Summer blow out


“Daddy is this really summer?”

I had a discussion (read argument) with Mr Boxer Shorts about the weather the other day. He objected to my use of the word “crap” when used in conjunction with the word “summer”. This is how that conversation went.

“It’s been yet another crap summer.”
“Crap?! What are you talking about? It’s been a great summer.”
“No it hasn’t, it’s been mediocre at best.”
“You just love to moan, don’t you?”
There really is no point continuing that one – once I get accused of moaning the conversation is simply over. That’s his knee jerk response to anything I say that he doesn’t agree with.
“The government is going to take away our children and turn them into robots.”
“Oh no, look – you’re moaning again.”
So he thinks summer was great and I don’t. His definition of great and mine are worlds apart. And if he really DID think that summer was great then his expectations are so pitifully low that he really needs saving from himself.
I grew up with great summers. Long, hot, dry summers. Just talk to any Australian farmer, and they’ll tell you how long and hot and dry our summers are. Actually, they’ll probably just start moaning about drought and crops and harping on and on about their dying cattle… maybe they aren’t the best references to use!
What I loved about summer was disappearing down into the backyard, which was an acre of bushland, crossing into the national park, and then playing by brown’s waterhole in the undergrowth for a whole afternoon. I suspect it was called “brown’s” after the brown snakes that lived there, but at that age I didn’t spend my life fearing things that I couldn’t see, and we made enough noise and vibrations to scare them off for miles!
Or rollerskating on the street outside the house with my friend Imogen or my neighbour Christina from across the road. Or jumping on the trampoline with a sprinkler going underneath, which made it like jumping in a shallow puddle. We spent whole summers running about in swimming costumes leaping through sprinklers or throwing ourselves at slippery strips of plastic (a home made slip n slide) and ending up in a muddy puddle at the end.
 None of this is possible were we live here in the burbs of London. The road out the front is dangerous and crowded with parked cars, and the backyard is a skinny strip of land fenced in on all sides. There is enough room for a sprinkler or a slip n slide, but the girls dip one toe in the water then go and play inside. Or do I just have wimpy British kids?
The worst thing about this summer was the wind. It was blustery all the time. The sun was there, but constantly being smothered by skudding clouds and light showers. The wind made sure that I didn’t put up any umbrella’s in the backyard (because they’d have blown into the next yard), and when the sun sail was finally blown apart (the wind managed to unscrew the double hook that holds it to the house) I folded it up and put it away and declared summer over.
And six days later we had the hottest day of the whole summer. The girls were back at school – wearing winter uniform – and the heat hit. It was like a Genesis concert – ” FOR ONE DAY ONLY!”. And back to cold and windy.
An indian summer would be nice.
I’ve just harvested the first tomato from our tomato plants. The first one. The season is nearly over and I’ve managed to grow ONE tomato. I am going to have to put the doors back on the greenhouse to protect them from frost now. And they are in the sunniest position, and I didn’t plant them out late. They just haven’t blossomed as I’d have hoped. My peppers on the other hand have – and more surprisingly, so has my aubergine. It will be a small one, but that’s one more than last year. My melon’s failed completely.
So, seeing that this is the third summer on the trot that has been completely and utterly pointless, I think we need a new name for this season. It’s like a fruitcake season. A mixed bag of good and bad. Most of the days of summer could best have been described by the words “OK”. OK is not good, and OK is definitely not great. OK is mediocre. Here’s hoping that this winter will pull its finger out and snow for 2 months. A white christmas could make up for at least 2 bad summers in my book.
Categories: environmental stuff


  • Jen says:

    I feel for you. We lived in London for five years and I know how it can be. We actually got a few hot summers which with no air conditioning and the questionable air quality was not much fun. Our summer here in the midwest was on the cool side but dry. I couldn’t complain. Thanks for stopping by my site and the great comment.

  • alison says:

    We’ve had some very nice summers in the 13 years I’ve been here. And with loads of central heating but no air-conditioning they can be stifling with the humidity. But I’d rather that than rain and wind!