Thank you, summer, it's been great having you
THERE are things happening at the moment that I am trying not to notice in the hope they will go away and stop darkening my door. Top of my list of things to get overly fraught about is Syria and its associated horrors.
Then comes the transfer of a footballer for £85 million from some club in England to some club in Spain, which surprises me. I don't know why they didn't use easyJet as a cheaper option for moving the chap.
A third thing, and this one has been popping back into my thoughts for several weeks to irritate and depress me in equal measure, is George Osborne's opinion that mothers who remain at home after having babies have made "a lifestyle choice" not to return to work. Just writing that sentence has brought me out into an angry rash so I must move swiftly on before my fury turns to violence.
One small matter that cannot be avoided and simply will not go away is the fact we've hit September – and we know what that means. That's the start of the end of the year. Not far away now are the falling leaves and the darker evenings, the watered-down sunshine on the good days and all sorts of uncomfortable things on all the other days.
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But hold on. Before allowing the curtain to fall on our exceptionally lovely summer, let's give thanks for a season that, as ever, promised so little but which ended up delivering to excess. In doing so, it has brought weeks of warmth and joy to lives made wretched by 18 months of relentlessly cold, wet weather. Yes, we were owed this most lovely of summers.
It has been the sort of season one remembers from childhood, the school holidays of storybooks, with outside play possible for all ages long into the balmy evenings.
Just getting too blinking hot sometimes has been a novelty. Putting off anything strenuous until the evening or fitting it in to the early morning has worked well, as has being able to bring in the washing all crisp and dry, and not have it draped damply around the house for days.
It has been almost a pleasure to find ways of coping with things melting, drying out, changing colour or cracking in the heat – and I don't just mean certain members of the family. On which subject, Geoff has been in clover all summer long, in a manner of speaking. He has so much enjoyed being warm for a change, and has also loved the opportunity to fiddle with knobs and dials in the car each time he gets into it, muttering in happy-chappy fashion about "really excellent climate control".
Not so welcome this summer have been the wasps. I know so many people who have been stung, causing huge, painful swellings of eyes and faces and limbs and other bits, that I've become paranoid about avoiding such a fate myself.
Any wasp that has come in or near Hill Towers – and there have been at least 88 million, I swear – has faced the threat of instant extinction. With our superb aim and knack for these things, Geoff and I have dispatched about six between us, so not exactly mass eradication of what must surely be nature's more useless members of the insect world.
Now if Mr Osborne came near me and he was wearing black and yellow stripes, I think I could trust my aim to be rather more accurate.
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