We British are nothing if not optimistic when it comes to summer. Having endured months of dark, cold and downright dismal weather, we’re more than ready to embrace summer when it finally arrives.

But if British summers can guarantee one thing every year, it’s that they never go quite to plan. Here at Rattan Direct, we’ve compiled the Typical British Summer into an infographic. Take a look – does it remind you of your typical British summer?

From racing to the supermarkets to fight for the last of the BBQ supplies at the first sight of sunshine, to shivering in our swimwear on the beach the second the mercury passes 20, we Brits have learned the hard way how to squeeze every last drop out of our fleeting summer sunshine.

We wait on tenterhooks for the weather forecaster to announce that longed-for heatwave - sun dresses and swimsuits at the ready. Trips, outings and parties are planned, sun cream is wistfully purchased, and every morning we look to the skies in hope. Because we never quite know when the rain will inevitably return to wash away our optimism and ruin our picnics, we know that every second of fair weather must be enjoyed, no matter what.

The summer heatwave brings with it pasty men with their torsos on display, shiny pink sunburnt shoulders, overcrowded beer gardens, bouts of piggy-eyed hay fever, and the ever-fashionable socks and sandals look.

Public transport is brought to a standstill and ice cream van queues can last all afternoon. Before long we’re complaining that it’s too hot. Windows are thrown open in the hope of tempting a non-existent breeze, and the garden furniture is abandoned as people retire into the shade. We’re not accustomed to being this warm – the British are allergic to summer.

When the heavens inevitably open, even that can’t dampen our spirits. You’ll find us determinedly sheltering the BBQ under an umbrella in even the most torrential of downpours, or simply dancing in the rain. Our love-hate relationship with summer is played out anew every year.

The typical British summer is a part of what makes us British. It’s the reason we love to talk about the weather, the reason we all want to get away for a holiday, and the reason for the saying “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

a typical British summer