Summer is a time of such promise in the UK. Spring has done her warm up act, but it’s time for the main show; splendid sunshine, school holidays, and long evenings in the pub garden
For many, the summer is more of a destination than a spell of intermittent sunshine; it is a deserved respite from the other nine months of climatic extremes. This reprieve, however, can lead to some typically eccentric British behaviour.
Never more so than at home, where our annual botanical budget has seemingly been spent on disposable garden furniture and a sack of charcoal. We eagerly summon our gardenless friends to sample our alfresco amenities. And then it rains, nonstop. Nothing captures a midsummer’s evening in Blighty more than umbrella-assisted barbecuing.
We ditch the pint of stout in favour of tropical cocktails and convince ourselves that we can make flip flops and jeans an acceptable look. We dust off the bicycle, go for walks, feed the ducks and (once all national sporting disappointment is over) watch significantly less television. We are, for now, outdoorsman. And then it rains, again.
But there is one element that makes British summertime unique: London. It is the nation’s trend-setting hub of cultural happenings that kick starts such frenzied, sun-drenched behaviour. Nobody savours a late summer’s afternoon like the good people of London town, and that, if nothing else, makes summer—London’s most scintillating muse—well worth the wait.