It is fair to say that the British are obsessed with weather. Statistically, over nine out of ten Brits have talked about the weather in the last six hours! Due to their geographical location, the British Isles experience mild, but wet, changeable and most of the time unpredictable weather. That is why we tend to get cold, grey, rainy days in the middle of August, and sunny and bright Christmases here in the UK.
To get you more familiar with the weather smalltalk, we would like to introduce some essential phrases to describe our most common weather phenomenon: rain.
Cloudburst: A sudden and heavy downpour that starts and ends suddenly. The term is derived from the notion that clouds are like water balloons, releasing enormous amounts of water once burst.
Spitting: Light but unpleasant rain that you can only just about to see. We might also say “it’s spitting”, when it’s just started to rain.
Picking: Where the English use spitting, the Welsh might use picking. The word comes from the Welsh word pigan meaning “starting to rain”.
Mizzle: A misty drizzle. The term is commonly used in Devon and Cornwall to describe a mixture of fine rain and thick fog.
Smirr: A Scottish word to describe a fine rain or drizzle. A smirr (or smur in parts of England) is so light it seems like a mist or smoke.
Letty: In Somerset, if it is letty outside, there is just enough rain to make outdoor work difficult.
Plothering: In the Midlands and northeast of England, plothering is used to describe heavy rain with little or no wind. The word actually describes the sound of fat droplets falling straight down and hitting the ground.
Stoating: Stoat is a Scottish word for bounce. Stoating rain is so heavy that it bounces off the ground.
Raining upwards: If rain is so heavy that it bounces up and hits you from below, it is raining upwards.
Raining cats and dogs: A heavy, drenching rain. We might also use the words torrent, deluge or downpour to describe this type of rainfall. The phrase origins in the 17th century.
Even though Manchester is not the rainiest place in the UK (eighth), we still receive a generous amount of water falling from the sky throughout the year. But do not fret, there is plenty to do in Manchester on a rainy (or not!) day:
Crazy golf – experience an indoor golf course (there are three to choose from) in a colourful venue, full of music, food and drink. Try Junk Yard Golf club on First Street, just a 5-minute walk away from UKEC Academy https://www.junkyardgolfclub.co.uk/manchester/
Museums – there are plenty of events happening in Manchester Museum, and the collections vary from archaeology, through earth sciences, plants and animals to money! Walk down Oxford Road and you will find it in the University building: https://www.museum.manchester.ac.uk/
Galleries – choose from Manchester Art Gallery in the city centre with mostly classical art on display (http://manchesterartgallery.org/), The Whitworth Gallery surrounded by Whitworth Park with more contemporary collections (https://www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk/) or Platt Hall in Platt Fields Park with the Gallery of Costume (http://manchesterartgallery.org/collections/our-collections/costume/)
Libraries – most Manchester libraries offer not only a space to study and read, but also exhibitions, educational events, and even chill out areas to enjoy a cup of coffee, tea and a snack with friends! Not to mention, their architecture is stunning! Visit John Rylands Library (https://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/), Central Library (http://www.librarylive.co.uk/) or The Portico Library (https://www.theportico.org.uk/)
Shopping – you know the drill – all the biggest brands under one roof – we recommend Trafford Centre – the third biggest retail complex in the UK! You can take the bus (no.50) from the city centre: https://intu.co.uk/traffordcentre
Cinema – there are three large cinemas near UKEC Academy: HOME on First Street (https://homemcr.org/cinema/), Odeon at Deansgate (https://www.odeon.co.uk/cinemas/manchester_great_northern/225/) and Vue in Printworks (https://www.myvue.com/cinema/manchester-printworks/whats-on)
Indoor climbing – there are taster sessions for people of all ages at the Manchester Climbing Centre, and they are open all week. Book your lesson at: https://manchesterclimbingcentre.com/first-visit/
Bowling – are you good at ten-pin bowling? Not sure? Visit Dog Bowl on Whitworth Street West (https://blackdogballroom.co.uk/dog-bowl/) or All Star Lanes at Deansgate (https://www.allstarlanes.co.uk/locations/manchester) to find out!
Karting – Enjoy a race in high-speed professional racing karts at Manchester’s number 1 karting track with 15 bends! Don’t worry, there is an instructor on site. Book at: https://www.team-sport.co.uk/go-karting-manchester/
Darts – Flight club is a spacious, friendly venue, with food, drink and social darts! The play area is called an ‘oche’ (rhymes with ‘hockey’) and can hold up to 12 players. To book a table go to: http://flightclubdarts.com/manchester/