Summertime – the British way!

Pink ice cream

Ice cream from a van – summer isn’t summer till you’ve had one

If you’re studying in the UK, you might be thinking: “Hey, it’s June – where’s the sun? Why is it raining?!”

Welcome to summertime – the British way!

The UK isn’t famed for its days of endless sunshine, and as our summers can be a little bit unpredicatable we’ve developed a few favourite pastimes to make the most of the sunniest season while we can. Here are a few of them…

We talk about the weather a lot
This is one of those stereotypes that we live up to. Talking about the weather is a favourite British pastime, no matter which season it is! It could be a national sport. If you’d like to have a very British conversation about the weather, just follow these simple steps: first you have to say how surprised you are about how hot or cold it is. Then you have to guess how long you think it will last, before finishing with a wild rumour about what you heard the weather is going to be like on the weekend.

Brighton beach with pier

At the first hint of sunshine, Brits stampede to the beach like gazelles being chased by a lion

We can finally use our BBQs!
A smell that begins to fill the streets at this time of year is the familiar smell of barbequing. And when I say ‘’barbecuing’, I mean it in the very British sense, which basically means ‘burning food’. We’re not as famed for our barbecue skills as some other countries, but what we lack in skill we make up for in enthusiasm. At the first sign of sun we’re out in our gardens and backyards dining on a fine selection of charred meat. But we’ll still be happy if it’s hot enough to eat outside and nobody has set fire to their eyebrows this year.

Male student holding umbrella in the rain

Dancing in the rain – well it’s either that or sobbing

We will spend as much time in the sun as possible
As soon as a hot spell or ‘heat wave’ hits the British Isles we cancel all of our plans and flock to the nearest beach or park. Heat waves are sometimes genuinely hot, but we’ll also accept any weather above 15˚ Celsius (59˚ Fahrenheit).  Outdoor spaces get really busy but once we find a space to sit we break out the towels and sun cream and get ready to soak up our annual dose of vitamin D while we can. Although this is one of the nicest ways to spend a day, we Brits can be notoriously bad for falling foul of the next example in this list…

We get terrible tan lines
While this isn’t a tradition that anyone does on purpose, somehow every year us fair-skinned Brits are unprepared for the sun and, once the uncomfortable sunburn has subsided, we can end up with some pretty embarrassing tan lines. This isn’t exactly a favourite pastime, but spotting people with terrible tan lines is. Whether it’s a handprint from poorly applied sun cream or the outline of sunglasses, no matter how determined we Brits are to get that ‘sun-kissed glow’, we fail nearly every time.

Muddy festival

When it rains at a music festival, Brits just get into their “wellies” (rubber boots) and get on with having fun

We love music festivals
For many Brits, summertime is festival time. Camping in a field, no showers, portable toilets, warm beer – what’s not to love about a good music festival? That’s right, nothing. Well, except that the sun dance that we’ve been performing in the week leading up to it hasn’t worked and it has rained. A lot.

You’ll hear horror stories of tents being washed away in the rain, falling over in the mud and standing in the rain for three hours to see your favourite band – luckily we invented the Wellington boot so at least our feet will be dry throughout all of this.

The music festival has to be true testament to the perseverance of the Brits in summertime!

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