It’s a British citizen’s inalienable right to hold forth about the weather.
It’s what we do, after all, there’s a lot of it about.
As northern Europeans we have no alternative but to embrace our seasonal changes, each one preparing us for the next: it’s been the same since life as we know it began.
Then, out of a clear blue sky, came global warming, a phrase bandied around the world like a tennis ball without any apparent or immediate life-changing effect on our everyday lives.
Yet there is one aspect about climate change that the experts have failed miserably to address in any convincing way: one that has inspired me to coin my own axiom: seasonal inconsistency.
Winter is doing exactly what it says on the metaphorical tin: doing precisely what it’s supposed to do.
It rains, the leaves have gone from the trees, temperatures slowly begin to fall, ice forms and then, lo and behold, it snows.
Such comforting predictability cannot be said of summer when the sun is supposed to shine, when the talk should be of hosepipe bans because the water companies cannot contain the winter rain and the sales of sun factor 35 shoot through the roof.
You and I both know that not all summers can be the same as 1976: an exception by any standards, but the frustration that the summer 0f 2013 cannot be predicted is the very reason that the jet-away holiday company call centres are so busy.
The perception these days is that as soon as spring arrives we can expect most of our days to merge from dull to bright to grey to dull again, all the way through until September.
Perhaps I’m wrong; after all I do have a tendency to polish my rose-tinted spectacles on a regular basis but I do remember that my mum and dad would confidently book our July holiday to Bournemouth in January, in the sure knowledge that we’d all return with a tan.