Predicting summer in Wales has to be the sort of futile pursuit that keeps Derek The Weather awake at night obsessively contemplating high and low pressure zones.
In a country where evolution thousands of years henceforth will ultimately see our future countrymen born with umbrella heads and flipper feet, the sight of the sun can cause rampant euphoria and the sort of madness you see when women go shoe shopping.
Cardiff is so wet that we should be twinned with The Lost City of Atlantis rather than Nantes, Stuttgart and Xiamen.
That’s why it’s not just mad dogs and Englishman that go out in the midday sun. Pasty white Welsh men and women also delight in slowly singeing themselves, giving a whole new meaning to The Great British Bake Off.
We’re so used to shivering under a sun-less sky that when that strange yellow orb appears we’re quite happy to run the risk of simultaneously acquiring both skin cancer and food poisoning in one foul swoop by firing up the barbecue and subjecting ourselves to the sort of intemperate roasting we also give our badly cooked sausages.
So it was we found ourselves in one of Cardiff’s loveliest open spaces – Victoria Park on the weekend – as Cardiff slowly sizzled, although on this occasion it resembled Dante’s Inferno with added 99s and raspberry sauce.
As queues snaked relentlessly from the park’s ice cream hut where the owners were no doubt plotting their own escape to the sun with the handsome profits, hordes of kids splashed around in the paddling pool making the sort of noises you hear at a lively African watering hole.
Parenthood doesn’t really prepare you for these events the first time you witness them.
The screaming was the first thing that hit you, the screeching of these splashing water babes reaching fever pitch as an intermittently activated fountain cascaded towards the sky soaking anyone within 20 feet of its billowing spray.
Luckily most of my high pitch hearing has been dampened through years spent with my head in amps at rock ‘n’ roll shows, so I was happily oblivious to the more high end shrieking.
My daughter loved it. She doesn’t exactly have the style and grace of the next Sharon Davies or Rebecca Adlington, but, well, she is only four. Although she’s a little bit young to be thinking of Olympic medals just yet, she launched herself around like a leaping salmon.
To sum up then, picnics hijacked by marauding wasps and pigeons on the rob aside, a trip to the park is the perfect summer’s day pursuit… even if the sight of the average Brit in a partial state of undress is about as palatable as your half-cooked barbecue.