Summer is over
Summertime… and the living was easy
Summer is over, meteorogically speaking. If the Met Office are the ones to trust then summer (like the other three seasons in the year) is made up of the three clean months of June, July and August, to coincide with the Gregorian calendar (and to make it easier for them to compare statistics year on year).
So here we are then – in Autumn. And whilst we can look forward to falling leaves, crisp mornings and Strictly; we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what summertime has meant to people… and the annual effect is has on all of our behaviour.
There’s no getting away from it, Summer is different
Anthropologist Kate Fox sums it up perfectly in her book “Watching the English”:
“Summer is an alternative reality… we dress differently, we eat special, more indulgent food, and we behave differently… more relaxed, more sociable, more spontaneous, less uptight…”
In the UK, the excitement of summer weather never wanes. It is a reliable topic of conversation and celebrated (or condemned) with passion. In summer we hope to be outdoors, so when the skies are in our favour it is cause for true rejoicing. This results in any time having the potential to feel like a celebration (“the sun’s out!”) Unlike our neighbours in Europe, who can afford to be more relaxed about such things, in the UK people seek to ‘make the most of summer’ because we know it won’t last.
The excitement of the outdoor space is another big deal. However big your ‘patch’, sharing it with others is what we seek to do in summertime. To us uptight Brits, the outdoors brings a welcome, natural informality, which results in us opening our homes up to guests far more often.
In a national study by SIRC, ‘being sociable’ was one of the top three things people associate with summer. As the winter creeps in we prefer to draw our curtains, retreat to the sofa and generally be more isolated. For a minority the dreaded SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can even creep in.
But let’s not dwell too much on all that just yet… if forecasts are right we’re set to have a balmy September. More ice-cream anyone…?