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    Make Way for the Monsoon Season...

    According to an article in the Daily Mail, up to half a month's rain fell on parts of Southern England in just half an hour on Monday night, and Piers Corbyn, Director of Long-range forecasters WeatherAction, predicts that this summer as a whole will feature amongst the top five wettest on record.Depressing as this news is (especially for those who suffered terrible flooding following last year's downpours) it's really not surprising. Anyone who lives in the UK knows that our weather has never been reliable. Long before global warming became a threat, wet summers and mild winters were a regular occurrence.The 'typical British Summer' is world renowned, yet still we cling to the hope of sunshine and feel cheated when it doesn't arrive. As the euro strengthens and fuel surcharges rise, many of us will be even more desperate for bright skies as we forgo a foreign holiday and spend our break closer to home. According to a survey conducted by Norwich Union, one in three British holiday makers will be avoiding foreign holidays to cut costs.The good news is our tourist trade hasn't simply shrugged its shoulders and given up just because we don't get three months of guaranteed sun. In fact, in many regions it has worked tirelessly to make sure our desires are catered for without having to step on a plane. The current economic climate is providing the UK with an opportunity to prove its credentials as a great destination for holidays. After struggling for many years under an old-fashioned, expensive and child unfriendly reputation, our leisure industry is finally enjoying a renaissance.You don't have to plough the savings you make on flights back into accommodation if the budget is tight. Camping might be off the agenda this year, but there are still loads of great deals to be found online, even for the peak season. House swapping is also growing in popularity (and I'm yet to hear of a bad experience of this). Websites like Homelink offer hundreds of properties across the country for temporary exchange, so you can enjoy some real home comforts at no cost at all.I'm not suggesting that great weather doesn't matter - the benefits are obvious. But after wasting too much time hoping for heat, I've decided the most sensible idea is to plan for the worst. A bit of research and imagination to make a memorable summer despite torrential rain means I won't be disappointed. And if the sun should choose to make an appearance, however brief, I'll throw on my flip-flops, run into the garden, and count myself lucky.

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