It’s summer. The time of year when the shorts can come out and the shades can be put on. Everyone loves summer, the weather gets better and it seems to put everyone into a better mood. For most it means a holiday or time off work and at least one BBQ will be on. It’s also a time to catch up with family or meet up with friends to enjoy the weather and the mood. In the UK this means BBQs, trips to the park, summer parties and pimms. I’ve been on a break for a little while now, having gotten back from exploring Europe a few weeks ago. In that time, i’ve been a stereotypical british summer lover, trying to enjoy each of these things as much as possible.
Recently, however, summer wasn’t quite so perfect. On Friday the 25th of July I had planned a lovely set of summer activities only for the plan to go down the drain. I set off with a friend into St.Albans, a small city to the north of London. The plan was a nice stroll around the park at midday, to end up at a restaurant and then go from there.
It started perfectly, the weather was delightful! The sun was shining, there was barely any wind but enough to keep you cool and the park wasn’t nearly as full as it could have been. We took a gentle stroll, chatting about recent goings on in our lives, walking full circle several times around the centre point of the park, the lake. It’s not nearly as grand as other cities, but it holds it’s own. It was coming up to midday and so we were getting slightly peckish so we walked about 5 minutes to the Waffle House.
The Waffle House is a great restaurant offering a selection of savoury and sweet waffles. We chose to share a ratatouille waffle and a banana and flapjack waffle. I got stuck eating the sweet waffle first which my taste buds didn’t approve of. But I’d recommend both the waffles for anyone that’s able to check out the restaurant. Alongside my meal I got a fancy ginger beer brewed by Fentimans, as a lover of ginger beer I throughly suggest anyone that even slightly likes the taste gives it a try. It’s quite a select taste but anyone that enjoys ginger beer will enjoy this one also. Thankfully we got in before everyone else in the park decided to grab lunch so we sat and watched as the queue racked up. Even spotting a few friends waiting and having a short word. We were lucky to get in early as the queue was easily 15-20 minutes for a table. So our one suggestion is that anyone thinking of going should try to get there on time or at least book ahead to make sure you get your table.
After the meal we wandered back into the park to try and soak up the rest of the rays. We didn’t have much with us so we were able to walk further into the centre of the park to a great spot on a slight embankment to catch some sun. However, as we were sitting enjoying the park, the weather quickly turned. This consisted of clouds forming all around and a slight bit of drizzle. This quickly passed and so we were able to resume our park chill session. Then, around 5 minutes later, it started to rain a bit more. This time round we quickly grabbed our stuff, head under a tree and proceeded to watch as most other people in the park did the same. Half expecting the rain to stop like last time we waited under the tree for around 10 minutes hoping the rain would come to an end. It didn’t.
The rain began to get heavier and heavier, even a bit of thunder could be heard in the distance. I looked at my friend and we both realised we were in a tricky situation. We hoped it would pass and put our trust in the weather to brighten up and not ruin our day. Again, this didn’t happen. We were now trapped under a tree with relatively no protection. I was wearing just a t shirt and shorts, which were already starting to get quite wet. To make matters worse the rain was worsening. It worsened so much, you couldn’t see anything beyond 7 or so metres away. It was coming from all angles and the park offered no clear points of protection.
We were soaked to say the least. Our hair was wet and our clothes ruined. So in a ridiculous moment we walked out into the rain along a row of trees trying to find somewhere of shelter. I managed to lead us to the local swimming pool (we were the wettest ones there) and we stood calmly in the foyer of the building looking slightly perplexed. How was everyone else here so dry? We’d seen others also caught in the storm but how come everyone was perfectly fine. We weren’t drying, my phone had some water damage and we weren’t in the mood to continue our trip into town for a smoothie or milkshake. So after trying for a while we contacted home and managed to be rescued.
It’s fair to say we’ll both be more careful when heading out and about this summer, you never quite know what the world has in store for you. I’d love to hear any of your crazy weather stories, comment them below or tweet me.