I’ve always been a fan of rain. Going for a walk while it’s pouring down is the most refreshing thing I know.
Sun, however, does not agree with me. But at the moment it is getting beyond ridiculous.
I know you are probably sick of hearing about the weather on TV and from everyone on the street, but let’s face it, can any of us remember there being a summer like this?
The most rainy June on record. The rainiest start to July on record. The rainiest three-month period from April to June. Looking out of the window, it does not seem like there’s an end in sight.
And the last place you would want to live is a place with “Valley” in the name. We haven’t had the worst of it by any means, but with a list of inconveniences seemingly as long as your arm you cannot be blamed for being more than a little disgruntled.
Flooded cellars, blocked roads (unless you own a Land Rover), people struggling to get to work or to the shops. British weather doing what it always does and bringing things to a standstill.
And it’s not like we’re not used to constant showers. Travel anywhere outside of Lancashire and your return will most likely be greeted by remarks about the grey skies and drizzle.
There always seemed to be something familiar and comforting about that. Coming back from university, you could just tell you were home.
So I understand why friends who went to the Beat Herder festival told me it’s all about mind over matter. If you want to enjoy the mud and water, then you can! My penchant for rain almost had me believing them. The pictures looked like they were having a blast. But then the inevitable stories of flooded tents and drenched sleeping bags arrived and suddenly I was glad to have missed out. Sleeping is far too important for such things.
The Environment Agency has called the flooding and rain “exceptional”, as we are now into the fifth major flooding event of the summer, and there is an unrelenting series of danger warnings up and down the country.
Perhaps we should think about it in another way. Maybe we are doing the typical British thing of having a good complain. Maybe we need a bit of perspective. Hundreds killed by flash floods in Russia, thousands homeless. Late alerts and officals being blamed for disorganisation and slow decision making. The way that was dealt with makes you feel lucky.
And be sure to spare a thought for those down south, who – shock of shocks – have had their hosepipe bands ended.
Essentially, there is nothing we can do about the weather. Cast your memories back to the end of May. Bright sunshine, shorts and T-shirts and dry feet.
We all knew a few people at that point who could not wait for the sun to go away and coolness to come. It’s amazing how quickly things can change.
By Joe Turner