Taking Stock - July 9, 2012

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AS far as summers go, it’s been a bit of a washout.

That’s really something of an understatement.

The wettest June on record appears to have flowed seamlessly into a sodden July. In fact, it doesn’t seem to have stopped raining since some bright spark down south uttered the words “hose pipe ban”.

It’s fair to say the weather hasn’t been kind to us here on the Fylde coast. Elton John nearly took off down the Promenade, John Barrowman‘s summer picnic was rained off until another day and our big Olympic Torch moment was all but extinguished.

It certainly hasn’t been the season for outdoor events, just ask anyone who went to the Isle of Wight Festival.

But then again, when has it ever?

I’m still filled with amazement when people who start complaining about a lack of summer before it’s really begun.

Once that first day of sunshine hits in May, we, as a nation, can’t help but think it’s going to last right through until September.

Not that it ever does.

In my childhood Wimbledon always finished on a Tuesday thanks to hour upon hour of epic rain delays and I can still remember standing up to my knees in mud watching Bob Dylan at Glastonbury.

So, what’s changed?

Well, these days we’re a lot better at predicting when there’s about to be a downpour which means, once those flood alerts have been issued (and there have been plenty of those recently) we’re all waiting by the window for the deluge to begin.

Yes, this summer, so far, has been worse than normal – who could have predicted golf ball sized hailstones in Newcastle (not even that could tempt those hardy souls of the north east into wearing a coat) – but we do need a little perspective.

I heard one angry listener last week telling a radio call-in host ‘something must be done’ about the weather.

Short of relocating our green and pleasant land some thousand miles further south, I can’t see what we could really do.

Of course, this being modern Britain, our caller insisted somebody must be to blame, although I struggle to see how David Cameron, unpopular as his austerity measures might be, could really be responsible for a few summer downpours.

I don’t think we can even pin it on public enemy number one, our beleaguered banking industry, although I’m sure there are a few folks out there who are willing to give it a try.

It’s not like we really have things that bad.

Severe weather in other parts of the world mean your home gets washed away or rapidly relocated by a 200mph whirlwind. As bad as it is for those affected a few wet carpets and a diversion on the A66 don’t really compare to that scale of destruction.

As for our washout summer, well, I’m ever the optimist.

It is, after all, only the second week of July which means, even for those weather purists, we’re really only half way through the season.

By mid-August, mark my words, we’ll be baking and the complaints about the heat will be rolling in.