Our six-day-summer came to an end with the deluge that flooded Glastonbury along with large parts of central England last Friday and cut power to 35000 homes in the Manchester area. Yesterday, between downpours and with the distant rumble of thunder still on the horizon, I walked to the newsagent to buy some milk and it was there that I saw the headline:
First hosepipe ban in a decade on the cards
This should tell you all you need to know about the English summer (Scotland does not tend to have hosepipe bans).
The sun peeked briefly through a rift in the blanket of clouds and the shopkeeper looked up at the sky. She was standing in the entrance with a cork noticeboard under her arm, wiping the sweat off her brow.
“Goodness me,” she sighed:” I won’t get this thing back up if I don’t close the door first. How silly—but how can anyone think in this heat?!” The temperature was in danger of nudging 20° C.
In the evening, the draught that has the country in its grip was headline news on the radio. Newsbeat commented that Londoners had been advised not to flush the toilet when not ‘strictly necessary’. Or, as one woman put it in an interview:
“If it’s yellow, let it mellow;
if it’s brown, flush it down.”