Our schizophrenic summer..


A few weeks ago we were at the Hampton Court Flower Show. Our 7th or 8th time so we are old hands at it now. It’s amazing how times change and events evolve. The Gala evening used to be such an elegant affair, with the ladies in pretty dresses and strappy high heels, tottering around on the uneven varied floor surfaces of earth, wooden planks, matting and grass - what you would expect at a flower show in the grounds of a castle.
 I used to be bemused at how inappropriately the ladies came attired but benefited hugely from the fact that they never came prepared for the cold evening in their summer floaty numbers. Often the men would come rushing into the tent, credit cards waving and snap up our wraps and shawls to appease their shivering wives.
Three years in a row we had torrential rain in the evening (which was always forecast, as I was prepared with wellies and raincoat) but still the ladies persevered with how they imagined they should dress at a Summer Flower Show Gala with champagne picnic. That was a few years ago and the Gala isn’t such a smart affair anymore. Perhaps the visitors have learnt from experience and ruined shoes. I miss the glamour and their blind optimism for the evening and now regret my judgemental bewilderment. It is after all that determination to enjoy our summer, whatever it brings, that Brits are known for and thank goodness for it!