Because we can’t go through a cold snap without doing it, the temperature of the UK has been compared to temperatures of other cold places to see where it is the coldest.
This happens in summer as well, on the odd day that the sun blazes down upon our fair isle, people hunt for the hottest place in the UK and then spin through the temperatures of a number of traditional holiday hot spots so that we can say that somewhere in the UK was warmer than somewhere in Spain.
And we always say it with such smugness.
We’ve done it with the cold as well. Colder, we were, than Moscow. Which, as everyone knows, is stereotypically cold. Think Moscow, think cold. Then furry hats. Then Tetris. In that order.
The thing that we don’t take into account when we do these comparisons is that the places we are comparing with cope a hell of a lot better with the temperature – be it warm or cold – than we do. We come to a crashing halt with a sprinkle of snow and some ice, Moscow just gets shit done. Sometimes they even do stuff in their own country, giving the puppet masters a little time off from pulling the strings of the most successful Muppet to ever enter the political arena.
Likewise, when it’s hot we complain about sweating like fat lasses on dance floors while other countries just get on with stuff. Or, you know, go inside during the hot part of the day because it’s stupidly hot rather than lying out in a municipal park waiting for a news crew to come and take some footage of you enjoying the sun.
So the UK was colder than Moscow. For a day. Or a night. And then it got a bit warmer and we’re not colder than Moscow anymore. But for that brief moment, we were there, riding high at the top of the league table of places you wouldn’t want to leave a bottle of water outside and blissfully ignoring the fact that the infrastructure of the country was falling apart and failing to cope with a little bit of a nip in the air.