Friday, 8 June 2012

Flaming June - Not

Over the last few weeks I have been promising myself I will post things more regularly. I am a writer, I should be writing. But that's the trouble, I have been writing and editing and doing all sorts of writery things, writing a blog hasn't had a look in.
I promised myself this blog would not be about writing. It would be about ME. What I thought was important. MY reactions to the things that are happening in the news. I'd be topical. Up to the minute. Then I get out of the bath and life takes over. Oh what I could achieve if I could take my laptop into the bathroom with me! That is my thinking time.
So what have I missed?
Pasty tax. What was all the fuss about that. It hasn't even really been abolished. Piping hot pasties, baked and kept hot, will still be subjected to VAT. And you don't want to eat a pasty that has been left to cool - not unless you want to be ill. The only cases of food poisoning in my house in the last 40 years have been caused by pasties that were not piping hot. And let's work the figures out here. How much is a pasty? 80p? 20% of that is 16p, (I think, I'm not noted for my ability to do sums), so a hot pasty should now be 96p. Bet the shops round that up to a £1 and blame the government. And so be honest , would an extra 20p stop someone snacking on a pasty in their lunch break? I don't think so.
The Jubilee. I'm glad that went well, although I'm not a demonstrative person myself. You would not find me standing around Pall Mall waving a flag, or camping out for a glimpse of anyone, not even the Queen. But each to their own. Pity about the weather.
Which brings me to the ultimate topic of British conversation.
The weather.  It's June. It's raining. The media would have us believe this is something unexpected, unusual, not what we should be having. Well, I'm afraid these people have very short memories. I don't know where the idea of 'Flaming June' came from, or where 'Ne're cast a clout til May is out' originated, but for most of my life June has been a big disappointment. Why else did they put a roof on Wimbledon's centre court?
Remember 2007? The country was almost floating! The worst floods in ages. That was in June.
My daughter used to be a Guide and I later followed her as an adult leader. Every year a big camp was planned for June, around the longest day usually. Every year in the weeks and days leading up to the camp it was either wet or cold. In all the years I went to camp only about 2 were really hot. Admittedly only two or three were complete wash-outs, but it nearly always rained at some point.
So why do we continue to live in the belief that we live in a Mediterranean type climate? Why do all the D.I.Y. stores and garden centres stock patio furniture that would be find in Spain or the south of France, but might get used two or three times a year in England? Even more to the point, why do we actually BUY the stuff? Is it some kind of ever hopeful belief that the sun will shine for more than two days in a row?
And when it does, everyone complains. Fortunately heatwaves are far fewer than cold and rain. So enjoy what sun you can. In the meantime I am counting down to my winter holiday when I will be off to sunnier skies.  

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