I live in England, for some sin or other, and this delightful little country has decided, after a beautifully prodigious summer, to remind us where we live.
With a start of autumn/winter that promises tears before bedtime.
This summer the majority of our tiny island, rarely in the sun, was allowed to bask and bake, much akin to a lizard who’s bitten off more than he could chew, in record temperatures. Seriously. For quite a few weeks this summer Britain sat, hulking and belligerent, in a steaming heat haze that led everyone to complain.
I regularly bask in Ra’s glory. Normally Ra will touch me lightly everywhere, giving me a healthy milk-white tone, instead of my usual blue, with the added delight of screamingly burnt shoulders and nose, the like of which not normally seen on anything except lobsters. But this year, I was blessed by Ra with a healthy, all-over light tan. Lovely.
Sadly, because I’m normally on the level of ‘negative tan’ this just stopped me looking like the walking dead, and helped me resemble living flesh instead. But I tried. Everything. Tanning oil. Sun beds. Laying naked in my parents garden, hiding from footballers and neighbours behind trees, but carefully shuffling the towel round the garden to get the best rays.
Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Of course, when I set foot out the door for a second with a bizarrely strapped shirt, I tanned like a major celebrity. Which explains the line of ‘gills’ running right down my back. I also have constant drivers arm. And I don’t even drive a truck.
But I’ll never complain about the heat, ever. About the time everyone else is melting into splashy, sweaty puddles, and the MET office is issuing severe warnings about heat stroke and fluid intake, that’s the time I peel off my last hoody and start basking. I got cold in Cyprus and Texas.
Not cool for someone living in Britain.
But now, winter has sort of started. And it’s making up for summers flirting with us by trying it’s hardest to kill us for our betrayal and our fickle love of summer.
This means I’m already done up in scarves, gloves, one of my hats (I collect awesome hats), extra layers and the like. Next week, it’ll be thermals and extra socks. The problem with this is that I’m a little tall, as regular readers will know. Don’t get me wrong, i love being able to reach the last bottle of whatever on the top shelf. But I’m also quite a lot of up-and-down, and basically no side-to-side. This means I’m pretty much man shaped. Except my jaw, my hands, painted nails, lack of beard, long hair and swelling of chest, visible even with about 5 layers in the way.
Yet I still get called sir. And mate. And lad. And boy. And son.
This upsets me. A lot.
But for some reason, stripping off and screaming “Do these tits really look like something a thin bloke would have? Can you see a beard? Am I pissing against a tree?” and punching said offender into the pavement tends to be frowned upon.
Can’t imagine why.
So, I embrace summer, with every atom of my being, despite being called ‘sir’ even in a vest top. Sadly some people just don’t use eyes, they see tall, and think ‘man’. The other problem with being tall is that clothes manufacturers seem to think that if you’re tall, you must be fat as well. So I can’t buy trousers on their own, I have to buy a belt too, which leads me to have those bizarre bunches of fabric sticking out my side.
Back to mens clothes. Which doesn’t help.
Anyway, back to the weather. In Kent, this past week, it hasn’t stopped raining, at all. So I’m starting to worry that some sort of apocolypse is about to occur, and I don’t even have a rubber dinghy. Also, it’ll be English water, which means within 5 minutes of landing on our land it obtains fag butts, dog shit, piss, car oil, a couple of used condoms, McDonald’s packets, a lost dummy, 3 bits of chewing gum and one of those weird yellow chillis from the kebaby.
And that’s just in every pint of rain water. Imagine the sea around our coast? But in fairness, a lot of the coast, sea and land is rather pleasant. Just not all of it. Though I guess you’ll get the same thing anywhere where there’s people for any length of time.
With that in mind, and the chill embrace of winter screaming its way towards us, think on next summer, when the flowers are out, the birds aren’t swearing at a lack of bird seed and you actually want to go to the beach, instead of being dragged there for some god awful family gathering, remember the last one.
Take your damn litter home.
Oh, and in theory, Tilf should be back properly next time, no promises, but she’s doing better.