Not to say that there is any great evidence that this could be anything of a lasting effect, notwithstanding the issues of global warming, but the British are starting to question the very notion that their island was always destined to have a wet, gray, depressing climate for the rest of mankind.
The summer has taken the British by surprise. The newspapers have been headlining with “Phew, what a scorcher!” and people are starting to complain that it is just simply too hot and un-British. Wimbledon, won by the Scottish-born Andy Murray, went off with barely a drop of rain. The month of July seems increasingly to be a record-breaking month of unrelenting heat that has seen a mass exodus to Britain’s seaside shores at the expense of the Mediterranean beaches in Spain and Portugal. Who knows what August will bring?
Some have to be reminded that the giant orb in the sky that makes its way above the horizon every day, getting bigger and hotter, beaming down on the pasty Brits, relentlessly pouring heat onto the pavement, melting ice creams, and causing the locals to practically strip off in the parks and public, is actually the sun.
We have not seen it in England in years. We always wonder how the druids in Stonehenge could celebrate the summer solstice when they could not even see the sun through the clouds.
Pictured above: A student group poses in front of the London Eye on a sunny summer day.
But the Brits are now starting to like the orb. In those glorious long days, when nighttime comes after 10 o’clock and the warmth of the day’s sun still stays on the streets and in the gardens, the Brits have gotten used to it.
The other day, some friends of mine took the plastic paddling pool from their kids and plopped themselves into it while sipping their wine in the evening. It is weird, I agree — but when you have not seen the sun for more than 2,000 years, it is not altogether so strange.
With great regularity, the conversation on the trains, buses, and around the water cooler is now not about the rain and the damp, but it’s about this strange ball in the sky. The sightings are conclusive. It surfaces in the morning from behind the eastern horizon, sticks around for the best part of the day, and drops into the western sky to be replaced by a thing called the moon.
Long live the orb and may winter and the rain take a back seat to an English summer’s day.
Peter Jones is the founder and President of ACIS. Knowing the important difference between a trip that’s mediocre and one that’s extraordinary, he built ACIS from a deep belief and understanding that teachers and students deserve the best—from itinerary development to hotels to perhaps most importantly, the people hired to guide teachers and students throughout the journey.