Summer vs Summer

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The sun is out, the windows are open and for almost a week and a half I haven’t had to wear a cardie; summer must have arrived.

5 things I love about Summer:

1. Sunglasses

I adore my sunglasses but I have discovered that not everyone feels the sunglass love like I do. This is a very sad state of affairs, I think sunglasses are excellent and here’s why: a) You can pretend to be Jackie Onassis / Audrey Hepburn / one of the Men in Black. b) No squinting, therefore no wrinkles. c) You can stare inconspicuously at people with odd clothes / hair / faces. d) No longer do you need to be embarrassed to cry when someone leaves Eastenders in the back of a taxi whilst the theme music is playing really slowly to confirm the permanent nature of the departure. If you hide behind the sunglasses, no-one will ever know. e) You can look at men with nice bottoms without your boyfriend noticing.

2. Pimms:

An alcoholic beverage that simultaneously contributes to your five-a-day? Yes please.

3. Cliched Summer songs:

Katrina walking on Sunshine, the summer nights that Sandy and Danny shared and those hip East Coast girls that the Beach Boys are so fond of. There are some songs that just make you feel like you’re sitting on a beach with a Piña Colada in your hand courtesy of Club Tropicana where the drinks are free.

4. Flip flops:

I love a good pair of flip flops. So easy to wear, so comfy and I think it’s especially great that they are named after the sound they make when you walk in them. Probably a good job that this practice doesn’t go for all shoes because otherwise I’d own quite a few pairs of “I’ve got a bastard blister” a comprehensive “Ouch, ouch, ouch” selection and a cheeky little “Fuck me, I’m going to have to take these off right now” to wear on special occasions.

Now I know that what I am going to say next is very sexist, but I have to be honest, I consider flip flops to be female attire. Men who wear them have no place in my life. I actually reconsidered dating someone once after discovering that he owned a pair. I would go so far as to say that I think men who wear flip flops should be mildly beaten, preferably with their own flip flops.

5. Ice cream:

When it’s hot and sunny, there is absolutely nothing better than a tub bowl of ice cream. Cool, creamy, delicious. It has almost magical properties. For example, I’m not a big fan of Flake chocolate bars but the moment they are compressed and blanketed in ice cream, they taste divine. Yesterday Brad (the consumer product advertiser’s dream) bought a tub of peanut butter and jam flavoured ice cream because he’d seen it advertised. Now, I do not like peanut butter and jam but curiosity got the better of me, I tried it and I can confirm that it was mighty tasty. Ben and Jerry: Angels of the afters world.

5 things I hate about Summer:

1. Wasps and Bees

I have a completely over the top and irrational fear of bees and wasps for a number of reasons. Firstly, I don’t understand why bees wear little fur coats when they are summer creatures. I am also very alarmed at the fact that wasps appear, seemingly out of the blue, the moment you even think about eating or drinking something sticky. Go and eat some delicious pollen and leave the Strawberry Mivvis to the humans.

Thirdly, I have what can only really be described as fluffy hair and I’m always worried that a bee or wasp will become stuck in my hair; velcro-stylee.

Finally and probably most importantly, my biggest fear is allergies. I am allergic to quite a lot of unusual things including money (Coins, not the folding stuff. Just thought I’d better clarify in case you get the urge to stick a tenner in my birthday card), fur, perfume and newspaper print. To my knowledge I have not been on the receiving end of a sting so how do I know that I’m not allergic? Bees wear fur coats and roll around in perfumey flowers, it doesn’t look good. So if you hear me squealing and flapping around when one of the dreaded buzzy creatures is about, it’s not because I’m being a girl, it’s because I may end up in an anaphylactic shock and die and then you’ll all be sorry.

2. Office Fans

I used to work in an air conditioned office. A beautifully cool refridgerated ice palace of joy. Well, when I say joy, it’s all relative, I’m referring to as much joy as can be achieved whilst at work.

I no longer work in an air conditioned office.

I work in an office with windows that open, although only after you have clambered on a desk to reach the latch, and office fans. I don’t get fans. They do not cool you down. They do blow all of your papers around, mess your hair up and make a lot of noise but they struggle with their primary purpose, the very reason that they were invented. The only thing that fans seem to achieve is to blow hot air around and let me tell you, when you work in HR, you deal with a wide variety of people spouting a substantial amount of hot air already, you really don’t need any more.

3. Moulting

The constitution of my cat is predominantly fur. At a guess I’d say she is 55% fur, 15% attitude and 30% feline. In the summer, when it is fur shredding season. She shreds in abundance. And it’s not just whispy delicate strands, we’re talking furred up carpets quite high on the fluffometer scale. She can sit down on the sofa for a minute (she has a very low human tolerance level), stand up and leave a replica cat in fur form on the seat. It is not pretty and it is not clever and it means that I have to hoover.

4. Tiny shorts

Tiny shorts are fashionable at the moment and they distress me greatly. At the risk of sounding like my dad, I want to go up to the women wearing them and say ‘Did you look in the mirror before you left the house?’ I have pants that cover more of my body than some of these miniature shorts. Never mind the camel’s toe, I can see the humps on its back. The worst thing is that if you are stuck walking behind a girl in teeny weeny shorts with half her bum on display, you can’t stop staring. I’ve looked at more half naked bottoms in the past two weeks than I’ve seen in my entire life, it’s very distracting.

What’s worse than the gorgeous, size six fashionistas are the girls who have eaten too much cake and pie and yet still insist on squeezing their not very dinky selves into miniscule shorts. I am a cake and pie girl rather than a size six girl and that is exactly why I do not wear itty bitty shorts.

The only bottom I want to see is the bottom of my wine glass whilst I wait for it to be refilled and the only muffin top that I want to see is one that is heading towards my mouth containing chocolate chips. Micro shorts wearers please take note.

5. Depilation

Hair removal is the bane of a woman’s life when the summer arrives. This subject is a particularly prickly one (literally as well as metaphorically) for raven haired maidens such as myself. You know that quote about painting the Forth Bridge? Yep, the same concept applies to me. It’s a seven day a week job. I can’t believe that after thousands of years of humans being around, natural selection has not phased out unnecessary body hair. I blame Julia Roberts. And the lesbians. And the French.

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” – Russell Baker

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