Today summer looks like it is here. This is not the first time it has arrived: on several other occasions over the last month or so it has showed its face, only to retreat the very next day. This time, however, I am convinced it is here to stay. Why? There is no particular reason, rather I just feel that it should do the decent thing and hang around now until at least April. Yes, I know in this part of the world, summer isn’t officially expected until 1 December, but in this case turning up early will be definitely viewed by the general populace as a brilliant idea, I think. We are, after all, more than ready for something new!

So what’s so great about summer? Firstly, unlike spring which is notoriously fickle weather wise, we know where we stand. In the morning, we dress for one season only, rather than all four. And dress, we do, in lighter, brighter attire with our limbs on display and toes peeping shyly out of sandals or jandals.

Summer brings with it an upturn in people making the most of the wonderful weather to get into shape after a winter of seriously stodgy meals. Walkers and runners are seen pounding the streets with fancy gadgets measuring pulse rates strapped on,  the gyms are overflowing with people working hard to get back the body they last saw when they were young and taut, fake tan is being sold by the bucketful, and strange diets that often are both scientifically dubious and bordering on sadistic are adopted. There is logic at play here: we have to look good in that lighter, brighter attire! New hair style anyone?

Summer is also the time of the outdoor meals, be it firing up the barbeque in the backyard, heading to the local park for a picnic tea, or to the beach for a dinner of fish and chips. More often than not, friends will be invited along and a simple meal will morph into a relaxed social occasion with great food, a couple of drinks and excellent conversation.

Now there are all sorts of other amazing things about summer in this part of the world e.g. swimming, camping, Christmas and New Year, but it also brings with it nights that are too hot to sleep, mosquitos and sandflies that like dining on homo sapiens, sunburn and food poisoning, if a person is not careful, and other challenges. Like everything, there is no such thing as perfect, but despite this, I think  we are more than ready for the new season to arrive.

I also know that by Autumn, I, for one, will be looking forward to the cooler weather, the glorious colours of the autumnal trees, the heavier clothes, different food and the opportunity to curl up by the fire with a book. A change can be so refreshing!