For various reasons, I am finding it very difficult to sustain the levels of hate required to write this blog. Due to my unheralded cheery disposition, I am therefore turning my attention and criticism on to the miserable fucks who are currently attempting to kill my buzz.
(Please note that my wife, who always suffers during any sort of heat, is exempt from being labelled a moaning myrtle on the basis that she is my wife. Also, because I know she reads this. Hi!)
I just need to say this right off: I love summer. And I love the warm temperatures that we have been experiencing in the UK for the past couple of weeks. It is difficult to get angry when confronted with such blissful conditions. There are only two problems with this weather:
my lawn has turned brown
my cats are melting
And frankly, if you will insist on wearing a fur coat in all conditions then you only really have yourself to blame.
Despite the above list being quite conclusive, people who have neither lawn nor cat are clogging up my facebook feed, and real life feed with dreary comments about how it is “just too hot” or how “they can’t sleep in these temperatures”, or that “the trains are a bloody nightmare”. Please! I can understand why people moan about cold weather, snow, rain, clouds, fog, hail and tornadoes. But this right now is the sort of weather that people go on holiday (or even emigrate) to try and chase, and now it has come to you. What’s the problem? British people do love a good weather moan I suppose.
In order to properly understand my total love-in with the current climate, I need to take you on a bit of a journey back in time. Back to the summer of 2006. As I am about to explain, this period of 2 and a half months was arguably the best time of my life. Not the best single day (which has several other contenders), just a sustained period where everything was completely right.
I had just graduated from a good university with a good degree, and I had a well-paid job lined up to start in September. I had returned to London to stay with my parents until I got round to making plans. I moved back into my old room, which had recently acquired a double bed (you forget how awful it is to sleep in a single bed), and I installed at the end of this bed my new 32” TV attached to my xbox. When nothing else was happening, I got really good at ssx tricky and Need for Speed (never did master Timesplitters). But it was rare that nothing else was happening. My girlfriend (now my wife) had graduated at the same time as me, and for the first time as adults we were living in the same city. 4 years of a long-distance relationship were over, and we spent many days and evenings hanging out together. Our parents had come to accept that we were adults at this point, and we were able to sleep in the same room. I had a job working 2.5 days a week in an empty bar that had a huge tv and a sky subscription, and was paid £5.50 an hour, after tax. This was way more than I could actually spend, and as I was too lazy to go to the bank, by the end of the summer I ended up carrying a load of £50 notes around so that I could fold my wallet properly (I was kind of a dick back then).
Almost all of my old school friends had graduated this summer, or at least were back in town for the summer holidays. I could fill my car with petrol for about £30 and I could do anything, be anywhere at the drop of a hat. The only fixed event in my diary was that on Sunday afternoon, all my friends and I would meet on Wimbledon common and play some casual football, then retire to the pub. We played almost every week, and the regular practice meant that, for the only time in my life, I actually got quite good at football. One day, some guys showed up and challenged us to a game, the same guys who 10 years ago would trip us up in the school hallways and generally make life difficult. And I am happy to report that (from memory) we absolutely fucking buried them. It was awesome.
It was a happy accident of circumstance that everything lined up for me quite as well as it did in those days. I can’t give the weather full credit for the situation, but it certainly helped. Football was always on. Sometimes the sun shone, sometimes it pissed with rain, but it was always warm, so we didn’t care. Myself and 3 friends walked 4 miles after the pubs closed one evening to crash a house party (see? Dickhead) with our shirts off because it was just so damn pleasant. When I went out, I never had to consider whether I would need a jacket or jumper, because I never did. The weather conditions framed what was, for me, the greatest summer ever.
I’m telling you this because since 2006, whenever summer has rolled around, I have waited, poised, for the summer to recreate those moments. And it never has. Trust me, every summer since then has been disappointingly cold or brief. We’ve had heat waves in April to get us excited, and then buoyed by this early promise, July and August have always stood up and promptly shat themselves with the weight of expectation. Last year I didn’t go out once without a hoodie with me, just in case.
As I said, the weather wasn’t the only factor involved at all, but I always felt that without the heat everything else was academic. I’ve waited 7 years for conditions to present me with just the slightest possibility of a summer to remember, and finally they have. Granted, a lot of friends have spread out over the city, country and even the world, but I’ve made new friends this year. I have obligations now, but I am happy to carry them with me. I’m too busy, both with work and play, to stay in and get bored. Last Saturday, I rode my old mountain bike over Esher common with my wife while the sun set on our backs, and I think we will do the same again tonight. I’ve been out the past three Sunday nights in a row…
So far, this summer has been everything I wanted it to be. It’s different, but it’s matching up to 2006 in many ways. So please don’t try and bring me down with complaints about how you don’t have anywhere to store your duvet now it’s too hot to sleep under it. Don’t you dare. Your point is trivial and I don’t want to hear it. If you insist on being miserable while I properly enjoy my life for the first time in ages, go and do it somewhere else.
That all said, the grass could do with some rain…