This must be the coldest, wettest, dreariest summer in history in Central Europe. The gardens are lush and green, weeds are sprouting, and the slugs are having a field day. Warm days are a rarity, and most people put on a coat when they leave the house – preferably a raincoat. There was … it must have been May, or early June … a time when it was actually summer. When I was able to wear my nice new summer clothes, and the blue sandals I’d gotten. When there was a point in applying sunscreen.

My husband has requested me not to call this season “early autumn”. He insists on “late summer”. As you can see, he is an optimist. We are planning to have a barbecue tomorrow … at our friends’ house, where there is a roofed patio where the barbecue can be positioned. Wish us the best for at least a few rays of sunshine!

– Rike Horstmann