Thanks to the Government and Roy Hodgson, Summer as we know it might already be over

With 30,000 unprocessed passports and England out of the World Cup, it may as well be Autumn


I think I may have won the award for the most middle-class problem ever this weekend, when my cul-de-sac’s now annual street party clashed with the local village fete and I had to eat artisan sausages for three meals in a row, all washed down with a heady mixture of Pimm’s, Fuller’s beer and house-price gossip.

The area I live in straddles the border of Zone 3 on the Transport for London Tube map, and the 1950s, and so this is how we roll on the longest day of the year. At least it makes a nice change from sitting indoors watching the football, although supporting the England men’s team and organising any outdoor event in June in Britain require a similar triumph of hope over experience.

Anyway, that’s summer over for another year, apparently. As a bouncy castle slowly deflates in the turning circle and the neighbours unravel their children from yards of bunting while nursing perplexing Pimm’s and ale hangovers, they must accept that today begins the inexorable slide towards Christmas.

Yesterday was officially the summer solstice, and while some people marked the beginning of shorter days and darker evenings by chanting as the sun set over an ancient stone circle, we suburbanites watched the sun go down behind the latest loft conversion and recited to each other the rules of Building Regulations and Permitted Development.

Even before solstice eve, and with England still clinging on to World Cup hope, we knew that summer was really finished. We could tell, because Marks & Spencer was already sticking sale tickets on all its summer-weight trousers, because why on earth would anyone want summer clothes in Britain now that July is nearly upon us?

Perhaps all the people in charge of M&S are secretly Welsh, because in the Welsh language the word for July is Gorffennaf, meaning, literally, “end of summer”. Give it a week and they’ll be rolling out the new range of cashmere sweaters that are all really, really nice apart from some weird, sequinned blob of colour on the front that can’t be disguised even with a handy faux-fur collar fleecy wrap.

We also know that summer is over because the minister for tourism has given her word that the backlog of 30,000 passport applications will be dealt with before people want to go on their holidays (i.e. yesterday).

“I’m in no doubt, I’m very confident that people will get their passports,” said the Maidstone MP Helen Grant, who is currently in Recife (28C) watching the football. And then she added, demonstrating dazzling levels of confidence, that there is nonetheless “a lot to be said for the staycation”.

A “staycation”, for those who don’t know, is going to Rhyl or the Lake District with your entire family where it rains solidly for two weeks and you all eat chips and fall out. And then you say, oh well, at least we didn’t blow a fortune on tickets to Brazil.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh  

i Editor's Letter: Britain survives, but change is afoot

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum  

Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?

Mark Steel
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam