Summer in the UK? Better shut up and get wet!
Weather moaners, beach aficionados and sun whores, Victor Fraga is here to say: “please stop complaining about the rain and enjoy British summer for what it is instead”
Some of my beloved Facebook friends have the power to annoy me to the bone. The moans and groans have been incessant in the past few weeks: “Another rainy Saturday? Give me a break, I’m moving to Spain”; “British summer has crashed, just like my computer” or “Remember last year? Summer started on a Tuesday and ended two days later on a Thursday”.
There are also the holidaymakers, a.k.a. the boasters and showers: “Look at me basking in Barcelona, while my family are stuck indoors in Lewisham!”, “Another perfect day in Saint Tropez, I’m so happy not to be in the UK”. Some of them even share the weather forecast at their sultry holiday destination. Well, thank you very much for the information, but I’m not jealous of you toasting your mangy skin to 30C of carcinogenic ultraviolet beams on a tourist-infested sandy patch.
Oscar Wilde once said that conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative. I wonder what he would make of these Facebook comments and posts.
I happen to love the rainy days, wind gushes, grey skies, the winter and British weather in general. I’m neither insane nor masochistic. I like the cycle of life, clearly-defined seasons, dramatic weather changes , the unexpected. I even like hot summer days and the beach. It’s just the spellbound reverie and collective hysteria inhabiting the summer expectations of some people that irritate me.
Summer isn’t just about beach and sun.This may sound particularly peculiar coming from a Brazilian born and raised in a breezy coastal town called Salvador where the lowest temperature ever recorded were 16 glacial degrees Celsius. My parents are very different to me: they will both freeze long before thermometers reach the teens. I’m the living proof that sun devotion is neither cultural nor genetic.
This may sound like a lone wolf cry, but it’s not. Many of my friends feel just like me, but they are often silenced the powerful advocates of sweltry and sizzling ravishment. It’s almost as if toasting in the sun became compulsory in the summer. And it’s not just people who indulge in wet and grey days. Nature is ecstatic with joy when it rains, and I experience this firsthand in my garden: The pebbles shine, the Indian flagstones turn into a mirror, the soil is lit with life. The peony frowns (just like Karen Carpenter), shrinks and then shies away in splendour. The climbing rose droops and salutes me from above, while her fire-red cousin bursts to flames from below. The pansies spread their yellow, pink and orange wings everywhere. The lustful tigerlily opens up spread eagle and shoots his semen, and I can smell it from here. The lady in purple dons a shiny purple pearl necklace, so intricate with details that not even my camera – fully equipped with proximity lens – can capture it.
A very hot summer day does just the opposite to my garden, leaving an unforgiving trail of destruction: the hydrangeas burn their leaves in anger, the petunias shed their trumpeted flowers and then hush in protest, the geraniums turn brown and brittle, the young shoots relinquish as the soil dries out and cracks. Meanwhile, my disheartened friends sunbathe in Spain and Hampstead Heath.
My dearest friends, while I love you to pieces, I have no sympathy for your wet afflictions. Instead, I thoroughly enjoy every drop of summer rain. Worse still, I dare voice my eccentric taste for doom and gloom on Facebook. So let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!