The Whinge Summer Time and the Living is WET, WET, WET
o summer’s here. You can tell it’s summer because it’s raining. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but there’s a reason it’s a cliché. We should seriously think about changing the school summer holiday to fit the weather. It’ll be difficult to arrange but we should wait until we think it’s going to get hot and rush through an emergency summer holiday act. So then if we get a hot June like we seem to have in the last few years schools will close, we’ll all go on holiday and enjoy the sun. That way we’ll also boost the economy because people will take more holidays in the UK; firstly because it will be hot in this country, and secondly, nobody will know when the school summer break is so they won’t be able to plan far enough in advance to book an overseas holiday. By the time we announce the holiday season all the best places overseas will have been taken but our holiday season will be different from those overseas so wherever we go in the UK it won’t be full of overseas tourists. Now I know this sounds like a very radical approach and there will be all sorts of complications with it, but frankly it won’t be that different from Easter. We all pretend that we know Easter has something to do with a certain number of full moons after the first full moon of the New Year, but have any of us actually checked that Easter is at the right time each year. I know I just let Microsoft tell me when Easter is, it’s much simpler and of course, Microsoft would never get anything like that wrong. So is it all really worth the faff of a moving summer holiday? Well anyone who has ever been camping in this country will tell you that it is. You have two choices when booking a camping trip; you can wait for the weather to be good or book before Easter.
If you choose the first option then you are guaranteed the worst available camping sites in the places where nobody wants to holiday such as some industrial estate just next door to the oil refinery in Port Talbot. And the weather will change by the time you’ve finished packing up the car and it’ll rain day and night for the next two weeks. The second choice might sound better but, frankly, if you don’t book before Easter you’re stuck with the former situation. The only thing you can guarantee about early booking is that you’ve got a much better chance of getting the camp site you want. It’ll still rain from the moment you leave the driveway to the instant you return, but at least you’ll be stuck in a soaked tent on a site that you liked the pictures of in the brochure. Those pictures have, of course, been Photoshoped. It’s a well-known fact that as soon as you remove any camera from its case on a campsite it rains. Also have you noticed that those photos are usually of almost empty camp sites? That’s because they’ve been taken in June, when it’s sunny and when the kids are still in school, not in August, when it’s raining. Those of you who have been camping will appreciate my sentiments in this article. For those who haven’t, don’t. I can only think of one thing worse that pitching a tent in the rain, with all the arguments, swearing, frustrations and searching for the mallet, and that thing is packing it all away in the rain and having to get into the car and drive several hundred miles absolutely soaked to the skin. But at least you get another two weeks off work as you get over the flu, hypothermia and cholera from the camping trip. Problem is the kids are still not back at school yet. © 2011 Stephen Farringdon http://www.staphenfarringdon.com