Take off your shirt and fire up the barbecue – how to make the most of the sunniest day of the year

If I can speak clearly for a moment, you are wasting your time reading this. Not that it doesn’t contain essential advice – it does, it absolutely does – it’s just that if you look outside you’ll notice that the weather is suddenly…nice?

Throw that away, I’m doing him a disservice. It’s a burning one. Suffocating! Hotter than Greece! Blue skies and mid-teen temperatures from Edinburgh to Penzance! Spring has come too far and we found ourselves in summer!

After a winter of discontent so relentless and continuous – wars, the pandemic, storms, this time the Wordle was “favorable” – that you could count the good news on a thumb, a period of high pressure lurking on the Northern Europe has given us a hearty little treat.

But it’s the British Isles, of course, and although I’m no Schafernaker, the odds of it ending up being the only sunny Saturday we enjoy in 2022 are, roughly, around 20 to 22. That means we have to carpe diem like never before.

As a result, here’s how to make the most of the British Sole (March) summer day from dawn to dusk. If the sun is already up where you are, I’ll forgive you for just touching it. Good: on your marks, get set…


Rise with the sun, like all those sleep podcasts you ignore. Open the curtains, push open your bedroom window, feel the cool breeze on your face, listen to the birds sing then join them, join them in proclaiming, “Hello, beautiful people!” loudly.


Ignore your completely miserable neighbors (it’s not too early to play Katrina and the Waves at full volume from your stationary car, with all the doors and the trunk open, no matter what Neil says and his threat of police action) and do a quick Joe Wicks class. You need to be ready for the beach at 2 p.m., so a few burpees before breakfast should undo the last five months of stress. A grapefruit for breakfast, with an iced latte.


It’s time to get dressed. You almost forgot, didn’t you? That’s because it’s already the scorchio, baby. Reserve most of that hour to search for your long-buried linen shirts, sun hats, chino shorts, sundresses, and sneakers. Resist the urge to just rip the sleeves out of your winter wardrobe; they’re out there somewhere, and you just don’t have time to order anything from SS/22 that will arrive before lunchtime. Instead, put all winter stuff in the wash. It’s a drying day. Oh, boy is it a drying day. And turn off that heater.


To borrow a phrase from the late and late Peggy Mitchell, get out of my pub. By “pub” I mean house. And by “my” I mean yours. It’s already glorious there, so you better take advantage of this vital period of photosynthesis by making the morning of gardening as useful as possible.

Do I know what it is? I do not. But Bunny Guinness, the Telegraph’s gardening columnist and green-fingered Dean General, certainly does. On her YouTube channel lately, she’s been planting asparagus, showing people how to protect their vegetables, and the do’s and don’ts of crinkly trees. Now: groundless repotting.

Elizabeth J. Harless