British summer. Ah, don’t we Brits just love it. Revel in it. Relish it for the 16 minutes that it lasts each year. We desperately cling to our summer as we know, all too well, just how quickly a British summer can slip through your fingers. Well it is here now (for a while at least) so let’s take this opportunity to look at the pros and, unfortunately, cons of basking in the British summer:

BBQs

If the sun is out longer than one hour, you can guarantee that someone on your street is going to dust off the old barbie. Burnt sausages and warm beer, neighbours and friends piled together in someone’s back garden. Ah, it’s the stuff dreams are made of. Until it turns cold and the midges come out in force. Then you find your neighbour sifting through your drawers claiming they got lost on the way to the bathroom. Think I might stick to oven chips and pizza next time.

Beer gardens

This may be linked to holidays and this may only be me but when I feel the sun on my skin I get the urge to have a nice cold beer. And like many my first urge is to head off to the nearest beer garden. Sitting with friends and a cold drink, basking in the glorious glow is a feeling quite like no other. That is if you can actually get a seat after you’ve waited 45 minutes to get served and navigated your way through the crowd of “had one too many coz I’ve been here since noon.” Next time I think I’ll RSVP to my own garden and beer fridge (yes, I have one of those).

Cat with Foster's can

Festivals

A mini British holiday with your friends, favourite bands, trusty tent and crates of the good stuff. Festivals with your mates are brill, especially in the sunshine. But all too often it rains. Then comes the mud. Then you’ve lost one of your wellies. Then you go to the bathroom. Then you realise you’re staying in a tent for 5 days. Then you realise there are no showers. And then it all goes downhill from there.

Cat in waterproofs at fest

Freshly cut grass

This is a smell quite like no other. It is almost the pure essence of summer, wafting through your car’s air con, bringing an immediate smile to your face. And for a moment you are utterly happy, until… ATCHOO!! Ugh, hay fever. Pollen is everywhere and you are going to have to spend your summer explaining to people that no, hay fever is not the same as a cold.

Summer dresses

Those dresses that sit at one side of your wardrobe, that are too thin for winter and not dressy enough for a night out. Now is the time to wear them. And wear them we do. We stay cool at work and catch an admiring glance in a shop window. Then you realise that you haven’t shaved your legs and, wait, wasn’t this dress two inches longer this morning? Oh dear, I am the office slut and I have the legs of a grizzly bear. I am not moving from my desk until home time. No matter how much I need to pee.

Being outside

You actually want to spend your lunchbreak taking a walk or sitting by the pond, feeding the ducks or simply sitting outside your building with your shades on and your pins out. But just because it’s sunny doesn’t mean you should have to be outside. After all, it’s hot. And sometimes it’s too hot (we British cannot be pleased. It’s too hot or too cold; it’s always the way). We are made to feel guilty because we actually want to close the curtains, curl up on the sofa and binge watch Orange Is The New Black.

Cat sat in garden

Cinema

We get all the best blockbusters. Month after month of action, romance and comedy gold. Settling down in your seat, watching the trailers, with a tub of popcorn. Bliss. Except, brr, it’s a bit chilly in here. And I don’t have a cardi because it’s 30oC outside, yet in here it is baltic. And you can see my nipples. Bugger. How I loathe you cinema air conditioning. Oh, how I loathe thee.

Suntan lotion

I am applying this to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays. The British summer is actually hot enough that I need to do this. Don’t I feel smug? Ugh, how horrid is it to have to apply this stuff several times a day. I feel sticky. And sweaty. And when you sweat, it runs down your skin in little white streams. It feels disgusting. Think I’ll have a shower and watch Game of Thrones instead.

Cat sunbathing in garden

For all its cons, the pros of British summertime will always win out. We do have some truly awful winters and when summer finally arrives it’s like finding the biggest present under the Christmas tree has your name on it. As you can see from the photos I love British summer. I love how a simple thing like the sun shining makes strangers in London say hello to each other and everywhere serves Pimms and strawberries are in every shop and it’s time for Wimbledon. But the British summer is fleeting so grasp it with both hands. After all I remember summer last year. I remember it well… it was a Tuesday.

What are your pros and cons of British summer?

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