Brits obsess about the weather, and if you were here for this years so-called “barbecue summer” then you would understand why… because it was crap!

Britain's barbecue summer.

Back in April the Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, predicted that summer 2009 was “odds on” to be a “barbecue summer.” This raised the hopes and expectations of Brits who haven’t seen a decent stretch of summer weather since 2006.

As bleak recession news filled the headlines at the start of the year a “barbecue summer” was just what the country needed to raise spirits and give the economy a shot in the arm as cash strapped Brits elected to forego vacations in the sun for ‘staycations’ closer to home.

But aside from two measly weeks in June the promise of a sunny summer to remember failed to materialize. Instead July and August were a string of rainy days with depressing concrete colored skies that hung like a curse over the British Isles.

When I first heard the phrase “barbecue summer” I couldn’t help but be suspicious. First off this is Britain – not the south of France. We’re famous for being a dreary little over-populated island dogged by bad weather and raging drunks. Okay, maybe I’m a little down on the UK at the moment, but bear with me, I’m suffering from the early onset of S.A.D.

Secondly, while everyone was getting excited at the prospect of cooking al fresco and (binge) drinking cold beers in the sun, didn’t it occur to anyone that it was still only April? Weather forecasters in the UK struggle to get tomorrows weather right, so how on earth could they be in any position to make lofty claims about a forthcoming glorious summer? The timing seemed suspicious to me, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was some government ploy to make us stay at home and spend our hard earned money here, rather than overseas.

Then came the two weeks in June. I sat outside and ate melon for breakfast every morning. I planted salad crops and watered my thirsty sunflowers that were growing up fast like grandchildren. My banana plant exploded into life and even produced the first signs of a flower which promised to actually bear fruit. Banana’s in England!

I sat under the parasol amid my flourishing tropical plants and allowed the warmth of the sun to melt away my cynicism. I too became intoxicated by the prospect of the balmy British summer ahead.

Then came the rain.

This weather makes me SAD

While there may have been a few moments where water wasn’t falling in varying degrees from a constant blanket of gloom hanging ominously overhead, I can’t really remember them. Instead my memories of this summer will be a succession of rainy days as drab and uninspiring as a James Blunt CD.

Yes, we saw a few moments of blue sky in our 4 Lads 1 Crap Car adventure, but we also saw plenty or rain, and I’m fed up of grasping at momentary glimpses of a sunbeam like a starving man scrambling for crumbs on a table. It’s utterly depressing when you have to wear winter clothes and switch on your heating in August.

I could tease myself with the prospect of an Indian summer in September, but such whimsy would be foolishness. I live on a soggy little island that offers up sunny days like pearls from the ocean. For the past few years my summers have been bought and paid for. If anything, this years “barbecue summer” has convinced me never again to invest hope, time, or money in the promise of that near mythical event they call an English summer.

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