You know the British summer has arrived when…

Ah, British summer – those elusive five days of the year when good ole Blighty rivals Marbella and men are out and about sans tops and women a brighter shade of lobster. Having lived on this sceptred isle for almost two decades, I have come to know the signs of the season quite well so here goes the game of ‘spot the British summer’.

Fans are sold out at Argos 

Because, anything above 20 °C the British have very little tolerance and Argos is the byword for home appliances. Get there early or don’t bother at all.

The BBQ aisle of the supermarket is a dystopian vision of dearth on a Saturday evening/Sunday afternoon 

It’s past peak time and the BBQ aisles have been plundered by the masses now enjoying an impromptu garden party/BBQ (because who knows when we’re going to have this weather again, right?)

You smell the sweet scent of barbecued meat 

See above… Always on a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon. Don’t bother dash to the supermarket for a last-minute, impromptu BBQ. Why? Again, see above.

Men lose their tops 

There’s a theory you can tell the temperature by the number of men walking around the streets of Britain topless. No, not really, I made that up. Though, admit it, it almost rings true.

Folk go red

Not all folk, of course. Just those a lighter shade of pale and who are daft enough to step out without sun screen. For those of us familiar with life at lower latitudes, 20+ °C is just any other day between April and October so we are genetically more prepared.

People get touchy feely

It seems as the temperatures soar, we drop our inhibitions along with our clothes and become more like our southern European cousins – there goes the stiff upper lips and the frosty demeanour, and out comes hugs and kisses and very public displays of affection.

‘Heatwave’ trends on Twitter

Because we all know one of the existential necessities of modern day is to announce the weather to your social media following even when they are more than capable of just looking out the window.

Happy hour happens al fresco 

Step outside in any big city from London to Liverpool on a British summer evening, and you’ll see happy hour has moved outdoors, and far beyond the hours of ‘happy hour’ the longer the evenings get.

Headlines read “It’s a scorcher!” 

Like clockwork. Alongside reports of where highest temperature of the day/evening/week was recorded, pictures of a jam-packed Brighton beach, children running around water fountains and “sunbathers at Hyde Park”.

Weather forecast begins comparing Margate to Marbella, Cornwall to Costa del Anything

For one week a year, as a nation, we indulge in the smug thought that nothing compares to life in Britain because hey, we’ve got beaches and we’ve got the sun, right? Until of course…

It always precedes a week of torrential downpour 

Brace yourself.

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