Although I live in London, I spend a fair bit of time traveling to other parts of Europe. Whenever I return from a trip, I call the local taxi driver, M, to pick me up at the train station. During every taxi ride, I always ask M how the weather was while I was gone. “Miserable” he always response without fail, adding “Darling, it’s England.”
I laugh at this. Partly because this 50 year old man insists on calling me darling, but also because the stereotype about English weather rings true. It’s a pity that the entire United Kingdom, from Whales to Scotland, seems to be on permanent overcast, with 80% chance of rain.
But, that was before I found Eastbourne – a small town on the coast of the English Channel. There, the water helps to regulate the temperature; the town’s small claim to fame is being the warmest part of England. It might be raining in London, but Eastbourne will always have sunshine.
On an afternoon that drizzled nonstop in London, I followed the sun to Eastbourne. I was in south England but it might as well have been Southern France. The weather was so nice that I didn’t even want to leave. Of course, by the time I left, drizzling had turned into pouring in London. But at least next taxi ride I can respond to M, “But sweetheart, you must not know about Eastbourne.”