The weather is big news everywhere at the moment.
Tragic fires in Greece.
People dying in Japan, after record high temperatures.
Fires in fields all over the UK.
People suffering from sunstroke, in Britain.
And a man and his dog quietly sweltering, in Beetley.
It is now officially the hottest summer since 1976. No rain of any note in Norfolk for six weeks, and constant daytime temperatures in excess of 32 C (90 F) every day. Last night, it didn’t drop below 21 C, and we woke up to another scorcher.
I’m still not complaining. I still haven’t forgotten that long dreary winter, or those years of almost constant rain. I am doing my best to enjoy this rare treat, making me feel as if I am living in a different country. Yes it can be hard to sleep, even using a large fan to cool the room. Yes being in a car is unpleasant, unless it has working air-conditioning, and yes it is hard for my poor dog, in his furry coat. But the alternative is worse, as far as I am concerned. Long wet days, tramping around in mud, wearing heavy coats and boots, carrying an umbrella. Windows closed against the torrents, and darkness by mid-afternoon. Did all the complainers forget so soon?
The TV News loves to see the black side too. Dire warnings about failed crops, and even a shortage of Christmas Trees, come December. Beaches closed for ‘public safety’, and blue-green algae contaminating open water. Hosepipe bans in the north-west, the wettest areas of the UK, a testament to the unpreparedness and inefficiency of those responsible for managing our water supplies. Gloomy predictions of more hot summers to come, and fears for a country totally unprepared to face them.
In a few weeks, the rain will have returned. It will start to get dark by 5 pm, and people will be having to heat their homes.
And not long after that, everyone will be complaining about the winter.