EVEN by British standards, the weather this summer has been woeful.
With the exception of a few glorious days in May it seems to have rained daily, invoking comparisons, admittedly somewhat overblown, with biblical times.
While our natural reaction, borne of bitter experience, is to carry on regardless, there can be no denying that the deluge has been disastrous. From the Diamond Jubilee Pageant to T in the Park and innumerable local fairs and fetes, it has turned what ought to have been joyous events into tests of survival.
For some people, it has had a more lasting impact. As rivers burst their banks, residents of towns such as Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire got used to seeing water flow through their houses. Farmers have also been counting the cost of the unseasonally high level of rainfall. Crops have been ruined and animals have had to remain indoors because the fields in which they should be grazing are flooded. Then there are the tourists who must be wondering what possessed them when they decide to holiday in the UK.
Meteorologists insist we must get used to this extreme weather, which, because of climate change, is likely to become the norm. This is deeply depressing news. Summer's lease hath all too short a date, as Shakespeare wrote, but at least we could depend in the past on a few summery days to help banish the winter blues. Who knows what the consequences will be on the national psyche.
It was another English writer, PG Wodehouse, who famously said that it is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine. Ray of sunshine? If only ...
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