IN THE SUMMER HOUSE
So renowned are mad dogs and Englishmen for their shared folly of being unable to resist the hottest part of the day that there are even songs sung about their ludicrous conduct. There remain, however, a contingent of us who do exercise some sanity by retreating indoors at such times. Even so, only the defeatist would dispense with the atmosphere of summer. Instead, us less barmy English folk (along with the occasional sensible hound) transition indoors to make like our Mediterranean cousins and recline amidst scattered relaxed linen cushions in a kaleidoscope of soft summer colours, with the day’s papers tossed into a Palm Leaf Woven Basket, thus sinking happily into a scene of effortless coastal-style living. Since this is England, no matter the season, there will of course be inevitable rainy days puncturing short sharp heat waves. Happily, the tableau works just as well when retreating from summer rain as from the heat; after all, the British may not be entirely rational when it comes to our collective over excitement at the first sight of the sun, but we are, naturally, well-practiced at contingency plans for poor weather and enjoying the great indoors.