So we’re being told that Britain is facing the biggest water shortage since 1976. But according to the New Economics Foundation think tank, that was a great year for quality of life despite the country being parched.
I’m inclined to agree. Out of all my school holidays back then, the scorching summer of 1976 has always stood out.
Back then we didn’t have loads of TV channels to watch (just four, actually, and on a black and white set).
There were no mobile phones, video games or DVDs to keep us entertained.
But it didn’t matter because all us 12-year-olds wanted to do was have fun outside – and the sunshine made that possible.
The summer holidays had just begun when the cheery weatherman announced it was going to be hot.
Summer fun for me came in the form of my nan and her seafront cafe. My mum and I would get the train from Fareham to Fratton, then jump aboard an open-topped bus down to Southsea beach.
I remember spending endless hours swimming in the sea,bouncing on trampolines and stalking those lovely deckchair boys.
The fact that there was a drought and water restrictions never bothered me in the slightest – apart from looking disgusted when my mum used to insist I got in her bath water after she’d finished.
The funny thing about the 1970s is that people seemed happy and content with their lot.
They weren’t gripped by an overwhelming desire to sell their houses to make money.
Everything just seemed so much more stable then, although in the next few years that followed everything changed when Margaret Thatcher came to power.
On my first day back at school after that magical summer of 1976, I sat in the nurse’s office looking out of the window as she stuck a thermometer in my mouth and told me I had something nasty.
Just then I heard a strange pitter-patter sound on the roof.
‘What’s that?’ asked Matron Annie. Then she looked across at me and added: ‘I think it’s raining, but that’s the least of your worries. You have a nasty case of chicken pox.’