An ode to the great British summer

22 Jun, 2023 | Home & Lifestyle

5 Minute Read

Words by WYLDE MOON staff writer

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Neon head with storm clouds

Ahhh, there’s nothing like the first ray of British sunshine to send us eccentric Brits, even more eccentric. 

You just know that by lunchtime, someone will be out in the local park in full-on bikini mode, and the naked male torso brigade will be peacock strutting around town, t-shirts dangling from their back pockets. And should we ever be so blessed as to have a heatwave that coincides with an actual weekend, you just know your Monday commute will be peppered with sunburnt Brits, making their way to work, wishing they’d spent some of that precious sun worshipping time, applying enough sun cream to their crispy faces.

Just what is it that makes us Brits so bloody absent-minded in the sunshine? I blame our relentless winters. Apart from Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, half the year is a monotony of depressing dark nights and grey days.  It’s hardly surprising that we feel like we’ve won the lottery at the first sign of a heatwave; it’s like being released from months of solitary confinement. Within minutes of a warm weather forecast, every blade of grass is covered by a picnic blanket and every available inch of water becomes kid soup. Everyone seems to take on a sort of northern charm when suddenly, after months of unapproachable silence, they feel compelled to chat to strangers about the weather on the bus or in the supermarket, if only to comment on the relief of having found some air conditioning!

“It’s hardly surprising that we feel like we’ve won the lottery at the first sign of a heatwave”

Everyone’s content…even the kids forget about their tech when the sun shines. There’s a nationwide sun’s out guns out attitude as boys get the tri’s and bi’s out, and girls ooze Coachella in oversized sunnies and floaty florals. The great British pub culture comes out of hibernation and daytime drinking becomes acceptable – in actual fact, it’s almost rude not to!  The whole country becomes hypnotised by the smell of sizzling BBQ’s, drinks loaded with glistening fruits and summer tunes floating through the streets. Mentally, I’m off to Club Tropicana just thinking about it…someone pass the Pimm’s!

That said, you can’t win in this country – us Brits do love a winge! Even though we’ve been lamenting the crappy British weather since September (maybe even July, if the previous summer was particularly pathetic), we can barely stand a couple of hot, sticky nights before the Great British complaining begins again;

“I couldn’t sleep last night…too sticky with the window closed…too noisy with the window open!”

Answer: Get yourself a fan.

“Fans are sold out everywhere. There’s a heatwave every year – why haven’t the retailers stocked up? It’s a joke!”

Answer: There’s a heatwave every year…how did you get through last summer without a fan?!

“One week of sunshine and there’s national water shortage. It’s been raining for nine months!”

Answer: There are actually no words for this!

“When did a Flake 99 stop costing 99p?!” 

Answer: How old are you exactly?

“Erm, honey – did you check the gas bottle before you invited 40 people over for an impromptu BBQ?  It’s empty! Quick turn the oven on.” 

Answer: Note to self: Remember to turn the gas bottle off after every BBQ.

“The bloody BBQ won’t light. I’m off to get a gas one.” 

Answer: I wouldn’t bother – you’ll only end up having to dig the old charcoal one out because you’ve run out of gas!

“The sea’s bloody freezing!”

Answer: Erm…it’s Britain!

And then there are the overexcited sunny day mistakes we all make every year; like going out at midday on Saturday for a couple of hours in a t-shirt only to end up staying out all day and freezing your backside off at sundown…not to mention all day spent in sunglasses with no hat and no sunscreen = hello Monday, hello Panda eyes!

“As a nation, we stand together against totally shite summer weather”

But the one thing us Brits pride ourselves on is our ability to grow in strength in the face of rainy adversity. Nothing will dampen our famous Dunkirk spirit. As a nation, we stand together against totally shite summer weather. Britain will BBQ come rain or shine.  We may not be a nation who thrives in the heat…you only have to look at how our transport networks come grind to a halt within minutes of extreme weather hitting. But when the proverbial rain hits the fan, we have an army of umbrellas and gazebos ready to rescue any al fresco situation under threat. The UK might grind to a halt in the snow, but send us a torrential downpour and we’re equipped and determined to hold out for the rainbow.

The show must go on, Britain, the show, must go on!!!

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