quotes necessary to clue in you Yanks to the ironic use of that word.) Since the Jubilee celebration seemed entirely arbitrary, why not schedule them whenever they could do some good, tempting the gods to rain on our parade—literally—and ease dry conditions much more effectively than cloud seeding?
We could ease any future recession at the same time, by increasing sales of bunting.
Bunting and brollies! We'll have a right jolly olde time! (On the other hand, our rain butts will sit swollen and useless, alongside our limp hosepipes. C'est la vie!)
Long live the Queen! May she reign—or is that rain?—indefinitely. Or at least until we get some proper weather.