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REMEMBER when we had seasons? [...].


REMEMBER when we had seasons? w Long, cold winters, followed by the final relief of spring, and then finally the weeks of daily sunshine as summer set us free.

Autumn was bliss; kicking through a russet and golden carpet of leaves, and finding conkers, as the air freshened everything, and as darkness slowly moved again - it all felt so wonderfully proportioned.

Summer was magnificent (possibly my favourite). The long, warm days, conducive to roller skating almost until bedtime, long walks in fields of barley, and camping, and days on boats and swimming in the sea.

The summer holidays seemed to last for months. It was a freedom all of its own, the promise of warmth without clothing, without shoes.

I wonder now if I've romanticised it all, airbrushed away the memories of torrential rain and biting wind tearing at our tent pegs.

But it felt like we had seasons. In my mind's eye they were bright, or dull, but distinct and full of colour, not like the grey fusion of one to the next that we seem to endure now.

In April, I found myself cold, wrapped in layers because having the heating on just felt perverse.

I was genuinely cold just sitting still at my desk. The tapping of my keyboard not nearly enough exertion to warm my finger tips. Still, the thought that summer was around the corner helped.

Then May, a gentle kiss of sunshine, abandoned to downpours and damp.

So have things really changed so dramatically? Is this all about global warming? And, as I sat down after a dismal day shopping on Saturday, where despite travelling 30 miles the rain just followed, I heard that homes in Carmarthenshire had actually flooded and fire crews had been called out to several properties.

They responded to four separate incidents where properties were threatened by flood water. My heart sank a little.

But the same day, forecasters announced predictions that, in just over a week, an onslaught of heatwave is to hit, paving the way for a record-breaking summer of sweltering sunshine.

It's bizarre. But it's a familiar weather juxtaposition that we in Britain are becoming used to.

The mercury is expected to soar so high, in fact, there's a chance the highest-ever UK temperature of 38.5C could be beaten.

June, July and August will see Britain bake in 30C heat as extreme "heat surges" are swept in from the Continent.

This may be yet another bad sign about our climate and an indication of global warming. It may just be the way it always has been, minute my rose-tinted spectacles.

I'm afraid at this point I'll be found wanting of concern - I'm too busy and distracted by the hope of balmy days and evenings, walking barefoot on the grass and not being afraid of a soaking from a water fight.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 23, 2016
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