Dear British Summer,
Very decent of you to let your distant relative, ‘Hot Summer’, stay at yours while you’re off raining on people elsewhere for once. We’re all enjoying the warm sunshine and blue sky so, feel free, to stay away for a while yet.
The novelty of regular sightings of the big yellow thing in the sky haven’t yet worn off yet so the British are suffering from a fairly large dose of good moodites.
This is particularly severe for the English as their football team has started well at the World Cup. At the time of writing they’ve already registered victories against Tunisia and Panama, both of whom are renowned giants of the sport (for my American readers this last sentence was an example of British sarcasm).
Of course we all know British Summer that you’ll be back soon enough. It’s the start of Wimbledon next week so I know how much you like to torture us by stopping the tennis and forcing us to join a communal sing song with Cliff Richard while the rain pours down.
I’m just about old enough to remember that year you bumped your head and suffered a temporary amnesia where you thought you were actually supposed to provide nice weather during a British Summer. We still refer to the summer of ’76 every time the mercury rises now. There’s nothing like a few months of water shortages to bring the British public together.
It’s actually quite amusing the way we have to go about planning a Barbecue when you’re around. We embark on a covert mission to invite people, purchase the food, charcoal and firelighters without you getting wind of it and parking a dark cloud directly above our gardens for the duration.
Another favourite is the good old ‘day out’. If we prepare for inclement weather by ensuring we pack waterproofs, umbrellas, change of clothes etc. it almost guarantees heatwave conditions. If we forget you’ll be there with hurricane force winds and driving rain. I know you find it amusing but it can be rather tiresome.
Back in 2007 you didn’t even tempt us with better things to come. It rained non stop for about six weeks. I remember being in a travel agent mid way through the monsoon where I overheard a prospective male customer engaging with the young girl working behind a desk;
“I’d like to book a holiday” said the male customer.
“Certainly Sir, do you have anywhere in mind?”
“Anywhere, just get me out of here”
It really was that bad.
My youngest son was born in 2007. I blame you entirely for the lack of any kind of sunny disposition he possesses. When people talk about nature versus nurture I look at him and see that, during those summer months that year, you ‘natured’ the sunshine out of him completely. He does have a wonderfully dry sense of humour though which he certainly didn’t get from your wet self.
I suppose one of these days we may benefit from the unpredictable nature of the weather you provide. We’d clean up, for example, if ‘talking about the weather’ ever became an Olympic sport.
We’ll be first packed and aboard the Arc the next time Noah shows his face as well. Our years of practice moving everything inside, or covering the cricket pitches at speed will hold us in good stead when the big flood comes.
Time for me to sign off now. Obviously, despite the beautiful day, I’ve been sitting inside the entire time I’ve been writing this letter. There is a wonderful line by Noel Coward where he exclaims that; “Only Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.
That might be true when we’re squeezing as much value out of our two weeks holiday to Benidorm or Torremolinos but, when on our own little Island, we get far more enjoyment from complaining about the heat in the same way we complain about the cold, wet, dry, fog, wind, snow, ice, hail etc.. It’s just what we do!
p.s. If you can see your way clear to leave the country again on the weekend of August 11/12 it would be appreciated. I’m planning a barbecue so sunshine is required
(I’m actually planning it for the weekend after but I’m attempting to bluff the scoundrel early doors. Obviously this bit will be deleted when I send the letter, it’s just so you readers know when to buy your burgers and kebabs).
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