Miserable weather outside, yet I find it strangely comforting to be indoors listening to the rain rattling against the windows. The fact is that Belfast, where I grew up, is pretty wet. Comparing its average weather with that of my wife’s home city, I see that Belfast comes out as wetter for every month but April and May, where they are the same. Belfast is particularly wet in October, so I guess rain at this time of year is especially nostalgic for me.

People complain about the rain in Belgium too; Brussels is indeed wetter than Belfast in April, May and June, but otherwise Belfast wins – and even in April, May and June, Belfast has more rainy days; more ongoing drizzle and damp than short sharp showers.

I am a bit sceptical about the numbers given for average sunshine hours per day in each month, especially for December. I can just about believe that Brussels gets 5. It seems a bit harsh to say that Belfast gets none. And it is physically impossible that Birmingham should get 11!

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