Last week, I was sent a photograph of the village in Dorset where my family and I spend our summer holiday. The photo showed an SUV floating gently down the village street. (We will be there in a week or two, thanks for asking.) As I write, five flood warnings and 23 flood alerts have been issued by the Environment Agency. If you’re visiting the U.K. this summer, one of the fun things the family can do is learn the difference between those two sorts of alarms.
We tried to become distracted by sports, but—you’ve guessed it—that didn’t turn out so well. We allowed ourselves to become hopeful about the national soccer team competing in this year’s European Championships, mostly on the peculiar grounds that the team looked so bad on paper that it was almost certainly going to surprise us all. It didn’t. Nobody under the age of 75 has seen a Briton win Wimbledon, so Andy Murray’s appearance in the final ensured that the whole country turned on their TV sets to watch him lose. Our cricket team is actually pretty good, but unfortunately cricket cannot be played in the rain, so there hasn’t been very much cricket to watch.
We cannot afford these Olympics, and everyone knows it. Given the prevailing economic climate, some think that this year’s opening ceremony should consist simply of an open-topped bus, with Colin Firth, J.K. Rowling and the Beckhams waving from the deck above—provided that all those concerned, including London Transport, waive their usual fees and bring their own umbrellas.