Weather is our Achilles heel

I have to admit the weather is getting me down. I have reached the point where I watch the news not to see the news but to see if the sun is shining in the background when the reporters do their silly pieces to camera - many of them live via satellite like the one last night of a man with an umbrella doing a report on Prince Harry not being allowed to serve in Iraq.

I have to admit the weather is getting me down. I have reached the point where I watch the news not to see the news but to see if the sun is shining in the background when the reporters do their silly pieces to camera - many of them live via satellite like the one last night of a man with an umbrella doing a report on Prince Harry not being allowed to serve in Iraq.

He was standing in front of the Ministry of Defence in the pouring rain at 10pm - why ?

Because it made the news look all whizzy and happening and up to the minute? No, it just made him look wet and silly. He could perfectly have easily told us what he told us in the studio. One cheery aspect however was that it was at least raining in London too.

We all know that living in the North is infinitely more agreeable than living in the South but the north/south weather divide is a bit of an Achilles heel for us northerners.

And southerners play on this.

They know that when they bang on about their architecture and their restaurants and their buzzy culture they are just showing off.

But when they gloat about how much better their weather is, then this really gets us mad. "How's the frozen north?" they say. "You've still got the heating on, oh, poor you - it must be awful for you." Trouble is we have had the heating on this week ..in May !

But with all this global climate change going on, maybe we're going to have the last laugh.

The South will become a drought-stricken desert and the North will end up with the mild Mediterranean-type weather that the south coast boasts of today.

Southerners are so weedy. They go to Scarborough for the weekend and instead of coming back bowled over with the magnificent beach and coastal path they use words like "bracing", or "blowy" or "bleak".

Like they live on the French Riviera or something, not Chingford!

It might be warmer by half a degree down south but the way they go on you'd think they were living on an entirely different continent - because they don't half exaggerate it.

They come to stay for the weekend and demand hot water bottles (in July) and purposely forget to bring a jumper and then ask to borrow one (or two) and wear a muffler indoors to shame you into putting the heating on.

When I get a minute I'm going to sneak some live web cams into the houses of some of my friends down south and so when they call and say they are lolling on their sunbeds in the garden or setting the table for lunch outside or doing a barbecue (not even in the garage or anything) I'm going to check. Because half the time I think they make out it's about five degrees hotter than it actually is.

The warmest place in the UK is the Scilly Isles, with an average mean temperature of 14ºC.

But Jersey claims to be the warmest too, and so does Eastbourne and so does Bognor so they'll just have to fight it out while we do something more interesting.

The coldest place is Braemar in the Grampians, with an average mean (and I do mean mean) temperature of 6.5ºC.

We get real weather up here in the North-East, the kind of weather that means you need to pull your bobble hat down over your ears; the kind of weather that lashes under the back door and blows the dustbins down the street; the kind of weather that means you have the windscreen wipers on fast for hours on end, that kind of weather.

Nothing nancy, like a fine mist or a sprinkling of snow, but real snow, deep snow, the sort of snow that means you have to dig the car out. It's not that we necessarily get worse weather in the North. I suppose we get, well, more weather.

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