WELL that’s another summer over and done with.
Adios, au revoir, ciao, see you next year! And wasn’t it fabulous? Umm… well, no actually.
Not that any of us really mind. Not really. We like to moan about it of course, with the lady at the sandwich shop as she compiles our chicken salad – but that’s our British right. We moan about the weather, the bus service and the Royal family and ain’t nobody can take that proud heritage away from us. In reality, as residents of good old Blighty, we long ago learned to lower our expectations and roll with the seasonal punches. True, our summers might not be all they’re cracked up to be, but hey, that’s why God invented international travel. And at least we usually get a break from the relentless snow and flooding for a blissful few weeks. Usually.
I just can’t believe how quickly this one has passed us by. It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was tentatively ironing my T-shirts and shorts, believing in my heart that their day would come. How I’m going to miss those long summer evenings, sipping wine in the garden while a couple of chicken breasts cook leisurely on the BBQ. Granted, I was often wrapped up in a jumper and thermal socks by 7pm, but at least it was still light enough to see the matches in my numb hands as I fumbled to light the patio heater. I’ve dearly loved waking up to daylight (well, grey overcast skies rather than pitch black ones) and driving home in (what I’m generously going to call) sunshine. And I’m going to miss heading out without a jacket, letting the bare skin of my arms explore those rare, alien sunbeams filtering heavenly down from above. Yup, both times I did that, I really quite enjoyed it. The best part, however? The kids being off school and my drive to work being cut in half. How fantastic to be able to have an extra15 minutes in bed, followed by an extra cup of tea before I hit the road, still arriving at the same time I would have done before. Now THAT’S happiness.
And those summer holidays we save all year for and look forward to for months beforehand? Gone. Finished. Now just a distant memory of a better time. The only reminders are the photos on our phones that we look at wistfully on our coffee breaks. That, and the rogue cents and euros still rolling around in the bottom of our purses and wallets. Sigh. And there’s always some jammy sod at a nearby desk who’s smugly booked themsleves on a winter cruise to the Bahamas. That’s you off my Christmas card list, mate.
Ahh Christmas... the shining beacon on the horizon, which is unfortunately still too far away to start getting excited about. We’re going to have to start thinking of extra holidays to stick in the quarterly slumps where spring and autumn used to sit, before being eradicated by global warming. Halloween hasn’t held any appeal for me since I got too old to trick-or-treat (ahh, to be 25 again). There’s Bonfire Night, but I’ve always found the tradition of celebrating a man’s horrific execution with pie and parkin a little bit sinister. Though I’m still more than happy to eat the aforementioned pie and parkin.
You might suspect that I’m suffering with a little SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but I’m not sure that can really apply in a country where our seasons seem to more or less blend together.
Nope, I think I’m just getting to that age where things are starting to go by too fast. Remember when you were a kid, how the ‘six-week’ summer holidays seemed to stretch on endlessly?
Now if I find out something’s only six weeks away, I catch myself thinking ‘ooh, not long to go!’