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If you looked out of the window on Friday, according to legend, you would have been looking at the weather we will be having for the next 40 days and nights. That’s because July 15 is St Swithun’s Day. The weather up till then included a lot of rain – much needed after the recent heatwave and dry period – but then a mix of sun and clouds greeted the day itself. I’ll settle for that.

While the legend is just that – and there is no record of unbroken rainfall over such a period – the Royal Meteorological Society argues that it is not without some logic because the Jet Stream, which greatly affects our weather, tends to settle into a regular pattern around the middle of July, which can last for some weeks.

The middle of July also used to be the time when auctioneers would pack up for the summer, taking advantage of family holidays, while attention is focused elsewhere, to give the gavel and cataloguing a rest with a view to recharging the batteries for late August in preparation for the autumn season of sales.

I like a break as much as the next man, but more recently I have found that maintaining a sales programme throughout the summer keeps the rhythm going and, rather like the Jet Stream, adds to the consistency of service for the rest of the year.