Old English proverb sayeth; don’t leave your coat at home before the end of May. I say – the beginning of June 2015 has been just as flippin’ cold as it was in May!
In the last week or so, certainly in the South and East of England, the weather seems to have continued to tease us with a few warm days intermingled with a good blow of cooling winds.
If anyone had been listening over the years, they would have heard my dusk time mutterings of ‘Flaming June’, as I dragged a tatty fleece over delicate seedlings. The frost that was expected overnight would often infiltrate my demeanour ahead of its meteorological schedule.
And yet, despite the fact that my bones may still feel chilled, the beginning of June always heralds an optimistic promise that, even if the summer weather isn't around the corner, the summer season is.
The Chelsea Flower Show provides the impetus to swapping my glass of red or white, for rosé. Rarely does the sun shine righteously on the full week of this abundant floral glory, but I am happy to gorge on the horticultural feast and, as we step into June, my thoughts turn wistfully to the summer ahead.
The British summer brings all manner of events and highlights, whatever the weather. School sports days are rearranged or, on the odd occasion, held with cream smothered athletes; their eyes stinging from the overzealous application of sun cream, or high pollen count.
Ascot, Cowes week, all manner of Festivals, Glyndebourne, Henley Regatta, Trooping of the Colour and Village fêtes; the list goes on, appears infinite and is both wide-ranging and heterogeneous in equal measure.
Additionally, numerous weddings, often booked years in advance in order to acquire the perfect venue, and in hope of perfect weather. Hopefully, there will also be smatterings of wedding anniversaries, and birthdays too.
Outfits (and hats) may be bought, glasses of something cool and, in my case (hopefully) fizzy, may be quaffed. The Season, as it is termed, gives the opportunity of providing something for everyone.
Hopes are raised by the possibility of future barbecues and outdoor gatherings which provide the opportunity to feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on your face, or the sound of laughter and the soundtracks that divulge a neighbour’s playlist.
Twelve or so short weeks that hold so much anticipation and expectation. Even if the weather has the habit of being inclement (a term that I had never heard before the wedding of Charles and Diana), we will just soldier on. Laughing at barbecued food finished off in the oven, parties evacuated into the kitchen or shoes and hairstyles ruined with mud or rain.
As always at the beginning of the summer, I expect we'll be holding out hope and, come September, I hope that your summer memories will prove to be fruitful and happy ones.
I liked Giles Coren. The first time I ‘met’ him, he looked quite dishevelled and was hand cupping a strong mug of coffee, which was clearly his medicine for the after effects of spending the previous evening in the company of Simon Finch.