It will soon be Christmas!

So the nights are drawing in and winter’s on its way!

Before we know it, snow will be on the ground, bells will be jingling and Rudolph will be limbering up alongside his reindeer chums for the big global push.

But wait, haven’t we missed something? Wasn’t summer supposed to follow spring and precede autumn.

Allow me to indulge myself in reminiscing for a while but when I were a lad, we’d play outside all day in the blazing sun catching newts or baby frogs in what was left of the local pond, after weeks without rain had reduced it to no more than a puddle.

You tend to look back at your childhood through rose-tinted spectacles but I cannot believe summers were as wet and miserable as we’ve endured over the past few years.

It’s the end of June – flaming June – and we’re still walking around in overcoats.

I dare say the organisers of the Torch Relay and the Festival of Alnwick envisaged long, balmy days when they were planning their festivities, not howling gales, torrential rain and thunderstorms – weather more suited to ducks or polar bears than picnics in the park or naked flames.

Damn those people who declared a hosepipe ban in April; damn those prophets of doom who say global warming will bring to an end civilisation as we know it. They have all tempted the fates into bringing us everlasting meteorological misery.

So our communities look ill-prepared for this summer’s In Bloom inspections – at least that’s the county council’s convenient excuse for the poor displays in the likes of Alnwick.

I have a suggestion. We abandon the seasons forthwith. That way, we cannot build our expectations of decent temperatures or level of precipitation. We can then label each daytime period as a summer’s day, or springlike, or extremely autumnal – a kind of sliding scale of seasonality. It means that summer may be scattered to the four winds but at least if we add up the individual days throughout the year, we could be cheered by the thought of actually having a summer in a given 12-month period. Just a thought.

In the meantime, here’s another – it’ll soon be Christmas!