Today is a public holiday in England, the last one before Christmas. Unless you work in entertainment, retail, public services, the care industry, or run your own business, you don’t have to go to work today. The schools are still on their summer break, so it is a rare chance for working parents to spend some weekday time with their children. The long weekend has given people the chance to visit relatives, welcome visitors at home, or take a short break away, somewhere nice.
The leisure industry has pulled out all the stops, providing many attractions to make the most of this last holiday of 2014. There are air shows, summer fetes and fairs, music festivals, dog shows, outdoor exhibitions, and assorted extra events being staged at existing static venues. Shops have sold out of barbecue food, and the coals to cook it on. Beers have been stockpiled, and sunshades erected over outside tables. Pubs and restaurants have live music, hog roasts, children’s entertainers, and open air festivities planned.
So naturally, it is raining. It has been pouring down since the early hours, over most of the country. Few places have been spared the deluge, which has prompted a safety warning from the government. Along with the relentless water, we have cold winds from the north, and will be lucky to see 12 degrees where we live. Walking Ollie today necessitated dusting off my wellington boots, and breaking out some warm walking trousers, stored away until winter. My hands got cold holding my large umbrella as I walked. Silly me, not bothering to take my thermal gloves in August. After ninety minutes of that, I had become sick of looking at rain and featureless grey skies, and trudged home. I went to the supermarket, to stock up for the week. It was packed with shoppers; one of the few places where you could go, and stay dry. Something to do, on a bleak and unwelcoming day.
It is almost 6.30pm, and the sky is the same colour that it was at 8.30am. And it is still raining.
I know, I am unhealthily obsessed with the weather. But I ask you, is it any wonder?