The long, hot summer of 2012

Brits look away now. You're not going to like it. It's going to make you angry so don't even read it. We have had a long, hot, glorious summer here in Quebec and it's still going on. We enjoyed a high of 28C today - a summer's day in September. (I told you not to read on). It seems to have coincided with one of the worst summers ever in Britain, which, I'd be lying if I didn't say it, makes it all the sweeter.

It started early with temperatures in the 30s in May, which to a Canadian is particularly blissful after a long winter. Actually freakily we had summer temperatures for a short while in March. I began to suspect summer had not materialised in England when I skyped my friends and they were wearing large woolly jumpers (sweaters) in June. I felt embarrassed to be wearing a sundress in the garden.

Then I read about the floods. A month's rainfall in a day, that kind of thing. No-one likes the sun like the Brits. They look forward all year to going abroad for a sunny break and don't even speak to them if the sun doesn't shine. The ritual of the rainy bank holiday is not even funny anymore.

When I left all this back in 2008 I wasn't prepared for the difference in lifestyle good weather creates. You become addicted to fresh air and the outdoors. We have had our bedroom windows open all summer and eaten outdoors every single night. We have barely had a fire here in the woods since May. All of this is why I emigrated.

A friend, who has lived through more than 70 summers in Canada, told me this morning he cannot remember a better one. But now the signs of Fall are slowly appearing. The butter in the dish is hard in the mornings, not running off the plate. The nights are cool for the first time in months, it's more difficult to get into the lake water and yes, there are a few red leaves.

Soon the geese will be flying over the cottage on their way south and the temperatures back in England and here in the Laurentians will briefly coincide before my English friends once again enjoy a few months when it is warmer there than here.


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