I have long said that if there was ever to be an Olympic Games centred around the art of moaning then we would beat the French.
In actual fact we would clean up – it is likely that if they handed out medals for whinging then we would collect more gold than the Swiss did in the 1940s. The image of us Brits maintaining a stiff upper lip is as outdated as the bubble perm – we discovered our collective voice a long time ago and we use it with great aplomb. On street corners, in the aisles of discount German supermarkets, even in the tanning salon, we never cease to bleat on about what is giving us the goat.
Of course, if there is one thing guaranteed to send a whinging Pom into meltdown, it is the weather, and boy, have we had plenty of that in the past week. The usual meteorological inspired patter went from grumbles about how it was ‘greyer than last June’ to ‘I really can’t wait for it to rain’ in a matter of days. We really are the most contrary creatures on God’s earth and never is that characteristic more apparent than when the mercury rises above room temperature.
Last week, towns and cities were full of sweaty folk wearing faces which suggested they were to be shot at dawn. It is odd really: get a Brit on to the beaches of Benidorm then we will withstand temperatures that would fry an egg as long as we have a Sangria in one hand and a copy of The Sun in the other.
But if the sun shines that little bit too much when we are at work or picking the nippers up from school then we whine more than comedy revolutionary Brand does in one of his ‘presidential’ video addresses.
Granted, last week was hot and even the Daily Express wasn’t that wide of the mark when it predicted a ‘killer heatwave’, but we weren’t on our own. A pal went to work in the Middle East wearing his best lambswool suit when it was 47 degrees Celsius outside. Now that’s hot.
When it gets hotter than the norm over here, folk think it is perfectly acceptable to strip down to their gym shorts and flip flops when they nip to the shops for four pints of semi-skimmed.
We take to social media to inform the world that we cannot sleep in the sweltering heat unless we are dressed as nature intended and the hashtag #toohot trends.
The real problem is that most inhabitants of these islands don’t like extremes – we do everything in moderation, until it comes to moaning that is.