As I indicated in my last post the British weather never fails to surprise.
This time last week, the thermometer in my garden hit 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit); today it was 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit). Neither is what I would normally expect at this time of the year and, apart from the period spanning what was a very short-lived heat wave, it has been raining too! Well I suppose that really is normal for a British summer!
When you are working, you can become quite disgruntled about rainstorms at weekends. In retirement, it is less frustrating as theoretically it is easier to rearrange your activities around the weather and what you may have planned for Sunday can now just as easily take place on Wednesday. Well that is the theory anyway but of course it all falls apart when you don't seem to get any periods of settled weather, as has been the case for most of this summer. Indeed when you have been banking on a week or longer period of good weather for a sailing trip it is potentially rather depressing.
If therefore your only plans are to cycle or garden, you are invariably going to become as frustrated in retirement as if you were working and it rained every weekend. Whilst a good quality breathable raincoat helps, I'm discovering that flexibility must now extend beyond rearranging days to suit the weather and instead the whole scale adoption of inside projects, celebrating the fact that I would never be able to indulge in jam making, watching the tennis at Wimbledon on television or decorating if we were actually getting the summer weather eagerly anticipated and around which we have made so many other plans.
For the first time I am picking and processing the whole of my soft fruit crop and have even discovered that I can make ironing a delight by placing the board with a view of the TV set whilst the tennis takes place (Wimbledon clearly isn't suffering the same problems with its weather as the North East corner of England but in any event now has a roof for Centre Court). The rain is also a real boost for my interior painting and modernising project and diminishes the risk of our home being declared a UNESCO Heritage site like the Forth Rail Bridge.