Yes it's cold, wet and windy......or summer, as we call it here in Britain.
But with a determination and stubborn courage that comes from winning a few wars and test matches, we don't let such things stop us from getting out there and enjoying our fair land. The old jewel may be a bit damp, a bit windy and a bit cold, but that's what car heaters are for.
As such, yours truly is off on his 'jollies' for a few weeks, going to 4 very different countries without ever leaving the UK.
First up and tomorrow morning, we (Daphne and Stephen and moi) are off up to the beautiful Lake District for the weekend at Lake Windermere. Daphne is taking part in the Great North Swim which is like the Great North Run but wetter. Much wetter. In fact so wet that she has had to buy a wet suit just for the occasion. In their wisdom, the organisers have decreed that ALL swimmers must wear these full body condoms as the lake water will be very cold...and probably wet. This is all very well but the suit tends to raise up the body of the swimmer and so it's like swimming along on top of Dawn French (or Rosie O'Donnell if you're American).
Not entirely unpleasant but not ideal for smooth propulsion.
The following Saturday (25th) Daphne, Stephen and family are off to Wales for their annual pilgrimage to Tenby. They have been going to this sun kissed seaside town, and indeed the same hotel there, every year since the Romans left it to return to.....ahh.....Romany. I've joined them a few times and have been kindly invited again - an offer I may take up after I've recovered from my birthday celebrations, which also happens to fall on the 25th this year. Spooky really as it did that last year too.
The Saturday after returning from Wales, and if you're keeping up that'll be the 9th July, we will be heading up to Scotland and then across to N. Ireland for the last part of this UK tour : a week exploring the province. I'm really looking forward to showing D & S around the land of my birth and if there isn't a blue plaque on my house there, I'll be wanting to know the reason why !
The Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, the Coast Road, the Glens of Antrim and my old boarding school are all within a few miles of each other and I'm praying that the weather will be kind for us as a warm sunny day with blue skies above will make all the difference.
Once we've recovered from these trips, it'll almost be time to pop across the channel for the main trip of the summer, a few weeks exploring France and Spain. This trip hasn't been booked yet so it might not happen but I'm hoping it will.
All this travelling will be done in D & S's little Renault Clio so if we weren't close friends before, we sure will be by the end.
Today it had its annual service.
I'll be saying a prayer for it too !