Where the hell is summer?

Kate Ellison 14 May 2015

Ringing ice water out of my hair and shaking towards the radiator, I voice aloud Cambridge’s collective disappointment to the heavens: “where the hell is summer?”

As term inches towards the halfway point and May Week draws closer, visions of punting and picnics seem at odds with the gale hammering against the windowpane. British weather is awful. It takes scorn at the summer wardrobe you packed and clings to March for all its worth. It cackles with glee as friends’ gap year pictures appear on Facebook. Yet, for all this, as a University, we love it.

Wait, what? No, this isn’t an article shaking its metaphorical fist at the Met Office and its dire predictions. Rather our mediocre fate and the hilarity that ensues should be celebrated. In few other places can you walk past a man attempting to use a gown as an umbrella or a woman having an unexpected Marilyn Monroe moment in front of a crowd of punters. Nor in August can you savour the sadistic relish of watching a friend insist on heading to a day of lectures in shorts and a vest-top – you’ve seen the forecast. Our continuing capacity to be outwitted by the weather offers far more pleasure than staring at a sunny day from a library window.

Besides, our very disappointment allows a social 'get out of jail free card' – rain may have ruined your bike ride, but it keeps the hallowed well of small-talk well filled: stuck for conversation while your tutor battles the printer? Swap bets on when the sun’s going to start doing its job. Uncomfortable Skype call to an obscure relative? Time to compare weather patterns – is it really cloudier over there, how fascinating! It is truly a saving grace to all of us awkward social bunnies.

A shared determination to make the best of what this island has to offer us is far from dreary. Whether it be continuing with the department barbeque in a courtyard that’s rapidly turning into a swimming pool or feeling in awe of the girl in the library that’s being wearing maxi-dresses since April, Cambridge takes pride in continuing with Easter Term regardless of what the elements throw at it.

It’s hardly like we have it that bad. Cambridge may not be an island paradise, but would we really want Death Valley when so many of our departments have decided glass roofs were a really good idea? When balmy summer weather finally makes an appearance the situation is likely to be reversed anyway, students heading out in jumpers only for the sun to rise like the beginning scene of The Lion King – the circle of weather rules us all.

Yet as a student body we embrace it.