The worst winter I ever suffered was summer in Britain.

As a society, we hold summer as this wonderful, much fabled, blissful time. A time when we sit on sun loungers, read literary classics that we’ve previously only bent the spines of (so as to appear well-thumbed to the discerning passer-by), get a glorious, yet natural sun tan and basically live the good life. How many of us think of summer as a time when we can invite the world round for a barbeque, where everyone will reminisce about times gone by and laugh whilst sipping at their Pimms?

Of course, we must be realistic and remember that we live in the United Kingdom. We all fail to remember how just bringing the BBQ out of the shed will hit the automatic rain switch. Despite the many, many government adverts, we also forget that cooking chicken on a barbeque is an instant no no as everyone will peel open the meat and start searching, beady eyed, for a spot of pink to panic about. Another bone of contention is the idea of giving a group of people alcohol; there will be no witty or entertaining discussion, just tension as the group driver attempts to play UN peacekeeper between the ranks. Everyone dresses hopelessly optimistically in shorts, skirts, flip flops and other holiday paraphernalia completely forgetting that by day, they will be covered in insect bites and by night, they will freeze.

Being British, the humble barbeque isn’t the only excuse we use to have a good drink, and let’s face it, summer drinking is so much nicer than winter drinking. In the winter, we hibernate in the dark corners of pubs whereas in the summer, we can sit in the garden drinking Pimms, which is practically healthy. Afterall, it provides at least three of your five fruit and vegetables a day. Another great love of the summertime is the festival. Despite going to university in Reading, I have managed to reach the age of 23 without having been to a proper festival. However, I have horses and often spend weekends away competing, so I understand the concept. In the months leading up to the event, you are filled with that dreamy romanticism of sitting outside your tent/lorry drinking Magners and watching the sun go down after a day of music/competition. In reality, it always rains and you hide inside your tent, which is by the way far wetter on the inside, swigging from a tin of Strongbow. Life is never quite what you plan.

This year, I will be going to the V Festival for my first experience. I have no preconceptions about it; I know it’ll rain and we’ll be wet, but I think I’m quite hardened to that. Shamefully I’m not a really musical person; I love listening to it, but I am so incredibly tone deaf and tone dumb that I can’t possibly understand it. Regardless of that, the lineup is full of bands that I like and I’m sure it will be a lovely relaxing weekend with great company.

It strikes me as odd that everyone thinks that summer is so wonderful. It’s not like spring, which is alive with the buds and flowers shooting up (please, no drug jokes) or autumn where everything turns a wonderful golden, auburn colour and the leaves crunch underfoot. It’s not as though people look forward to the weather; if it’s too hot, they complain they can’t work in that heat and it’s not as though the British ever holiday in their own country. We would much rather fly three hours to sit on a beach surrounded by other British people, all trying to turn ourselves golden and ending up redder than that light you got caught driving through the other day. Our summers are very dry, so the grass turns yellow and dies, I don’t understand why people get sad in the winter and yet they are happy about the summer.

I am not particularly affected by any of the seasons, I consider that I am fairly happy in all of them. However, my lifestyle changes dramatically depending on them. In the summer, I base my weekends around my horses. I love being outside as much as possible and I enjoy competing them. I am not as competitive as I was as a child, but I love going out and seeing my friends and sharing the show banter. In my current job, I have to work relatively long days (8.30 to 5.30), which isn’t a problem in the summer as I can still ride after work, but in the winter, I haven’t got a chance of riding more than two or three days a week. That takes the notion of competing out of the equation, so I have adapted my winter accordingly and spend time with another love of mine. Comedy. What better thing is there to do of a dark, wet winter’s evening than find yourself some comedy? Whether it’s a big well known comedian in a large theatre or a several unknown open spots in a tiny pub, it’s can be the best way to spend an evening.

I still find time to go and see comedy in the summer, but it plays second string to competitions, whereas in the winter, it is the focus of the weekend. Like everyone in the world, I work to earn the money to do the things I desire and as such I live for the weekends. I always have something to do whether it is writing, watching new programmes, going to gigs or spending time with my horses it doesn’t matter what season it is. Summer tends to be so over-rated. The minute the clocks change, everyone expects the world to dramatically turn into summer. Well here I am, in the supposed summer time bunged up with cold, feeling terrible and spring cleaning my room. I could just as easily be doing that in the winter. Life is what you make it. You can’t let the weather and the seasons dictate your mood; it is up to you to find your happy medium.

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