It has happened again this year. Despite the earnest wishes felt every year for more than 50 years, every year it happens. The days will start to get shorter tomorrow and, on Monday, Midsummer’s Day will be reached.
I have a vivid recollection of a lunchtime conversation at the primary school in High Ham, it must have been in 1969 or 1970.
“It’s drizzling,” I said to our lunchtime supervisor
“Who’s drizzling?” she asked
“The weather”, I said, “it’s drizzling”.
The lady sat looking out from the dinner room, watching us through the double glass doors that opened onto the playground.
Her lunchtime task was to help serve the school dinners and to supervise our playtime. Playtime was much easier if the children were all in the playground surrounded by the twelve foot high chain link fence. Wet days meant us all being inside and the problem of having to get out the box of games and jigsaws with which we would have to pass the time until the afternoon classes started.
Drizzle was, therefore, always grounds for contention. It meant that the forty children in our school could complain that it was wet and that we wanted to come inside; it meant that the school dinner lady, who watched over the forty could say that it’s not raining and that we should go away and play.
The conversation that lunchtime more than forty years ago wasn’t prompted by any desire to be inside. Drizzle was not a cause for concern about getting wet; it was much more serious, it was a cause for angst!
I had read that day for the first time in my life, or at least for the first time that I can remember, that the day June 24th was Midsummer’s Day. It was Midsummer’s Day and that the six weeks of our school summer holidays were still three weeks away. Midsummer’s Day, to a boy of my age, meant that summer would be over before we even started our holidays. It was Midsummer’s Day and we were at school and it was raining. Could the school dinner lady not sense the angst of a small boy?
The summer so far this year has been a disappointment. Grey clouds and heavy showers have dominated. The days will be getting shorter again. The Earth rolls on through its seasons, despite the anxiety of a small boy that he might miss the summer.