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Worst. Summer. Ever.


Another cloudy dayI know it’s a British preoccupation to talk about the weather but I generally try to steer clear of the topic. If you get obsessed with the weather you forget about the fact that you shouldn’t let the weather dictate what you do with your time. Just because it’s raining and isn’t sunny doesn’t mean you can’t go hiking or biking. And just because it’s baking sunshine doesn’t mean you should sit indoors all day watching TV or waste the day sunbathing.

However this summer in particular is worth a mention because in Britain it’s been (so far) the worst summer of the past 30 years or so. Since I can only remember the last 30 years of summers I wouldn’t like to say it’s the worst for a longer period – even though I expect it is.

Every day is that same. I get into my car to drive to work, it’s 9-11C, it’s cloudy and it’s raining. Every day. Every time I look out the window it’s cloudy and raining, or cloudy and has just been raining, or it’s cloudy and it’s just about to start raining. When I drive home there are rain clouds overhead. When I play football it’s cloudy and almost inevitably will rain at some point. The point here is that there are no blue skies. Rain is never more than an hour away. And the average temperature is about what it is in autumn. It’s pathetic.

My stringent measure of a nice day, a John Conners Nice Day seems like a relic from a long gone era of four seasons in the UK. The chances of experiencing a full day with not a cloud in the sky where I live is completely zero.

With clouds constantly overhead it’s like living in a monochromatic world (that’s black and white) since with all the light from the sun filtered out by low lying clouds, everything is painted with a grey tinge. It’s terrible for photography, which is why my Flickr site hasn’t had a lot posted to it lately. My grass is a grey shade of green, the trees are grey and even the blue tits nesting in my garden look like grey tits (if such a bird exists).

When I was a kid the summers seemed to go on forever. We had hose pipe bans simply because it didn’t rain for 2 months. There were weeks of John Conners nice days and if I wasn’t careful I’d get sunburned. Nowadays the only risk I get in the UK is if I make a sliding tackle at football and get burned by the AstroTurf!

A friend of mine is convinced that global warming is a government conspiracy and that while its existence is completely unproven it’s being used as a vehicle to shape policy and squeeze more money out of Joe Public for a seemingly worthy cause. Such as “let’s tax cars more because of global warming”. While I laughed him off as being paranoid and a member of the tinfoil hat brigade, I’m starting to think that maybe he’s got a point. Or maybe I’m just bitter and twisted because my considerable collection of shorts and t-shirts are remaining unworn and sitting in my wardrobe. Like the title says – worst summer ever.

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

17 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. well while I disagree with your friend in the fact that global warming is real, the dispute is whether man has any effect on it.

    But I agree that way too many people are using the global warming flag to justify whatever they want, so between the big corporations, the politicians and the zealots it is little wonder a lot of people dont believe the message


  2. It’s a sad fact that people in power, instead of thinking “let’s do something about it” think “how can I turn this to my advantage?”. Human nature I suppose, but sad nonetheless.


  3. I remember the summer of 2002 being pretty pants, but that was followed by a real scorcher in 2003. It has been rubbish for the past few weeks but last weekend was nice down here and this weekend is shaping up to be pretty good. No-one moves to Yorkshire for the great weather, John!


  4. Looks like I wrote too soon, as it’s now clouded over here and looks like rain. Serves me right, I guess! The thing I don’t understand is – how does the weather know that I wrote about it?!


  5. Well I moved to Yorkshire for the weather! I remember the summer of 1999. My father, brother and I drove down to look at houses for me to move into. It was a scorching day that day, blue skies, high temperatures, a John Conners nice day. That whole summer was great and they’ve been mostly the same ever since. Except this year of course!

    (And I’m not even going to mention that after posting this article yesterday the sun came out for the rest of the day! It’s cloudy and rainy again today though).


  6. It seems to me that we in Blighty are living in an era of extreme weather conditions. Yes, June was the wettest June of all time, but then April was the warmest April of all time too! Are those two facts really both to be expected in the same year? Last summer our reservoirs were empty, this summer dams are in danger of breaking, causing the evacuation of towns and closure of motorways. It is, frankly, utterly crazy!


  7. Let’s look at this like the scientists we presumably all are. We have 300 years worth of records of the weather out of countless millions. How can you extrapolate from that and say that it is man that is destroying the climate? It’s arrogance on a major level.

    As any statistician will tell you, and John knows me well enough to know that I know what I’m talking about, extrapolation is a dangerous passtime. Interpolation rocks though.

    It’s just the bloody weather. Little known fact: it even rains in San Diego every now and again. Quelle horreur. It’s cyclic and some years will be worse than others. If you check the last 300 years, you will find that exactly every 30 years, we have a scorcher of a JC nice day for months.

    I fail to believe that your BMW or whatever you drive at the moment has any effect whatsoever. It’s a moonbat theory designed to milk you for even more cash than you pay now.


  8. Yeah, I’m definitely coming round to that way of thinking now. It just doesn’t add up and the number of government policies that use global warming as a scapegoat are starting to get ridiculous.

    And it’s ok, I drive a much more environmentally friendly Renault Clio. (Although it’s much faster than the BMW was so maybe it’s not so green).


  9. I have to say, while man may or may not influence global warming, who can argue against having cleaner air? global warming isnt the only potential drawback from polution. considering that asthma occurs at much higher rates in cities, and many asthmatics get better when they move to the country.

    so even if man does or doesnt affect global warming, taking action against it benifits everyone. buying into marketing schemes however doesnt.


  10. How can you extrapolate from that and say that it is man that is destroying the climate? It’s arrogance on a major level.

    I would never claim to be a scientist, but I think it’s something to do with the millions of factories and power stations and cars all belching filth into the atmosphere that weren’t around millions of years ago.


  11. I’m no scientist either, but it seems to me that dismissing a whole body of scientific evidence in one paragraph also smacks of arrogance.


  12. Anybody thinking man hasn’t effected the climate has their head buried in the sand. However I still don’t think it’s fair for governments to jump on the global warming bandwagon for their own gain.

    And Stu, you are a scientist! Maybe not a climatologist but a scientist nonetheless.


  13. OK, so I have a scientific background. Maybe that’s what leads me to be annoyed by sweeping generalisations and conspiracy theories.

    By the way, the weather is beautiful over here. Unfortunately I don’t want to crank up the air-con too much in case I contribute to global warming.


  14. Yes it has been an attrocious summer ( so far. we are only officially into the 1st month of summer, summer ends on Sept 22nd.) but I can recall some pretty awful summers in the past. In the Midlands 2000 was pretty dire, we had the central heating on in July. Both 1985 and 1986 were wet and cool, 1978 was cool but Oct 1978 was a hot one, 1972 was wet windy and cool. In 1968 there were frequent floodings in June and August and in parts of Norfolk it rained every day during August. 1963 was pretty memorable as a miserable cold wet summer and 1956 was abysmal. My point? We live in a temperate climate, we are an island and we have one of the most varied climates in Europe. Global warming,I don’t think so just an unlucky bad summer.


  15. You’re right actually, when past summers weren’t so good you just dismissed them as “bad summers” but now when there’s a bad summer it’s “global warming” and is supposedly “a sign of things to come”. As you say David, we live in a temperate climate on an island, varied weather is par for the course!

    Although it’s before my time, I do believe the summer of ’69 was nice and if 1968 was a bad one then maybe 2008 will follow that trend and give us plenty of sunny days!


  16. Thanks for your reply John, I speak not as a know it all but a Double A Man ( Ancient and Anorak !)Always have had a peculiarly obsessive love of the British climate, but at 54 I still get out quite a bit as well!!
    You’re right 1969 was a lovely summer but only by comparison to other 60’s summers which generally weren’t great. Only 1964 and 1967 could be considered as even marginally good. 1969 was especially remembered for a lovely mild Autumn, I was sunbathing in Skegness that October with temperatures in the 70’s.
    Strangely every year ending in a 9 has been a good summer. World War 2 started at the end of a particularly hot dry summer, 1949 according to my parents was a scorcher, 1959 went on forever well into October, 1969 was the best of the 60’s, 1979 was good without being remarkable and 1989 was superb from early May. 1999 was also above average, so on that premise John, stay in the UK for 2009. And now watch the great British climate prove me wrong.


  17. Ha ha, thanks David, looks like things should balance out and a scorching 2009 will make up for a wet and cloudy 2007! 🙂


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