Looking out of the window at the rain has reminded me of a poem I wrote a year or two ago about the joys of the great British summer.
We were waiting for weeks, all though April and May
for those much-vaunted months that begin with a J.
We’ve had three weeks of sunshine, it’s gone to our head
and we’ve thrown out our wellies, bought sandals instead,
now it’s out with the barbecue, off with the shirt
and we go red like prawns – ooh, that’s going to hurt!
and as for the prawns, well they’re all going black
but who cares? We’ve got beer, and we’re knocking it back
like there is no tomorrow, and maybe that’s wise:
in the morning, one cursory glance at the skies
shows that if that was summer, it’s been and it’s gone;
once again, the sly sun has been having us on.
But are we discouraged? What, us? Not a bit.
This is Britain, and we’re not allowed to admit
that we’re not having fun at this time of the year,
at least, not until August, by which time it’s clear
that summer’s a season that lives down in Spain:
it drops in if we’re lucky, then goes home again.
But hey, it’s July, we’ve got weeks still to share
of short-trousered jollity laced with despair,
of those trips to the seaside to plod down the pier,
those postcards that desperately wish we weren’t here.
And of course, all those tedious summer events,
endless rows of jam jars all lined up in a tent,
and you find yourself wishing “can it be autumn, please”,
at least then we can stay in, and cover our knees.
Fat chance, it’s July, so we just have to wait.
We’re in Britain in summer, and this is our fate.