Americans are brash. French people are rude. Asian people are smart. And English people – as well as being snooty, unable to express emotions and, according to Hollywood, make perfect super villains – moan about the weather. I’m not sure about the other stereotypes, but the Brits do like to whinge that it’s too wet, hot, cold or snowy.
This has been even more true of late with the atypical stuff Mother Nature has been throwing at us. The snow threw us into a tizzy and gave us a whole host of things to moan about. Roads weren’t salted, trains weren’t running, planes grounded, Xmases ruined. One look at Facebook and you could see everyone shouting about how annoyed they were…me included. And it’s not just the weather. We work ourselves into paroxysms of rage about tourists getting in our way, inflation, that Katie Price is allowed on TV and all the other niggly irritations of modern life. On my first day back at work this year when the extremely surly London Underground worker told me that my season ticket had gone up in price after I had stood in a queue for half an hour, I was sorely tempted to start ranting about tube strikes and train delays, but instead I waited so my colleagues and I could rant together at work.
Which is fine isn’t it? We’re in a recession and times are hard. However when I went to see the Ministry of Food exhibit at the Imperial War Museum over Christmas I realised that we don’t have it all that bad. It was all about how Britain fed itself during World War Two, and gave me a lot of food for thought (har har).