Years ago, here in the UK, we used to have reasonably defined seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I remember the halcyon days of sun-filled school holidays and trips to the endless sand-dunes by the beach. Then there were the delights of building snowmen in the Winter, our fingers stinging from the cold but we were determined to stay out and play as long as possible.
Somewhere in between were the glorious heralds of Spring with nest-building birds and new shoots appearing as the promise of things to come. Later came Autumn, the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' and the gentle wind-down towards Christmas.
However, for so many years recently, our weather has gone stark-raving potty: Summers that are 'Summer' in name only, with endless rain; mild Winters that could easily pass for Autumn with no sign of icy-cold weather to kill off bugs and which also confused both plant and animal life in their normal cycles. Sometimes ALL four seasons within a week (or even a day!)
So, the current heatwave affecting the UK has taken us all by surprise - fans are now as rare as hen's teeth (luckily we managed to pick some up earlier in the year!) and because this level of heat is not a regular occurrence, most households do not have the luxury of air-conditioning.
A knock-on effect is that the shops have followed their usual pattern of stocking the next season's fashions - try buying a pair of shorts (I have - can't even get a pair of cropped trousers!) - but those of us who didn't think ahead are now contemplating the idea of taking the dressmaking shears to a pair of jeans!
Global warming? Perhaps, or maybe pollution is our own undoing. I remember my mother, years ago, saying that the weather seemed to have changed ever since we starting firing things up into the atmosphere (rockets, bombs, aeroplanes...) We used to laugh at her - but now I'm not so sure.....
I know I shouldn't complain (like we all did just a few weeks ago because the temperatures were so low we were walking around wearing sweaters - in JUNE!) - but in this sticky, humid, uncomfortable weather that prevents a good night's sleep, in the word's of Star Trek's engineer, Scotty: