Where did summer go?
The conversation last night, before we turned the light off, went something like this: “Are you too cold with the window open?” “No, are you too cold?” Neither of us wanted to admit defeat.
As I write this I am watching the rain come down in stair-rods through the window, bouncing off the roofs opposite. I have dodged the rain to the gym this morning, only to get soaked on the way back. I changed into dry clothes, waited for the rain to stop, walked the dog and got soaked again.
Lightning has just forked through the window, closely followed by thunder, and I’m contemplating abandoning work this morning to avoid getting struck. I have just one question: where has our summer gone?
And the worst of it, this is a repeat of yesterday, when I had duly consulted the weather forecast to be told I was safe, only to end up like a drowned rat – again. If this is an example of the Met Office’s level of expertise, I’m not surprised that the BBC is putting its forecasting out to tender.
I know that the Brits are obsessed with weather – small wonder when we can go through the four seasons in one day – but I would like a bit of summer back, please. I haven’t been able to paint the garden furniture, as we haven’t been guaranteed two days on the trot when it will be fine when I’m around. We even realised last night that there hasn’t been one month yet when the hot water bottles have not made an appearance (sorry, hate electric blankets).
St Swithin has a lot to answer for: yes, it rained on St Swithin’s day, July 15, so wet weather was predicted for another 40 days and 40 nights. By my reckoning, this should have taken us to August 24…and still it pours. Even though weather forecasters predicted a ‘mixed picture’, with many regions escaping the prophecy, that’s not what it looks like from here. It’s all too much for my sensitive soul: will start looking on lastminute.com for some sunshine.
But there again, how many of us would be happy with wall-to-wall sunshine? Looking at some of the pictures on the news at lunchtime, I reassess my whingeing. Maybe it’s a case of all things in moderation. So if the weather gods are listening, here are my requirements:
• Sunshine and a bit of rain in the spring, to ensure a healthy garden.
• Temperatures peak in July, with sun and the odd cloudburst.
• Sufficient sunny days in a row thereafter to acquire a tan.
• A gentle mid-20s for August, sunny with rain at the slightest mention of water rationing.
• An Indian summer in September, all the better to appreciate outdoor life before…
• Shorter days, a chill in the air, but enough sun around for a good walk.
And speaking of walking, does anyone else have a water dog who hates the rain (but loves swimming)? Now, which one of us is going to crack first and turn the central heating on? My bet is one of the offspring.