Jayne Dawson: All the ways in which we can quietly soldier on

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Praise the Lord, it hasn’t been a long hot summer.

The rain, the glum colour of the sky, the general back-endish feeling most days, even though we are technically in high summer, is a mercy I think.

We are already having a national nervous breakdown, other countries are already gawping at us in disbelief and our national British reserve has already gone completely up the swanny.

So imagine how much worse it could have been if the nights had been long and hot.

The disaffected could very easily have taken to the streets - and right now there are a lot of disaffected about.

The heat of the night could have seen a country already in meltdown reach boiling point - but it hasn’t happened. We have, at least, been saved rioting in our cities.

There has been a certain violence. In, very roughly, the words of Piers Morgan, Michael Gove has not only stabbed Boris Johnson in the front, but also in the back, then chucked him under a bus and run over him a few times just to make sure. A similar fate overtook Jeremy Corbyn, but he merely dusted himself down and walked on.

No matter. There are signs that our chaos has reached a tipping point. One of our major political parties is showing signs of pulling itself together and staggering on.

It may or may not be your political party of choice but, nonetheless, we should do the same.

It is time to be British - while there still is a Great Britain - and soldier on. To reconnect with the essence of what it is to be a Brit, here is what you should do:

Go watch Ab Fab: The Movie.

I’m not making any great claims for its quality, let’s just say it is lightweight in the extreme, but so what? What matters is that as well as an infinite number of celebrity cameo performances, it has Joanna Lumley at her Patsy best. The woman is a marvel: a glorious comedy drunk on screen, still gorgeous aged 70, and a real life tigress off screen - never forget her masterclass in effective campaigning on behalf of retired Gurkha soldiers. With her trademark combo of plummy voice and ridiculous hair she will make you proud to be British again.

Take calming breaths and remember that the Great British Bake Off will be back soon, and then we can all swap worries about single markets for anxiety about soggy bottoms.

Mary Berry, still a trooper at 81, will steady all our nerves and make everything seem alright-ish again.Try to forget that this is the final series under contract to the BBC and that next time Bake Off might be on ITV, because that wouldn’t be right. Just lose yourself in the blue of Paul’s eyes.

Feel the rain and do it anyway.

Like I said, rain is good this year. Rain and cold is helping us keep our emotional cool. But that’s no reason to abandon all traditional summer pursuits. It’s time to discover the summer woolly (your winter jumper, but worn in summer), your summer waterproof and your summer wellies and Get Out There for fairs, fetes, barbecues and all that summer offers.

If you find it calming, or even just distracting, you can begin counting the days until Christmas, or that traditional variation the shopping days until Christmas. Go on, it’s perfectly acceptable - even overdue - because, after all, the nights have been drawing in and daylight dwindling since LAST MONTH.

Show your support for Wales while you still can.

There isn’t long, the match is at 8pm tonight but until then you can enjoy announcing your own claims to Welshness to the rest of the country. Mine are as follows: I spent a week in Blaenau Ffestiniog this year; I bought some Welsh slate while I was there. Beat that.

I urge you to join in with all of the above because by these quiet and essentially British pursuits we can recover from the trauma of - you know what.

Date: 20th September 2017.
Picture James Hardisty.
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