Tag Archives: sunshine

Here Comes the Sun

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Good morning and a very merry Monday to you, dear reader.  How was your weekend?

In the grand tradition of Brits overdoing it on the first day of sunshine, I have some very fetching sunburn on my back.  In the equally grand tradition of Brits just after the first day of sunshine, I crossly insisted that I hadn’t been in the sun for very long, and that I “shouldn’t” be this red.  That’s right.  I am so British that I subconsciously imagine a system of justice behind the weather.

Tomato-complexion aside, the sunshine has a lovely effect on lots of things.  I think that there are a few which deserve a bit more attention:

  • The most average-looking places look like movie set locations.  For example, I am not a huge fan of South London, but Kennington yesterday was a delightful sight.  After the new writing night I skidaddled down to a pub by the river for a friend’s birthday, and found my lot on a rooftop terrace.  This would have been fairly glitzy for us on a normal day, but in the sunshine it felt like an industry party in LA, darling.   (Except that we had wine and cupcakes, not champagne and cigars.  Close enough, right?)
  • You feel so much more zen.  It’s probably a combination of things: cloudless skies remind us of infinity, lying on the grass makes us feel more at one with nature and being warm in general makes us a bit sleepy.  I mean, philosophical.
  • Life becomes a window shopping trip.  This might be more for girls than guys, but I love seeing what kind of sandals, sunglasses and pretty summer dresses people turn out in when the temperature gets above 22 degrees.  Also, people are happier and more confident in their nice summer clothes, so if you really like someone’s outfit you can actually ask them where it’s from, and not get a standard “stranger danger” glare.
  • Sunglasses make everyone look amazing.  I really don’t know what it is about sunglasses, but everyone looks really, really good in them.  I have no idea of the psychology behind this (especially given that eyes are meant to be the windows to the soul and therefore pretty important in attraction, surely), but sunglasses make everyone look like rock stars.
  • Sunglasses make everyone feel better.  This one is fairly obvious given the last point: when we know we look good, we feel good.  Instant confidence from something as simple as a pair of glasses is one of the weirdest and loveliest side-effects of weather like this.  Also, sunglasses of different tints and hues give people unique perspectives: for instance, my friend Rob’s sunglasses are a brown-ish colour.  More than once yesterday we were treated to the exclamation “Everything looks like a photograph from the seventies!” I don’t know why that made Rob so happy, but it did, and who are we to judge?
  • Ice cream trucks are everywhere.  Creepy and perturbing music aside, ice cream trucks are essentially vehicles of joy, and their purpose is to deliver deliciousness to all and sundry in a given postcode area.

Have a sensational Monday.

Couch Caterpillar

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Hello, dear reader!  How are you doing?  Are you making the most of the sunshine?

I’m not, to be perfectly honest with you.  I’m sitting on my sofa under three blankets, watching Friends and talking to you, you lovely thing.  I’m not ill or upset or anything, I’m just really, really tired.  I’m also a big fan of blankets, because I can wrap myself up in them and pretend to be in a cocoon.  Soon I will emerge as a BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY!  MWAHAHAHA!  Sorry.  Anyway…

The other appealing thing about how I’m spending my morning is that it allows me to be a bit childish in a way that doesn’t affect anyone else.  Obviously when you behave childishly around other people, e.g. having tantrums, that sort of ruins their day.  But being a grown-up is difficult, so sometimes we need to be childish, and it’s best to do it in the safety of our own homes/with people who will humour us.  Here are some excellent ways to do this:

  • Building a fort – most things work for this, including furniture, cardboard boxes, books and on one memorable occasion, handbags.
  • Eating a picnic – are we too old for Babybels?  Probably.  Never mind, they still taste good.
  • Pyjama days – spending the entire day in your favourite pjs just for the hell of it is bizarrely empowering.  It’s your way of saying “screw you, reality!  I shun you in favour of comfortable clothes and bad television!”
  • Playground games – true story: I stayed up ’til 3am the night before my graduation playing Sardines with my friends.  Terrible decision, excellent evening.
  • Dressing up – have you ever been to the theatre section of the V & A Museum?  They have a flipping dressing up box.  It’s amazing.  Go there now.  Go.
  • Arts and crafts – I’m terrible at art, but sometimes making a picture type-thing with glitter and so forth is really, really fun.  You can stick it on the fridge, too.
  • Silly jokes – even though they’re incredibly childish they are also absolutely joyous.  For example, my favourite cheese joke: what did the cheese say when it saw itself in the mirror?  Halloumi!
  • Watching Disney films – that’s just common sense.  Nobody grows out of Disney.

Have a lovely Sunday.

We Are the Foolish

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Good morning, reader!  Isn’t it gorgeous out there today?  I love it when it’s sunny.  It also helps that Ash and I had one of our best friends stay over last night.  When we got up this morning I said the “Another beautiful day in God’s country” line from Hot Fuzz, which got me a slightly worried look from my friend and a reminder that our teeny tiny flat is not an actual country.  Unfortunately this turns out to be true.

So today is April Fools’ Day, a bizarre tradition which apparently originated in Roman times and has something to do with New Year’s Eve being celebrated in March by our friends across the Channel.  I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about today, probably because at our age my friends and I don’t have the time or inclination to think up witty pranks.  I’m definitely not complaining about that; life is confusing enough as it is without my friends thinking of ingenious ways to baffle me further.  I’m not even supposed to cross roads unsupervised, for heaven’s sake.

Besides, feeling foolish is not something that’s restricted to this day of the year.  Nobody likes to feel that they’ve been duped, but it’s all part of the human experience.  Sometimes we feel that we have been deceived into taking a job that turns out to be nothing like we expected, or misled by someone else’s feelings for us.  Deceit is a horrible word for something that happens all the time, whether it’s a friend telling you that an horrendous outfit is flattering, or a woman pretending to be knocked up in order to get a man to marry her.  (I’ll let you decide for yourselves which is worse.)  Making the discovery that you’ve had the proverbial wool pulled over your eyes is demeaning and downright irritating, because we’re intelligent people who want to be able to see the truth first time.

Like regret, fear and the inability to cope with emotional upheaval, we are reassuringly united by our dislike of being deceived.  I find it weirdly comforting that some of the hardest parts of being a person are universal, and that feeling isolated by your fear/regret/etc. is unnecessary.  If I had a pound for every time I’ve felt like an idiot I would be living in a mansion right now, but unfortunately embarrassment is not a financial commodity.  What I do have, which is much more valuable, is a fantastic group of friends who will sympathise, empathise and make me coffee when I feel humiliated.

You’d be surprised by how many of the smartest, best-looking, confident and talented people you know have wanted to curl up and die at some point.  Don’t make the mistake of assuming that someone who seems sorted doesn’t understand how it feels to be foolish, and don’t be embarrassed to admit when you’ve been had.  You’re still a fantastic human being, and no one else’s trickery is going to change that.

Have something delicious for pudding today.  You deserve it.

P.S. the title of this blog is a reference to a song by General Fiasco, a band whom I heartily recommend you give a listen to.  Here’s the YouTube video of the song.  Enjoy!

It’s Only Monday

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Good morning and welcome to the new week!

Lots of people hate Mondays, including Garfield, the Bangles and the Boomtown Rats.  I personally quite like them, for the same reason that I love early mornings: the potential.  The beginning of something is always full of possibilities to explore and opportunities not yet taken.  Inevitably, Mondays (and early mornings) are also riddled with moments of clumsiness, missed trains and coffee spillages, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the good stuff yet to come that’s worth thinking about.  Who knows what this week might hold?

This time of year is a bit of an odd one, because British people’s moods are almost solely dictated by the weather: some people are a bit blue because it’s so chilly and there’s a lot of damage to be fixed after the floods, whereas others are tilting their faces towards the lukewarm sunshine and thinking dreamily of summer.  It is technically British Summer Time now…but we have to show some self-control.  Put down the deck chairs; we’ve got a few months and several degrees to go.

Apparently, people have always tended to be feeling a bit extreme around this date.  Whether these were all on Mondays or just end-of-March madness we’ll never know, but let’s look at some examples:

1603: After about a year of watching her closest mates drop dead one by one, Queen Elizabeth I succumbs to peer pressure and follows suit.  After forty-four and a half years on the throne she must be knackered, poor thing.

1832: Mormon Joseph Smith is beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio.  I know I should be appalled by that, but actually it just made me giggle.  It’s the idea of a religious fanatic running around covered in feathers; how on earth could anyone take that zealous lunatic seriously after that?

1837: Canada gives black people the right to vote.  This is pretty amazing, especially when you consider the fact that America took another thirty-three years and a civil war to come to the same decision.  Good for you, Canada.

1882: German scientist Robert Koch announces the discovery of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.  The disease has been considered hereditary until this point, but Koch’s work discovers the truth (and wins him a Nobel prize in 1905, and undoubtedly saves a heck of a lot of lives).

1906: A census of the British Empire reveals that Britain rules a fifth of the world.  Slightly awkward to look back at now, but is beautifully summarised by this Eddie Izzard clip.

1972: Northern Ireland’s Parliament is suspended after the prime minister resigns.  Britain’s direct rule over Northern Ireland is introduced.  This is just getting embarrassing.

1973: This one isn’t an example of March madness by any means, but on this day The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons is born.  He is looking very well for someone who hit the big four-one today, I must say.

I hope you enjoyed your miniature history lesson.  May your Monday turn out to contain all sorts of amazing things, such as the legendary all-chocolate Kit Kat.