>I saw the sky today, for the first time in maybe 6 days. It was blue and massive, reassuring and gently uplifting. It’s been raining here for days, downpours galore. When your day consists of going to work in the dark and leaving as the sky pales, it can be fairly depressing in this country. I like the sky, love the colour and adore raging sunsets.

I’ve become un-English over the last few years, like a lot of my generations, we are moving away from the stiff, conservatism that made this country unique and homely. The Graham Greene characters my old mate Paul Prosser loves so much are past now; the foreigners stranded abroad, living in his ‘Little England’ far from home, pessimistic of ever returning, unable to mentally even if he could physically. The Englishness is receding but maybe the inability to return home isn’t. I know Paul and I have talked about it after our traditional 20 pints.

The clocks go back this weekend hastening the winter, pushing us indoors, huddled under the weather and English culture, watching the same TV programmes in each house, almost hibernating until the spring. But this usurping of old Englishness has led to almost an open celebration of summer. The summers are truly great, sitting outside drinking a beer. You will never not find a smile. That’s where I’m gonna live, forever summer. I’ll invite you when i find it.

I wanna know, have you ever smiled at the rain?

The raining season, much hyped, came and went without really arriving here. I expected monsoons, typhoons, lashings of rain falling from space, slamming into my head with Thor’s fist.

Koreans are fully prepared for the rain. Huge golf umbrellas, fit for a Godzilla, rise up at the first grey cloud, threatening to take my eye, forcing a despairing, desperate lunge to the side to avoid laceration. For as we know, Koreans don’t really think about other people too much. It’s thoroughly pissed me off this summer. What type of summer lasts a few weeks, followed by four weeks letdown rain and then autumn?

Alas but when last week, it rained unexpectedly, picture the scene; umbrellaless wide-eyed, petrified girls or dumb-struck men scampering across streets, grasping for any cover as the first specks of ants tears tiptoed from the heavens. I felt like thanking the big man but he doesn’t exist. I thanked my dentist Mike Gregory instead for I had a smile a very large lizard would be proud of.