Italians talk as much about the weather as the Brits probably because it is so unpredictable though that said I was reading a book this week on the Anzio breakout in WWII and the American general described the weather in Italy as 3 months freezing intimate parts off, 6 months of mud and lashing rain and 3 months of boiling your brains from the heat. Maybe not much has changed. But today the talk especially in the North and Central areas is of the coldest and wettest May since records began and trust me they began a very long time ago. Those toga wearing Romans would have been worse off than that American general ! The Giro D’Italia cycling had stages cancelled and descents abandoned due to snow, cold and windchill. Snow still lies at 800 metres which is unheard of for the end of May and winter clothes are still the rig of day north of Rome.
We have not fared as badly down here in the South but our average day/night temp this month is 17C when it should be 21C and the last 3 days it is 14C . Now that is chilly and this morning as I sat reading there was a thump and a rather surprised central heating boiler obeying the thermostat leaped into life and that is exceptional for the time of year.
So what is the long range monthly forecast. Well the North and Central areas will remain cloudy with more snow and rain until June 9th when the temperatures will soar and they will go from winter into summer overnight as an heatwave sweeps in. The South will however stay cool with much more rain and unsettled weather certainly until the middle of the month. At least this wasn’t their forecast
Ah Helen Shapiro. Now in 1961 I managed to fail the exam to get me into the Nautical College Pangbourne, not a great seat of scholarship and learning I might add. So off to a crammer I went for two glorious terms in London’s Victoria/Pimlico area. Now one of the other boys there lived in a nice house in Victoria Park, Hackney, London a stones throw from the now newly built Olympic Stadium. His next door neighbour then was Helen Shapiro. After weeks of a charm offensive I finally managed to wangle a weekend at his place and dreamt of meeting Helen. However she had by then got her first number one record and was off touring the TV stations and she and I never got to meet poor girl !! But at least I slept in the bed that was against a wall that on the other side of which was Helen Shapiro. The wonders of youth !
But I digress. Back to the weather. It seems all this terrible weather has bought about one bonus. Italians are at it like little bunnies. A survey published today shows that 13% admit to having sex everyday ( Germans 5% and the French 7%). The reason they give is ” C’è nient’altro di fare. Il bruto tempo ” there is nothing else to do . The bad weather ! Worse or better is that 77% of Italians in some form of relationship admit to having had a dabble on the side this month. Why ? ” Cè nient’altro di fare ” !!
So do I believe the long range forecast, well in a word no. The two main weather channels here have for the past two weeks been an amazing 100% wrong with their forecasts even when they update them on the very day they are predicting. So today I have stored all the carpets in the attic, boxed up all the winter and spring clothes and placed them up there too and am sitting here freezing to death in shorts and a t-shirt while Geraldine sits warm and snuggly in a cardigan . I am hoping the central heating kicks in again this evening to save me from the fate of that American general and those poor Romans in their togas.