It is fair to say that while millions of our compatriots are treating this prolonged dry and warm spell like a supersized Mediterranean break, there are even more of us who say a little prayer each night for a spot of rain.
Just a splash would do me, even at night would be fine – anything to stop me thrashing around my king-sized bed like a floundering pollock.
In the grand scheme of things, wanting to see my garden turn green again during a period when there is so much chaos, both here and abroad, does seem more than a little excessive but an English garden is a window to its owner’s soul and nobody wants to be regarded as withered and yellow. But the problem is being English means you feel an inner urge to play by the rules and nobody really wants to have the greenest back garden in the street as that would be an admission you are using water recklessly.
Even though I have moved away from the Promised Land of the North West and am not affected by the hosepipe ban set to be imposed on the region, I am still reluctant to use excessive quantities of water on my garden. I am not sure whether this is a hangover from childhood, when I was hectored into finishing off my crispy pancake with cries of ‘think of all the starving children in Africa,’ but I do suffer from First World guilt and keeping your shrubs moist is hardly the most prudent use of the source of all life. Earlier in the summer I did, albeit very briefly, get my sprinkler out of the shed in a bid to revive my arid lawn but I was so consumed by guilt that this was a short-lived experiment – one from which my conscience has yet to fully recover. I probably would’ve felt less guilty had I kicked a lame kitten into a canal.
We are now being warned that, as a nation, we need to start reducing our water consumption to 85 litres of water per person a day, which is the same as it was in 1969. Nowadays we use an average of 141 litres each a day, which seems excessively high to me. As populations grow and the climate continues to grow warmer, it seems to be a no-brainer that we will have to use water more sparingly than we currently do. We will just have to get used to yellow lawns.