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I have just 4 work suits, that I only wear on Tuesdays, which is the day I work at the headquarters. I rotate them by selecting a different suit every couple of months. I chose the light coloured one last week and commented to my wife that it was because it would soon be spring.

Lilian responded with, “According to the weather man, it’s already spring. It began on 1st March.”

Well I didn’t argue because it’s not worth the bother and when it comes to such statements, Lilian is usually right anyway.

However, I am sure that 70 years ago, when I was 8 and learning about such things as seasons, in Nature Study, we were told the seasons all began on 21st of the relevant quarter month. March for Spring; June for Summer; September for Autumn and December for Winter. Definitely the date 21st was the same for all 4 months…… Well I think I am sure but I was always sat somewhere in the second-bottom section. As far as I was concerned, it meant I was ‘average’ and there can’t be anything wrong with ‘average’. I never got wrong for being average and felt safe there.

What’s more, for myself and all of my other classmates, the 4 years in the Juniors was preparation for sitting the 11+ exam to pass for the High School. My mam and dad, having sussed all 3 of their kids out, incentivised us to pass the exam by promising each one a bicycle if we did. All 3 siblings; my sister Brenda 3 years my senior, me and my brother Joe 6 years my junior and who sadly died of cancer when only 18 years old, all passed. Our parents were very proud of us. But I digress.

Obviously, I checked out the season start dates on the Internet and they seem to start on various dates in the Quarter months, depending on the earth’s rotation and waves and the sun and the wind and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

For the aficionados, who will already know:-
In London, England WINTER in the UK started on Tuesday, 21 December 2021.
In London, England SPRING in the UK starts on Sunday, 20 March 2022.
In London, England SUMMER in the UK starts on Tuesday, 21 June 2022.
In London, England AUTUMN in the UK starts on Friday, 23 September 2022.

Furthermore, Lilian was right (again), the weather people have the best idea. They have simplified it all:

The meteorological definition is that the seasons begin on the first day of the months that include the equinoxes and solstices. In the Northern Hemisphere:-
WINTER runs from December 1 to February 28 (February 29 in a leap year).
SPRING runs from March 1 to May 31;
SUMMER runs from June 1 to August 31;
AUTUMN runs from September 1 to November 30; and

I am obviously not a fan of meteorology, in 70 years I never realised my assumptive knowledge has been wrong. In my defence, it is all about “Who cares?”

John Lightfoot, MBE, CMarEng, FIMarEST, Fellow South Shields Marine School

Solar Solve Chairman