Summer No Thanks
Perhaps I’m a bit odd but Summer is possibly my least favourite season of the year.
Living as I do in the south-east of England we do get warmer weather than other parts of the UK. From the end of June to late August I often find this hell. It aggravates my hay fever, causes my eyes to stream and become sore. Sleeping at night is often impossible , my voice is even more gravelly than normal (yes I am blessed with a set of vocal chords which have been described as sounding like the late Alan Rickman, crossed with Barry White and a bullfrog) and I am more short tempered than normal.
Then Summer coincides with the long school holidays when there are more screaming kids around than normal.
I’m not sure if its me but I am convinced that children scream more these days and are more badly behaved.
Yet you hear the weather described as “glorious sunshine” (no it can cause melanomas) , “ideal weather for a picnic” (great your food gets attacked by the local insect population). Then there are barbecues , traffic jams on the motorway as hordes head to the coast and the general increase in noise. Why do my neightbours when they have a barbecue also have to inflict their dubious taste in music on the rest of us by playing it very loudly and ruining a peaceful Sunday afternoon when I am trying to have a quiet read in the garden ?
A few years ago I used to work in Central London. Now the centre of London is a place I hate most of the time anyway. Its full of rude and unpleasant people, has very over priced eating places and is very polluted.
A good idea of how polluted the centre of London is can be seen from near Brands Hatch in Kent. This famous racing circuit is some distance from the capital but as you drive past it up Gorse Hill (formerly called Death Hill) you can see London in the distance. You notice the haze of the traffic fumes as The Shard, The Gherkin and the other monstrosities which ruin the London skyline glint at you through the haze.
In the Summer London gets worse. The heat is unbearable, the pollution from traffic exceeds safety limits and then there are the hordes of tourists. Why are Americans so loud and obnoxious ? Why do the Japanese find the red post box on the corner of Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue so fascinating they have to take pictures of one another standing by it ? Then there is the distinctive aroma when you use the Underground. That unique combination of stale sweat, urine and takeaway food. Thankfully I stopped working in the centre of London a while ago so these days I am spared the dubious pleasures of the place and commuting.
The British are normally described as reserved people. Yet this goes out of the window when summer comes. One thing the British cannot do in the main is to dress well for the warmer weather.
One of my sisters lives in Broadstairs on the Kent coast and said that some of the sights she sees in the Summer would have her reaching for an elephant gun if she owned one and it was legal. In the unlikely event of my ever becoming Prime Minister one of the first laws I would bring in would be a ban on fat, pot bellied blokes wearing shorts in Summer or women wearing those annoying flip-flops .
Personally my favourite time of the year is Autumn and Winter. You can get some good days when the air is clean and crisp, the weather makes you feel glad to be alive. On days like these you can enjoy a nice walk through the local woods or a drive to the coast and a stroll along an almost deserted stretch is there anything better ?
Further proof that I may be slightly eccentric is the rain. I actually enjoy walking in the rain provided that I am dressed for it. The streets are less crowded and for a short while they smell fresher. So keep the hot weather, bring on Autumn.