I had a bit of a clear out of our kitchen pinboard and took down a newspaper cutting that my mother sent to me years ago.
With (admittedly light!) snow forecast for us in the next couple of days, and the ensuing traffic chaos 'cos no one seems to know how to drive in 1/4" of snow here.......I give you all 'thoughts of Summer'......
An electric hedge-trimmer is competing in a decibel contest with a petrol lawnmower. The cacophony is exacerbated by the buzz of a strimmer and the piercing sound of an electric drill.
The distorted electronic wail of the ice-cream vendor invites a bribe from the disinterested parent, as the volume of music playing at another pseudo-Californian barbeque is drowned out by a bitter argument.
Sweating neighbours and family members are slouched in plastic chairs on uneven patios. Others wait impatiently as friends studiously ignore the new decking, thoughtlessly positioned close to a neighbouring property. They will talk long into the night, their conversation slowly reduced by alcohol to meaningless, unintelligible garbage, interspersed with drunken laughter and mindless expletives.
The delightful chatter of children, mindful of their parents advice to respect the Sabbath, is a sad, distant memory. Now, a strange hissing sound announces the arrival of a grotesque structure. A lurid inflatable castle rises up like a cartoon nightmare. The wall of noise begins to close in around the night shift worker desperate for a few hours' sleep.
Smoke from the barbeque wafts around the neighbourhood, as the stench of overcooked burgers fills the air. The slamming of car doors heralds the discharge from another visit to the supermarket. Across the road, the departure for the 'theme' pub to celebrate another decree absolute is loudly proclaimed.
The gently, echoing clop of a horse passes by unheard. Welcome to a summer Sunday in the 21st Century.
Written by Tim Carbus of Guiseley West Yorks and published in the Daily Mail.
Now, come on - doesn't that all just make you yearn for long summer days.....?
[representing local chapter of Cynics Anonymous)