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Britain’s collective summer amnesia

Britain’s collective summer amnesia

Why does it always rain on me??

Every summer, Britain seems to get collective amnesia at the first sight of substantial rain. Even now, on Twitter, lots of UK people are lamenting Where has our summer gone?.

This somewhat neglects the fact that less than 6 weeks ago, we were in the middle of a summer heatwave, with hosepipe bans and weather health alerts posted. For days and days it seemed as if the weather would do nothing but bake golden sunshine.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but it happens EVERY YEAR. And without fail, people will come back to work in August or September and lament where has my summer gone. It hasn’t gone anywhere – we had it, and we loved it at the time. Remember?

Metrolink and Waterstones, you're on THE LIST

Metrolink and Waterstones, you're on THE LIST

Today, I decided that I really ought to buy a book on accessibility guidelines and web usability. Eschewing the Internet bookshop options, I thought I’d venture into Manchester Central and get the book from Waterstones. I called them, and they had it in stock, so fine. The website said they were open till 7pm, so fine. Unfortunately, the Gods would conspire against me on this.

First of all was the problem of heading into Manchester. I meandered down to the local Metrolink, bought my ticket, and waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, a tannoy announcement said that the line was closed but there was a railway replacement service instead. Unfortunately, it had just decided to leave when the announcement was made, and thus I had to wait a long time for the long one. Then it started to rain.

The replacement bus eventually arrived, we got on, got off at the station, waited in the rain at the station till the next tram arrived, then I got off that. And walked through the rain at Manchester city centre towards Waterstones.

To find it had been closed early for a stock-take — someone could have told me that. So I had to trudge home again, repeating my journey in the pouring rain. Having not bought anything at all. The whole trip took me three hours, all in all.

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