I’m British, and obviously that means that every so often I am the helpless victim of a compulsive urge to blog about the weather. The unusual occurrence of a week of consistent sunshine has set me thinking about the slightly love-hate relationship I have with hot weather.
Ten things I love about Summer
1) The ease of getting dressed – knickers, bra, dress, Birkenstocks, done.
2) The ease of getting my daughter dressed – knickers, dress, sandals, done.
3) The delicious smells of grass and flowers, heightened by warmth.
4) The drowsy sound of a bumble bee buzzing in the afternoon sunshine.
5) The feeling that eating a daily ice cream is practically a duty.
6) The bright colours and prints people wear -I’m writing this in a cafe, and from my seat I can see blue and white stripes, aqua and white dots, pink and white flowers, blue and coral flowers, white and yellow flowers, green and white leaf print and turquoise paisley. And that’s without mentioning the t-shirts in turquoise, lemon, lilac and Wedgewood blue.
7) The evocative scent of suncream.
8) Strawberries, raspberries, salad, homemade lemonade, homemade potato salad, crab sandwiches – ok, you can eat all of those in the rain, but it’s not really the same.
9) That delicious feeling when you’re really hot and tired and sticky, and you step into a cool shower.
10) The security of being able to plan a picnic or al fresco dinner with confidence.
Ten things I hate about Summer
1) The increased personal grooming – suddenly leg shaving, body brushing, foot filing and toenail painting seems as de rigeur as teeth cleaning.
2) Trying, and failing, many, many times a day, to persuade my daughter to wear her sunhat. And then retrieving it from all the places where it has been carelessly discarded.
3) The not so delicious smell of the food waste bin in the kitchen when it hasn’t been emptied for two days.
4) The aggressive whine of a mosquito somewhere in the bedroom, just as you’re dropping off to sleep.
5) The contradiction inherent in the fact that eating a daily ice cream is practically a duty, but at some point I might be expected to wear a bikini in public.
6) The direct correlation between the likelihood of a man going topless on a crowded bus with the chances of him having a weight and personal hygiene problem.
7) The conflict of wills every time I, as a responsible mother, feel the need to apply suncream to my daughter, but she is equally determined not to have it applied.
8) That the kitchen goes from being my favourite place to be to one of my least favourites, as even making a simple pasta dish feels like slaving over a hot stove.
9) The horrible feeling as you toss and turn, trying in vain to find a cool spot of sheet, compelled by the heat to have the window fully open, but realising that your little urban village isn’t quite as blissfully quiet as it seems when there’s a layer of double glazing between you and it.
10) The tedium of looking for the mythical ‘perfect’ picnic place when the requirements of the group are: full sun, total shade, space to spread a picnic rug, a bench to sit on, a comfortable distance from other families (still British), near the playground. And all to the accompaniment of a little voice which shares all the persistency of the mosquito’s whine, but with a great deal more volume, saying “I’m hungry, Mummy. I’m hungry. When are we going to eat? I’m hungry.”
But still, it’s a rare novelty, and we should make the most of it, so really mustn’t grumble.
I hate hayfever and putting out a load of laundry only for the neighbours to start up a bbq. But I love sunshine, lemonade, goat’s cheese salads, not having to carry a coat or brolly, and wearing toe rings. And the fact that, bbq-ing aside, it’s actually possible to clear the laundry backlog since it dries in an hour!