Back in June we had a visit from a family with a little girl. It rained (of course), so everyone abandoned the garden – except for the little girl, who insisted on putting on wellies, raincoat and hat and stood out in the deluge with a beatific smile on her face. Haven’t we all had those moments of bliss as children, lost in enjoyment of some simple pleasure denied to adults? I guess most of us can recall the delight in splashing through puddles in a new pair of wellies.
Even as an adult, I used to enjoy rain, in the right place and the right time; and when I was properly dressed for it. Outside on a wet day in waterproof clothing I have often found myself carried back to days (many of them) when I have walked over the fells with the scents of moorland grasses in my nostrils and the wind in my face, feeling exhilarated, full of life, refreshed.
But not this year, not at the end of this August as summer turns to autumn, the days draw in – and still it rains. I enjoy every season, in theory: the smoky gold and bronze of autumn; the crisp cold of winter; the burgeoning abundance of spring. But when the long light summer days have been drowned out in greyness, when the sun has scarcely shown its face for more than a day or two at a time, at best; and now all hope of summer has gone – well, how can one possibly enjoy that?
I don’t like intense heat; I hate sunbathing. I like weather that’s fresh enough to let one think, and be active. But this year I crave warmth and light and colour.
Perhaps there’s an Indian summer on its way. Perhaps. But I rather doubt it.
Any chance that we’ll get sun next summer… ? A barbecue summer perhaps?