I am sick of this weather. We are not in a drought. That is not an explanation for this farce of an April. Here are some better reasons for what’s been happening:
2) God having too much fun with the Titanic’s 100th anniversary and wishing to create re-enactment using Oxford as test place (poss with Rad Cam as iceberg, since with the stacks 7/8 probably are underground);
3) Official statement by Mother Nature on the stupidity of the Olympics;
4) Evidence of curse on all representatives of water boards/councils enforcing hosepipe bans, who must now be subject to hate speech and violence whenever they appear in the media.
For the past two weeks, I seem to have been permanently damp and cold. To be precise, I’ve been in the degree of damp and cold which usually comes from standing in a mediocre British themepark and straying too close to the log flume. Occasional variations have included the bone-chilled misery last felt on a school trip to North Wales, or the recognisable sogginess commonly derived from harbour walls in October half term.
Goodness knows how international students (from anywhere other than… I don’t know, Iceland ) are coping. The malaise everyone’s feeling is now beyond Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s the legitimate rage of being permanently bent double, bedraggled and (more often than not) struggling with an umbrella that’s warped itself into the shape of a disabled vampire bat.
I am not asking for the Camus-like heat of summer, in which the tarmac starts sweating and there’s a simmering feeling that people might start eyeing each other with reference to knives. I don’t even like summer that much; as one of life’s consummate sunburners, I find the season heavy on Factor 50 and short on bikinis. But I would like some Spring. I’m not even asking to go straight into ballet pumps and bare legs. I’d just like my boots to dry out between outings.
I can’t believe I’ve just found this much to say about the weather. Oh dear.
This has been the most British of blogposts, grumbled out between marking essays and crossly sipping my tea. Thank you for your patience. I hope if it really does flood, I can float out to sea on a table like Mapp and Lucia; but only if I can live in an E. F. Benson novel when I get back…
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.