It might not last and it might only reach the giddy heights of 20 degrees, but on that first day in May when the sun peeps out from behind the clouds, you know you’re going to witness all these...

1. Maxi dresses

The sun is out and standard uniform seems to be navy blue stripes (with a denim jacket when there’s a bit of a breeze). But then there are the brightly coloured floral numbers – lairy fabrics you wouldn’t be seen dead in the rest of the year.

2. The whiff of barbecue in the air

Sun: smoky barbecue


The meat aisle in Sainsbury’s is empty and men across the nation are throwing lighter fluid on the  flames. Tomorrow, A&E will be full of underdone-burger tummy troubles and burns victims.

3. Kids on scooters

…they’re everywhere!  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee! (Screech, crash, ‘Muuuuuuuuuummmmmmy!’)

 4. He’s found his shorts out

Sun: man in shorts, socks and sandals


…even if he haven’t really got the legs for it. Teeny tiny ones, long boy-scout jobs, cargo ones with handy pockets… And of course, the dreaded socks-and-sandals brigade.

5. He’s taken his shirt off

There is no excuse for this. Unless you’re super super hot (and we’re talking physical attributes not temperature), it looks bad. Often accompanied by a lobster tan and a flash of builder’s bum cleavage.

6. People suddenly smile

There’s something about the warmth that turns us naturally grumpy, pesimistic Brits into little rays of sunshine. A little bit of Mediterranean magic!

7. The hum of lawnmowers

Sun: lawnmower


It wakes you up on Sunday morning – flipping’ garden-proud neighbours! That and the splash of cars being cleaned with buckets of sudsy water.

8. The pub garden is stuffed

Not a bench to be had. Fortunately, since vaping came in, it’s not as smoky as it was.

9. Lycra clad fellas on bikes

Loads of em… Swooshing past you en masse or loitering at pavement cafes. But you can tell some of them haven’t saddled up for a whole year.

10. Your first glass of Pimm’s

Sun: man pouring Pimms


Bliss! The only drink to come with an in-built salad. All your 5-a-day in one. Pimms o’clock? Always!

11. Everyone’s just a little bit flirtier than usual

The sap is definitely rising and you’re feeling hot hot hot!

12. The roof is down on the car

Sun: couple in convertible car


Lucky enough to have a convertible? Time to show off! (And ruin your hair)

13. You shave your legs and paint your toenails

They’ve been neglected for far too long. Pass the spray tan while you’re at it…

14. The papers have a ‘cor what a scorcher’ headline

Sun: packed beach


…usually accompanied by scantily clad girls in fountains or packed Bournmouth beaches.

15. You put all your winter clothes up in the loft

…and get them back down again the next day. Bit premature?


Enjoy the Great British Summer, folks – all 48 hours of it!