Rethinking British Summertime

Great Britain

At this time of the year my neighbour’s kid might still be expected to be shovelling snow. Yesterday he was asleep on his outdoor pool table, soaking up the rays.

The Christmas poinsettias are still on the windowsill. Until three weeks ago there were still Christmas lights on the lampposts nearby. And for the last week, I’ve been writing on my terrace in shorts, getting a sunburned back. The days are suddenly long and hot. The crystal sky has revealed Venus and the moon in eclipse. At this time of the year we’re nearer the sun than in so-called summer, and this, make no mistake, is summer, baking and dry with drought restrictions in place. There are bees about, but no flowers for them to feast on.

But then, what we’ve traditionally thought of as summer isn’t, not anymore. August is usually cold, wet and miserable, and yet it’s the time when most open-air events take place. So this year I’ve decided I won’t be sitting in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre soaked and freezing while ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ drags on in icy drizzle. Nor attend concerts in parks, sinking into slime as my knees turn blue and the stage is lost under a haze of sleet. March is the new August, which makes June autumn and winter – er, help.

9 comments on “Rethinking British Summertime”

  1. Nostalgia.Detected says:

    The week after the clocks go forward is usually a shock to the system anyway, but this year it’s even more confusing because of all this sun! What’s going on – I can’t even work out what day it is at the moment I’m so bedazzled!

    I like this weather though because it’s nice and fresh. I’m not a great fan of the summer usually because it seems to be so much more humid these days and after a hot day in August I end up frazzled and completely lacking in energy, whereas this week even though my body clock is totally confused I’ve still got a bit of a spring in my step and a bit more optimistic than of late.

  2. Dan Terrell says:

    The weather is nice, but we’ve just had one of the warmest winters on record, no snow and little rain. Now, more weeds than ever have survived and the bugs have had a grand winter. The forecasters predict we may all go down with a spray can in one hand and a weeding tool in the other. Are we ready for THEM in real life? Do you have stink bugs in the U.K.? If not, would you like a pailful?

  3. Vickie says:

    Hey, Dan, we LIKE the people in the U.K. Why would you try to fob off stink bugs on them????

    I cannot relate to everybody’s temperature/inclemency discussions; I live in the southwest desert: it is always sunny, dry and mild (except for a couple of months when it is so hot, one can only go outside safely from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.).

    And, hey, now that you mentioned it, Dan, in 30+ years living here, I’ve never seen a stink bug. Another reason to love it here!

  4. Dan Terrell says:

    Yes, Vickie, we do like the people in the U.K. And I couldn’t have done it, just thought I’d try it on for fun. Heh-heh-heh. A pailful wouldn’t be worth the shipping cost. That would be just a wiggling drop in the tidal wave of bugs in Pennsylvania. Have a friend who used a Hoover to suck them off the outside of his house. Couldn’t go in or out without hitting the Hoovering. Got on his glasses, too, which makes it hard to Hoover.
    They like my tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, wax beans and leafy vegs. Had one checking out my inner ear last August in the middle of the night. Woke me straight up. Had a few on the Xmas tree, but then I had a wren fly in and sit in the tree, too. It didn’t bother the bugs. When the cry: “Stink bug alert!” goes off in my house, I have to run for the paper towels, wet one, and stalk the beastie. They flush down well. Admin certainly could cook up a nice horror story, if he experienced them first hand, foot, back of neck, as it might be. Easy for him to spot them in his place, too, so not too worry.
    But, Vickie, you say you don’t yet have the Asian stink bug in your state. Interesting. Hummmmm…..

  5. Gretta says:

    Outdoor pool table? I’m intrigued. I’m also intrigued why a young lad would feel the need to sleep on one. Unless it was the morning after the night before, of course.

    We’ve just had one of our best Summers in ages. Meanwhile the rest of the country has spent the past five months being drowned, hailed, blown away, and in some cases, lightly tornadoed. Daylight Savings ends here this weekend, but the temps are still in the late teens/early twenties(centigrade), although we did have a 3-degree frost a couple of days back. It’s still not quite time to be putting the flannelette sheets back on the bed, though.

  6. Helen Martin says:

    Dan, your stink bug problems are connected to that wren. It’s very bad luck to have a bird in the house, you know, although that story sounds like new verses for the twelve days of Christmas. We don’t have stink bugs on this coast, either. I think the mountains keep them away.
    Gretta, if you’ve just come off daylight saving time and we’ve just gone on, how on earth do countries talk to each other in ‘real time’?

  7. Gretta says:

    Helen – no idea. All I know is that most(if not all) of you guys are sooooo yesterday. 🙂

    (Posted on Friday, 30 March 2012, at 12:56pm)

  8. Helen Martin says:

    Very good, Gretta. A friend is headed to Australia and I was trying to work out if you gain or lose an hour with this situation. Since the flight is 16 hours I don’t suppose it matters much.

  9. John Howard says:

    It just seems that we have slipped 2 months in the last 40 years. Either they or the earths axis tilt has incurred more to the upright and we are getting more highs, in relation to the weather you understand, than we used to at this time of year.

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