MY ANNUAL DISAPPOINTMENT

I am disappointed. It’s not unusual. It happens to me most years but this year is worse than usual because of raised expectations and early promise.

Why is the English summer such a let down? It has such great potential. Give me England in a fine summer and I would want for nothing. But it never really comes off. I’m not much good at the other seasons. I can’t understand people who declare autumn to be their favourite. End of summer and head down into five months of misery as far as I can see. I can just about get spring because it is new and has promise of good things to come. Anyone who tells me that winter is their favourite season is truly certifiable and needs to be given a wide berth.

I do find winter a bit of a struggle. The beginning bit is ok. The first few fires and frosts and woolly scarf days are a novelty and I love Christmas. But I’m not terribly good without sunshine. I get a bit low as we slog our way through weeks of grey in January and February. I am cold all time and unable to warm my cockles without actually sitting on a radiator. But I dream. I imagine myself outside in the evening with a chilled glass of wine and a great book. I picture long days out with the children, eking out the remainder of the sun’s warmth well past dusk. Or sitting outside a pub with bare arms as if I was abroad. I flick hopefully through magazines and catalogues looking at outside lanterns and wicker garden furniture.

This year I was filled with a strong conviction that the summer would live up to my dreams. Not only did the weather men promise a barbecue summer but simply by the law of averages, it had to be a belter this year. And it began slowly but with great promise. Here we go, I thought. Hold on to your sunhats. But July has been unsettled and August is likely to be the same and suddenly it’s September and it’s all over again for another year.

I should really move. The north of England is not well served for the dry, bright weather that I crave. Lincolnshire had big skies and little rain and when I lived in London it was much warmer. But here I shall stay, making the most of what little sunshine there is and dreaming of climate change.

Someone suggested to me that instead of being so excited and then disappointed year on year, I should be more accepting of the Northern English summer and just take each day as it comes. After all, I know I am likely to be disappointed so why not manage my own expectations. But I am not ready for that yet. I still love to dream in March that it will be tropical in July. Despite the odds being pretty firmly stacked against me, I still listen to long term weather forecasts with the excitement of a 12 year old, not the cynicism of someone in their forties. And I think that’s how it should be. Just because something is unlikely to happen doesn’t mean I shouldn’t hope for it with all my heart.

What do you think? I'd love to know...