It Must Be Summer – I’m Trying To Find My Brolly
I don’t know about your house, but mine has a secret place where Everything That You Ever Wanted But Cannot Find disappears to, usually around the time that you need it most. Today, it’s the turn of my brolly. It’s piddling down, and I need to go out and look reasonably tidy and not as if I’ve stuck my finger in the nearest electrical socket in an effort to make my hair look as frizzy as possible. That’s the sad effect being out in the rain does for my hair. I look like a cross between the lead singer of the Smiths and someone who’s just subjected themselves to a couple of electric shocks because I just wanted to experience the sensation. (It’s unpleasant, and your skin DOES actually singe).
I need to look tidy because I need a new passport, the other one having consigned itself at some point in the past to the place Where Everything That You Ever Wanted But Cannot Find is. Applying for a new passport means a new passport photograph, and let’s face it, passport photographs make you look like a cross between John Merrick and Shane McGowan anyway, without the frizzy hair problem. So I’m looking for a brolly and I cannot believe that in a house with fifteen rooms, several closets full of what can only be described as useless shite (remember K Tel Salad Spinners?), a conservatory equally full of other useless shite and a double tandem garage – the sad truth is that I cannot find a brolly.
I’m a bit miffed. This involves several swear words and glaring at the dog in a manner that tells him to retreat to the funny shaped half landing which separates the two flights of stairs and which means I’ll probably trip on him later and tumble ungraciously down several stairs before grabbing hold of the bannister and saving myself a trip to an already overburdened A & E Department. Anyway, I’m a bit miffed about needing a brolly in the first place, because let’s face it – It’s the middle of JUNE, Fucks’ Sake! We’re all supposed to be sitting in the garden, burning dead animals over carciogenic charcoal and re-positioning our pasty white, lardy looking bodies every fifteen minutes in order to look slightly less dead than we do the rest of the year.
Unless Him Upstairs has forgotten – it’s SUMMER (in the northern hemisphere anyway) and we’re supposed to be in the grip of a heatwave, there should be a hosepipe ban because the temperature has risen into double figures for two days on the trot and we should all be looking like overcooked lobsters because we’ve stayed out in the garden re-positioning our pasty bodies for a bit too long.
Now, being an Old Person, I can cast my mind back to A Long Time Ago and I can tell you quite categorically that, despite what all these Climate Change Protagonists will tell you, summers were better and hotter years ago compared to what they are now.
Summer’s were brilliant in the Olden Days. They’d start around the Easter Holidays so that if you were eating an Easter Egg the chocolate would melt all over your fingers and you’d get told off for wiping them on your hot pants. The sun would continue to shine right through the May Bank Holiday (there only used to be one, and it used to be called Whitsun – we didn’t get the May Day Holiday until 1978). The six week summer break from school – mine was eight weeks because I was educated at a ridiculously expensive private school and don’t ask why we got more holidays, maybe they thought we didn’t need as much educating as someone who didn’t have to pay for the privilege). Anyway, the summer holiday used to pass in a glorious haze of bright sunshine, endless lazy days filled with water fights (if you could find any water, that is because there would invariably be a water shortage and you would have to bath with a friend, which was at least more fun than standing queuing at a standpipe in the street to fill an aluminium saucepan with water), ice pops, days out to the local Lido (open air swimming baths to anyone under the age of 35), stinking of Nivea suntan cream and still going home just as it was growing dark looking like a tomato on legs and then having to have your mother dab pink calamine lotion all over your sunburnt skin. Those were the days and yes, Mary Hopkins was at number one in the charts.
Climate Change types will however, glare at statistics published by the Met Office and they’ll tell you that since 1981 – 2010, the UK mean temperature has risen by 0.25 degrees Celsius and we’re all going to burn to death because of it. I’m puzzled by this though, because whilst the mean temperature has risen, so has the amount of rainfall – by about 2%. So, it’s not as if there have been long, hot summers – they’ve really been more of a damp squib.
Take today, and me hunting for my brolly – which I still haven’t found incidentally, meaning that I will look decidedly rough in the new passport photograph – I woke up at around six a.m (I always do stupid things like this) to the pitter patter sound of raindrops bouncing off the conservatory roof and the plopping of dripping water into the water butt. It’s more or less been raining ever since – that fine drizzle that makes you more wet than proper rain, you’ll know what I mean if you’re out in it for more than ten seconds. You’ll have to have a fluffy towel and a change of clothes handy, and you’ve only gone to get the milk off the step.
It’s dull, too. Southerners will tell me that the grey leaden colour of the sky matches the landscape of dark, satanic mills that we poor Northerners live in. This is June in the North West of England. It’s probably snowing in Scotland, which always seems to come off worse in so far as The Weather is concerned and anyway, they’re nearer to the Arctic Circle and a lot of them want home rule, so they probably deserve it. Yes, June in the North West of England and not a bikini or a six pack in sight, on account of the fact that despite it officially being ‘Summer’, we’ve had the obligatory two days of soaring temperatures, which have lulled us all into a false sense of security and we’ve rushed to Matalan to buy a swimsuit and a pair of waterwings, which might even come in bloody useful, if this rain carries on.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t buy the Climate Change theory that it’s getting warmer, not when I’ve got the heating on at the beginning of June and although people keep telling me it’s summer, I’m still trying to find my brolly.
© Amy J Steinberg 2017