Some hopeful news at last. With admirable understatement, the Met Office is forecasting a summer that will be "warmer than average", at times over 30C, and rainfall "near or below average". Could it be, could it really be, that we will enjoy a real summer after two successive wash-outs? What a boost for barbecue sales and the British tourist industry, and what joyous vindication for those kept at home this year by recession, job fears and the shrinking pound. Maybe we won't have to wait for 2012 to see beach volleyball on London's Horse Guards Parade?
Let's not get carried away, though. Every silver lining has its cloud, and a hot, dry British summer is no exception. After an icy winter, the credit crunch, swine flu and the rest, it would be unseemly to feel too cheerful – and we don't have to. We can get back to worrying about global warming. Or, if it's cold and wet, we can take the Met Office to task for being wrong. Phew! It may not be a scorcher, after all.