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You can’t talk about the weather in England at this time of year without someone complaining about the rain. (As a matter of fact it is a truth universally accepted that you can’t talk about the weather in England at any time of year without someone complaining about it being too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too anything, even when seasonal: it’s supposed to snow in winter for fucks sake.) But rain, summer rain, can be a fine thing. Yes all right, the rain in 2007 was a little excessive in these parts, but I am getting to my point. Who has not felt the gently smug animal comfort of lying in bed, drowsing on the edge of deeper sleep, and listening to the thrumming of cloudfall on roof and window? A night-pleasure for every season, intensified in summer when lying there with the window open. Then the circle of sensory pleasure is completed by being able to smell the rain on the warm earth, with the ever-present top notes of honeysuckle, roses, cut grass, and in earlier summer, philadelphus. Only in the licentious heat of summer is the scent of rain truly intoxicating. For of course, warmth is the key. Who would want to splash barefoot across a rain soaked lawn in any other season? Too cold, too cold! Who would willingly forego the protection of coat or umbrella to stand or dance in a heavy rainfall in spring, or autumn, or winter? But when the skies burst, and cool the humid fug of sticky heat with heavy drops like freshwater pearls, that drench the air, my skin, my hair, and cleanse away the drier scents of dust and faded greenery, then is summer magic indeed, the obverse of the coin of long hours of heat, and light, and blue blue skies. There is romance in summer rain, and lust, and the perfect pleasure of simple sensuality, sun-warmed skin and sweat, rain-slicked and refreshed.

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