Liquid Sunshine – Part Deux

After a ‘dry’ cold miserable winter, nearly all English water authorities put hose pipe bans in place. Ironically, they put them in place on the first of April, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. Since April Fool’s day it’s rained. A lot! And there’s been flooding. Lots of flooding actually whilst hosepipe bans have been in force. Who says the English haven’t got a sense of humour.

I like the rain. I have no choice, if I want to remain sane..

Still, look on the plus side. England doesn’t have deserts, we have a mild climate and no deadly snakes, spiders, crocodiles, man-eating sharks, piranhas, Rabies, Dengue Fever, Sleeping Sickness, Bilharzia, Ebola, West Nile fever, Malaria, Guinea Worm and that fish that swims up the stream of urine into your bits.

Also, no major earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Most of the rest of this deceptively beautiful planet wants to kill you, in as nasty a way as possible. Yes, Australia, I’m looking at you in particular. Our own little patch of the ecosystem, by comparison, merely wants to annoy you and depress your spirits. How fortunate we are.

Before I moved to this green and soggy land, I did a bit of research. I was surprised to find that both Central Park and Boston had twice the annual precipitation as where I live now in London. Yet to this day, no one on either side of the pond seems to believe this fact. We get it in a steady drizzle, they get it in great downpours but then have long periods of that strange phenomenon called ‘sunshine’.

However, just to be obstinate, people here wear summer clothes throughout June, first in hope, then in defiance, and finally out of spite. Over the course of the month they get progressively wetter, colder and more downhearted. Yesterday was Summer Solstice. I rained all day. On Sunday it’s officially Midsummers Day. The weather forecast is for rain all day. The bloke who thought of calling 24th June ‘midsummer’ must have the English ironic sense of humour. Midsummer really needs to be moved to about the 1st September.

Whole regions are receiving a month’s worth of liquid sunshine in an afternoon; a rain gauge comes to resemble the speedometer on a Ferrari because it fills up so quickly. You can even make your own out of a straight-sided glass or jar – just draw horizontal lines at intervals on the outside using a permanent marker. Label each line with a suitable unit of measurement;

1. Whoa!
2. Unbelievable!
3. Holy shit!
4. Get in the car, this holiday is OVER!
5. We’d better start building an ark!

Leave it outside and wait with anticipation.

It’s Royal Ascot this week and thousands of ladies will be swapping their big hats for sou’westers. The Isle Of Wight Music Festival is on right now, from Friday 22 June to Sunday 24 June. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are on headlining duty. I hope they brought umbrellas, from the pictures on the BBC it seems to be a mud bath. Then we have Wimbledon Tennis starting on Monday, this is a cue to the weather to really start chucking it down solidly for two weeks. The London ‘Summer’ Olympics are starting on the 27th July and finish on the 12th August. That’s when our summer will start, the 13th of August. I can’t wait!

The water authorities reluctantly lifted their hose pipe bans at the start of this week. Excellent, now the hosepipe ban is off I can clean my car – but it’s raining . . . .

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