The golden days of summer
Alas, 50 race meetings have been lost due to weather, and 'the premier rural event on the calendar, the CLA Game Fair – due to be held at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, next weekend – has been cancelled'. The British are happy to go on with life in rain or even a gale in autumn, winter or spring, but they have high, very high hopes for warm summer weather:
When the bleak winter draws to a close we begin thinking ahead to those crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer. We scrape last year’s grease from the barbecue and stock up with charcoal. We make sure that the garden parasol is in good working order, to shield us from the heat of the sunshine that is bound to come.
Then we get online and eagerly book tickets for Glyndebourne, Wimbledon, Chelsea, Royal Ascot, Lord’s and the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. It is not that we are necessarily hooked on opera, tennis, flowers, horse racing, cricket, or even Shakespeare. It is the occasions that we anticipate: delectable picnics on the lawn; lavish teas with strawberries and cream; recklessly spilling champagne down our blazers.
But alas, rain is pouring down as I write.
Still, St Swithun of Winchester might save the summer:
Tomorrow is St. Swithin’s Day. Tradition has it that if it rains on that day it will be wet for forty days, but if it is fine it will stay dry for the same period. And forecasters predict, albeit without absolute certainty, that over much of the country there is a good chance of sunshine.