Oh to be in England now that Summer's here.
I want to live in the summer's of Browning's day. I bet him and Keats had some right laughs on the Magners and Ice.
Summer. A truly melancholy season for us brits.
Never mind broken Britain. Broken Summers more like.
Full of false promise. Chinese whispers which make their way down through queues in the supermarket, onto the buses and into our Facebook news feeds. In true British optimism, people abusing the phrase "it's meant to be hot".... you see, no one actually quite believes that it is going to happen. Until it really does.
Try yourself at googling "the sun" and the first hit you receive is our Red Top friend first. Hell,even the sun cannot even be bothered to make itself popular in Google. It has truly given up the fight.
Now, I have been brought up to not get too excited about this season. My father has a very three line whip approach to the summer. "It is only another 30 days and the nights soon start to get darker". Fan-bloody-tastic. I am really excited and pumped now.
Sunworshippers stand by your beds, and my dad for that matter. Unbeknown to myself and by default, I have become something of a statistician recently.
Having thought like many, that I would never require my GCSE Mathematics knowledge every again, I have decided to study a little bit more on angles after covering a splendid Maths lesson recently. It was funny how many facts that I remembered about our little obtuse pals and his acute ways.
For all you sun gods and goddesses out there, the Solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. Ergo, the day when we are allegedly supposed to get the most access to our favourite star and when the sun is at it's maximum elevation.
The summer solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is closest to the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. To be precise it is actually 23.5 degrees. I know that this angle is quite small. It certainly is not going to fit into a corner, nor spread across a straight line. The real reason our weather therefore is so screwed is angles. We are actually on the wonkiest planet going. We are not at a right angle which means that this alters how much light we receive.
I knew I hated Maths.
You don't see Sian Lloyd giving us the facts with angles. Perhaps she should. Then we would have a true logical reason as to why one minute we are in our gladiator sandals and new maxi dresses and then back into our leggings and jumpers.
So make a mark in your diaries folks. The 21st June is that day to get your protractors out and set it to 23.5.
Another much more puritanical formula for the summer months is that of sun comes out (panic buy to supermarket x clothing + shoe shops) to the power of 10.
I love to be in the midst of the Supermarket when the Sun has just kicked in.
The meat aisle tends to bear the brunt of the early Solstice. Lonely Dalepak Minted Lamb shapes fighting for survival by the freedom farmed chicken thighs. VALUE BREASTS!!, that's what the kids want. Skin is not in. For die hard meat enthusiasts, the bright sparks in Tesco and Asda have invented what can only be described as a meat selection box. You have your big players in there, your BBQ chicken fillets, angus beef burgers, obligatory fat sausages and then your low key characters of pork lollipops and anaemic chicken wings.
The bread aisle tends to take a gastro bashing. Soft bread rolls from other people's trollies are laughing at your pathetic attempts to use wholemeal. Desperate measures sometimes means pitta bread. It really is every man for themselves.
The gender bias in a supermarket comes into play here too. The salad aisle is a stomping ground for every woman on a sunny day. Promises of "salad days" at work. Lots of it. I just love salad. That is all I am going to eat all week.
That along with the two bottles of Rose and the box of mini magnums you have just ploughed in.
Looking at salad bag hell, I can spy a lazy bag of Caesar and a bag of rocket that is taking its last breath.
I refuse to eat iceberg lettuce. The poor mans leaf. I would rather eat my mound of angus with green striped aquafresh than ply it with a mass of watery mulch. Watercress everytime.
Trollies overflowing with dips, green dips that people did not even knew existed before, horse bags of walkers sensations, olives for people trying to recreate that Grecian holiday they have just had, hummus making a sly trip into peoples trollies, new CD's we need to create that party mood, strappy sun vest tops at 2 for £9. Yep, the summer sun really does create us into monsters with pseudo bank balances.
It would not be Britain if the alcohol sales did not become an issue in the summer.
The World Cup adds a quadratic problem into our economic equation.
Tesco have recently announced that they are going to support our newly formed coalition government and help towards tackling "booze britain" by not making cuts to theprices of Alcohol, especially during the World Cup. Ah, how sweet of them.