I must admit that I have always secretly admired the British approach to Summer, stripping off at the very idea of the sun. Like cats stealing any sunny spot, turning up to work on a Monday morning Lobster pink regardless of age, wage or stature. The supermarkets from Asda through M&S to Waitrose are left bare from the BBQ rampage of the sausage, burger, chicken piece, charcoal, salad and cold drink hunter-gatherers. The motorways gridlocked with the exodus to the often heaving beaches, this is one of the long established unifying British Summertime pursuits. Love it or loath it, it’s a given so it’s most probably handy to have a practice dry run in April ahead of the Summer mayhem.
There are also often sightings of the vested, beer bellied blokes who come out with the sun and walk around the streets, sometimes without even a vest on, or those with a hankie knotted on their heads. One can still be silenced by this phenomenon & although many wish for a decline in their numbers, they have been immortalised on many a seaside bawdy postcard from the 50s, so they have been on the decline for a while.
For the past 3 years around April time we get a week or a weekend that is often better than Summer. My childhood mantra “Don’t shed a cloud til May is out” has meant that I’ve resisted the temptation, however this year I decided to do a typically British thing and strip off. Armed with towel and bikini I basked like a pro on the sun-lounger in my yard. My Celtic complexion means that I tend to slap on the factor 30-50 all year round and although I do have a slightly pink spot on the back of my neck today there is no sign of a Lobster scalp or forehead.
Since the temperature has dropped by 10 degrees today and for the rest of the week, I am glad I took advantage of the now treasured April British Summer weekend. I may have a slight sniffle with my boots and cardigan keeping me warm but my vitamin D is replenished and I think I might even glow in the dark like a solar light.