July has finally arrived to the UK too, only in terms of the month though and hardly with any of the goodies it usually carries when it visits other countries, ie sunny days, warm evenings and sitting outside.
To survive it in other countries you would be advised to drink a lot of water, wear light clothing and stay in the shade when possible.
To survive it in the UK you would be advised to have with you at all times the usual winter kit: umbrella or raincoat and wellies. BBC Sussex was wondering today why we have such bad weather in the UK this summer, as if the previous ones we didn’t. I haven’t got the answer to this question. Maybe it is because we are cursed, maybe because the summer installation software we’ve been sold simply isn’t compatible with Britain, maybe because when the weather is a tiny bit nicer we start complaining it’s too hot and rush to buy fans for the office, which simply recycle the air or maybe it’s because we can’t really appreciate the importance of having a bit of sun. However, as I am Mediterranean and don’t agree with any of the above behaviours and justifications, as I love high temperatures and walking in the sun, I came up with an appropriate explanation of the term British summer, with which I’m going to leave you before I get on yet another plane for a taste of what in other countries people call just summer.
Our story begins a night about to become day when the glorious sun was due to sit on his throne and face a tiny planet, which seemed to not only love the luminous king of the universe but also absorb all his brilliance and turn it into vivid colours of blue, green, purple and orange creating thus a living and breathing ever-changing painting. The joys and magic of the skies and their mysteries.
On that particular time the sun was in the middle of a conversation with his closest neighbour Mer-Cury, about an upcoming feast in the universe, the Circus of the Skies. A special performance was to be prepared by each of the planets in view of the show. Sun, who admittedly was very busy with preserving life on that tiny land, didn’t have the time nor the imagination to come up with anything more spectacular than what he did every day. Just for the show though, he would reign over his minions for double the usual time, causing a celebration of blooming colours and unimaginable vividness.
Mer-Cury, on the other hand, swift, petit and far more creative was thinking about speeding up his usually slow orbit around the sun.
“Then I will do a salto mortale jump, back to my original position and while in the air, my hot and molten soul will raise and golden fountains of fire will jet through my craters. Spectacular fireworks. The universe is surely to go mad,” Mer-Cury described his grandiose plan. Sun was listening full of attention, but was at the same time a little bit preoccupied with how inferior his own performance sounded in comparison. I have to up my game, he thought and jumped suddenly, but not because he had a pinching brilliant idea.
“I’m late, I’m late,’ he screamed in panic. ‘I have to run to my thrown,’ he said and turned his back to Mer-Cury with a sloppy and hasty movement. In his hurry, he failed to notice a star which trying to cross over at that moment brushed by the tip of his ray. One would have thought that not a lot of damage could have been caused by the little firefly of the skies and one would have been right, but with the imminent universal upheaval of joy, certain things functioned outside the norm. A small – for the universal standards – piece fell off the radiant ray. Unsuspected and unnoticed, it travelled through space all the way to sunny planet’s surrounding atmosphere. There, breaking into tiny particles, which managed to penetrate its thick, yet transparent shield, landed on a not so green part of it. A heavenly precision, one could say, lead them inside an inactive volcano crater and from there to the depths of its once lava filled guts.
For the first part of their lives in the dark hole, the particles were luminous, pieces of gold buried in dust and dirt, that lit the stone walls like natural spotlights. However, as it was the period when the sun favoured more one part of the planet than the other, but also because they were so much deeper than what his light could reach, they steadily lost their radiance until they finally sank in darkness. Their once bright colour turned into a dull grey and their life drifted away. Silent and morbid they spent days and nights under the rain, in pools of mud, like a cement army bravely sustaining the hardships of a foreign and hostile land. They were buried under white snow and thin ice like stone fossils of another era. They didn’t move. Until, one day, Miss Spring decided to visit the part of the planet where our once powerful volcano now slept an eternal sleep. She took out her colourful fabrics and airy dresses, spread out her perfumes, put some relaxing but yet engaging music on the old record player and started dancing around, spreading the notes of happiness. Was it the slightly higher temperature that Miss Spring brought with her arrival, was it the general spirit of rebirth in nature or simply the result of a scientific phenomenon which only the big brains of this world could explain? Nobody could tell with certainty what urged the little particles to rise from their lethargic state, discovering not only that they were alive but also that they had somehow multiplied. And it wasn’t only that, they weren’t hard as rocks any more, nor were they bound to the ground. Instead they had assumed a fluffy like quality and an airy, although still grey appearance. For some other strange reason, which only Mother Nature or scientists can explain, they began ascending, against their will, or without putting any effort at least, towards the top of the crater and out of it they were a little bit later. Miss Spring’s long hair and bright dress brushed them with colour temporarily and pushed them further up to the skies. It was there, they felt again their king’s warmth and brilliance and were drawn towards him. But Sun was no longer as they had left him.
‘I’m glad you are still alive and well, but unfortunately, I can no longer take you back. You see after I lost you, I had to find some replacement quickly, especially since the date for the circus of the skies was that close and now… now I have no need for any other parts,’ he said to them.
One would have again imagined, they would get disappointed and sad, they would go back to their hole of darkness and stay there forever, but no. The little particles remained there looking at the Sun enchanted by his luminosity and grace, hoping secretly that one day he would take them back with him. The result of that concentration of former sunrays particles on this particular part of the sunny planet was the formation of a grey mass, which was later called clouds. The reign of clouds lasted for many, many years over that land and sun’s constant refusal made the particles sad causing them to dissolve into liquid drops, an action, which became known as rain. However, as the sun is kind and loves all his minions, some perhaps a little bit more than others, he decided one day to get closer to the once parts of himself and grant them a bit of their old glow and beauty. Excitement and happiness overflowed them. They opened the closed gates and welcomed him in. And the sun accepted their invitation and entered. Their otherwise dark kingdom shone like gold. They let their guard down and played among Sun’s beams of warmth. His visit was short but came with a promise to be repeated and indeed it was. And from then on, the short period when the clouds part to leave room for the sun to spread his grandeur on the world is widely known as the British summer. 🙂