Haymaking, hay fever, sunkissed strawberries, Pimm’s, swifts flying high, garnet-coloured cherries, fluffy white clouds, cover drives, dark glasses, barbeques, wood pigeon cooing, Centre Court without the roof closed, rambling roses, melting ice creams, sunburn and a sunny Glastonbury-we’d all almost forgotten what a summer’s day felt like until last weekend.

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Everything seems easier. Time runs more slowly in the hazy afternoons and the scent of the honeysuckle hangs heady in the evening air. The farmers are amazed at how their crops have recovered from the gloomy spring, although, naturally, they’re worrying about the harvest now that they have the prospect of a good yield. They like to worry.

Yet there is more good news. Increasing pressure is being put on councils to not cut verges until the end of May and the Government is pursuing initiatives to help the bee population, so future summer days should be replete with more butterflies and insects. Even the Ashes series, which starts next week, looks promising-at least, it does if you’re English, with the Australian team in apparent disarray (see page 98). We may have waited for summer to arrive for what feels like several years, but now that it is here, make sure you enjoy it.

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