August it is said, is a ‘silly month’ and this August has certainly been no exception.
In the UK August is the signal for a general exodus for holidays. Cities are deserted, roads heading for seaside resorts are jammed, airports are packed to overflowing, planes are delayed and in general there is an atmosphere of panic and frustration for all those leaving home.
For those of us who haven’t made a mad rush to get away we find we are left with some of the madder aspects of the month of August.
There is no real news during August, so the headlines and those making them, are hard put to it to find anything to say.
One of the few to give the journalists something to write about was Nigel Farage – our most bizarre politician, – but I’m relieved to report that on the whole his shameful actions were ignored.
For some reason he decided to throw in his lot with Donald Trump, appearing at a rally and declaring he wouldn’t vote for Hilary Clinton if you paid him. It may be news to Farage but as he is not a citizen of the US he doesn’t have a vote. One can’t help feeling that now his political career is over in this country he is desperate to indulge his need for attention and find something to boost his ego. Where better than addressing the screaming masses at a Trump Rally? It is rather to be hoped that Hilary Clinton will crush him in an efficient and final manner.
The Olympics happily took up most of the news for the first half of the month and Team GB did exceptionally well, which of course added to the excitement. I enjoyed watching the more obscure sports that I knew little about such as Badminton, Fencing and even the Trampoline. One or two sports seemed a little sillier than the rest including groups of women waving long streamers in the air and making patterns. Is this a sport? I’d be happy to see it replaced with cricket.
After the coverage of the Olympics left our screens, the television had a dearth of anything good to watch. I managed to catch a rather ridiculous argument on the subject of ‘Do you believe in God?’ with Stephen Fry making the naive and angry assertion that he couldn’t possibly believe in a God who allowed cancer in children. I didn’t listen further. There didn’t seem much point.
Many parts of London were empty, although there were plenty of tourists to fill the streets, buses and tubes. Travelling by car anywhere was frustrating because the powers that be took the opportunity to fill every road and motorway with roadworks.
So while the silly season lasted the solution seemed to be to stay at home, enjoy the last of the summer sunshine and catch up on reading. I enjoyed the Elena Ferrante Naples Quartet and just finished the last book. It took some reading and a great deal of concentration but was ultimately very rewarding.
Now we have reached the last day of the silly month and normal life will resume tomorrow. Everyone will go back to work, our politicians will try to sort out Brexit, children will go back to school, some will be starting at University and the general hustle and bustle of life will start all over again.
Although I have been writing about August life in England, sadly in other parts of the world the terrible events have continued.
But that is for another time…