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

Share

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

Data Analyst

£30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable software house is looking ...

Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

Commercial Litigation

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Assistant Editor: Domestic violence is no petty matter

Siobhan Norton
 

There’s nothing wrong with GM

Steve Connor
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried