Minor British Institutions: Wet summers

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The Independent Online

The British enjoy triumphing over difficulty so much that they go to great lengths to devise promising circumstances. This is never more evident than in their summer recreations.

Cricket, for example, could not be better constructed for inclement interruption; and this, remarkably, is the country which gave the world the seaside resort. Whose patriotic heart doesn't stir at those defiant words on ticket or invite: "Come prepared for all weather conditions"? And who, too, has not relished one of those fine British summer moments, dry at last in pavilion or hall or anywhere, with raindrop falling from nose into tea as happily wry looks are exchanged?

Open air theatre is another alarmingly optimistic enterprise; but, again, who has not enjoyed, as well as the wind and the puddled stage, the peculiar rare magic of declaimed English on our summer night air? Am I alone, too, in thinking that roof at Wimbledon a bit of a cheat?