You non-Brit types may not know this, but in this country the weather gods have a perverse sense of humour. Contrast and compare, say, with where Anna lives, in Minneapolis. In the winter snow piles up by the ton and the temperature might be below zero (Fahrenheit) for a couple of months. When the thaw comes, there are a few moments of Spring and then the temperature and the humidity both climb vertically until a Summer of roasting, sweltering mugginess sets in. The air is so hot and close that the mosquitoes grow to an impressive size and an apocalyptic lightning storm is never far away. In the UK, the deal is this: mild weather in the South for at least 300 days of the year, with the North occasionally experiencing actual meteorology instead of a sort of pleasant compromise between precipitation and aridity that passes for a climate. But in exchange for months of restraint, the weather gods like to blow off a little steam when public holidays roll around. Usually, any three-day weekend is a wash-out. And with weather taking a turn for the dramatic in recent years, not only is the perennial restraint dwindling, the bank holiday outbursts are becoming positively theatrical. Yesterday I sat watching the bright blue sky of Summer alternate with snow, hail, rain and some sort of compact, frozen water that looked like polystyrene packing beads. We cycled from Summer to Winter at least a dozen times. As holiday weekends go, I think you just have to laugh in disbelief.
Monstrous snow bunny, courtesy of the BBC
Incidentally, having said all that about the Minneapolis weather, that's where I'm going to take my first holiday for a couple of years. Hopefully in early May the twin forces of Roasting and Freezing will be evenly balanced, with neither able to dominate. (Also, apologies to those affected, but I will be willing the dollar to completely tank by then, while the pound remains miraculously sturdy.)