England basks in summer heatwave!(June 18, 2017)
That hackneye headline might be great if you're outside, sitting by a slowly meandering river, absorbed in the gently waving trees or remarking that there’s not a cloud in the sky ... not so great if you're stuck in an office or classroom. Fantastic if you're an ice cream salesman ... not so wonderful if you're a farmer with crops gasping in the field or a driver sitting in a pool of sweat as the traffic ahead moves not one inch.
Whatever your take on the current spell of ‘hot, dry and sunny’ English weather ... remember this, you are in the British Isles and no weather pattern lasts forever ... despite the oft-repeated ‘since records began’. So while the media ramps up its frenzied reporting to ‘what a scorcher’ levels and makes dire predictions that we will all die of thirst as the reservoirs empty, spare a thought for the organisers of festivals and other outdoor events.
How many of these fine folk are looking out daily at blue skies from edge to edge, worrying themselves sick that our weather with its usual unpredictability will collapse the day their event opens. Will it be that classic of English weather phenomena’s ... wonderful until the first day of Glastonbury and then four days of biblical rainfall? Perhaps it will be the supposed words of George II’s royal cliché that characterised the British summer as: "Three fine days and a thunderstorm". Instead of sunshine, gallons of rain will pour across this ‘green and pleasant’ land just as the ticket booths open for business.
So whatever happens, when we’re all freezing as we wander through Somme-like mud and Equatorial downpours to hear the day’s music, remember the phrase, ‘since records began’ and be happy that you’re part of another record.