It is said by visitors to these shores that the natives are utterly preoccupied with the weather conditions. No bloody wonder.

I am penning this missive in ‘flaming’ June, clad in warm trousers and a sweater. Yesterday a similar ensemble was topped off with a stout raincoat.

Meanwhile weather persons based in London witter on about how much this or that part of the country is desperate for rain, whilst studio presenters look out their metropolitan window and assure the world that the sky is cloud free and everyone is in shirt sleeve order.

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At no extra charge, a former colleague of mine and alleged friend, now residing in France, tweets endlessly about how it’s too, too hot to do anything but sip something chilled in the shade of her sumptuously flowering garden. It was finally cool enough to retire, she offered, when the temperature plunged to 19 degrees.

To add insult to text-based injury, she posts pictures of this idyll. “Is this cruel?” she inquired of her Twitter followers the other day with yet another shot of an azure sky, accompanied by an emoji indicating that she was not in the market for giving much of a damn.

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Occasionally, for light relief, we will recall how last summer was actually quite good, and how it was possible to take the dust covers off the BBQ. During which unusual respite, we assured each other darkly, we would pay for it.

As, indeed, we are now.