Cursing the weather is a funny business.
Not so much the waving of the closed fist at the sky as a sudden shower soaks that load of washing you’d left to dry, more the concept that you can somehow jinx sunny conditions by bold pronouncements about their continued prevalence.
Even those who aren’t religious or spiritual in any way seem to shudder when you confidently predict that the lovely weather will continue on until – or even past! – the weekend.
While your statement can’t and won’t make the slightest jot of difference, you can assume that friends and family who usually are logical will take it upon themselves to blame you almost entirely if the temperature doesn’t stick rigidly to clearly predefined hopes and expectations.
It might be nice to think that a sole individual could have such influence over matters of such importance – not least since it would be a marvellous thing for this current warm spell to be stopped in its tracks as soon as humanly possible.
After all, why do us Scots so avidly adore something that suits us so poorly?
Some of us may – given a strenuous sun-bed regime – be able to tan, but most seem to merely flip-flop between pasty white and that all-too-familiar lobster red. (Many already sporting a combo look after falling asleep without suntan lotion during their lunch hour, unconsciously rolling over to one side to ensure maximum polarised UV coverage. Bonus marks to anyone who purposely covered themselves in chopsticks for 2012’s ‘zebra look’.)
Liberating though it may be, the reliability of a good swathe of the male populace going ‘taps aff’ as soon as the temperature rises above the level where they’d lose their nipples to frostbite isn’t something that should be cherished.
On the first blistering day of this week I’d stepped out for less than a second for my lunch hour before clapping eyes on the first fine specimen, waddling around as though his near-translucent chicken flesh was eliciting a reaction from female passers-by that would suggest the Chippendales were strutting down Glasgow’s pavements in nothing but leopard-print thongs. (And slathered in baby oil for good measure.)
So eager are people to celebrate the arrival of a heat wave that work productivity plummets as well – with employees either morbidly depressed at not being outside, or too zonked from any spells in the sun to make much sense of anything at all.
Worse still, binge-drinking seems to go hand in hand with these lazy days, leading to frayed spirits long before the sun sets. I remember with remarkable clarity the first sunny day of last year, when come mid-afternoon I’d seen at least two middle-aged, podgy, bloody topless men who looked as though they were auditioning for parts as extras in a super-low-budget Mad Max sequel. (Mad Max: Beyond the Kelvingrove perhaps?)
Just because some of us jet off to the continent for a couple of weeks at a time, doesn’t mean that this weather suits us, or that – whether we realise it or not – it’s in any way for our own good. (I don’t think we really need to go into great detail about how dangerous the tanning craze can be with regards to skin cancer, unless you’ve got this far but will stick your head in a bucket of sand as soon as I mention the word ‘melanoma’.)
Let’s face it, Scots function far better in dour weather conditions. Work no longer feels such a chore. (Well, perhaps unless you’re outdoors, but that’s not the majority of us nowadays). Whether for better or worse, most of us better suit modesty in terms of attire rather than letting it all hang out. And there’s nothing quite like the thrill of escaping some horizontal rain for a cosy night indoors.
Oh, plus Scotland never looks more beautiful than while windswept and ever so slightly bleak. (Or covered in snow, come to think of it.) If we want continental sunshine it’s only a cheap flight away, but let’s not pretend that it should be welcomed as a permanent fixture for our landscape.
It seems best for the temperature to plummet again, preferably with some showers and perhaps even a burst of sleet just to cement how things will be for the rest of summer 2012. How best to do that? There’s no logical way to bring it about, so all we can do is cross fingers and hope for the worst. Or jinx it, of course.
So with that in mind, I guarantee 110% that we’re set for the warmest and sunniest weekend this year. Or any year, in fact! And there will be no rain for the rest of the summer, I’m absolutely certain of it. Really, there’s absolutely no way that the weather won’t be absolutely blindingly brilliant, for ever and ever and ever...
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