Sneezing, Sunburn and Sweaty Pits…

2017 June 30

After what feels like an eternity of rain, flu and utter misery, come May time temperatures begin to rise, the rain stops (briefly, in Manchester) and the sun attempts to shine. Suddenly everyone flocks to the nearest open space armed with fire, pig and plastic pieces of amusement. Indoors the climate is arid and irritable. The smell of perspiration haunts corridors and confined public spaces. Buses and lifts become unbearable. Work impossible. The sun permeates through the slats of your office blind. Sat, staring blankly at your computer screen your mind packs its bags ready for that beach, that festival, that drink. All you want is a beer. A nice cold pint.

Mostly summer is a joyous occasion. A much loved and much celebrated time of year. But for many, summer is the season of suffering. Hay Fever is possibly the most infuriating ailment ever to plague Modern Man. It is a ridiculous involuntary overreaction to summer, a pathetic to near exasperating bodily curse. It is a cruel and evil punishment, not just for the Hay Fever victim themselves but for all those within an audible vicinity of the sneezing, sniffling and incessant blowing of noses. Every pocket and bag is stuffed with soggy tissues, which trail after the seasonal casualty like a disgusting homing device. Liquid oozes from bloodshot eyes and crusty red noses. A truly repulsive sight.

For the lucky, symptoms ease off around mid July just as the sun is at its strongest, making way for summer’s second round of vengeance: sunburn. No other nation loves sunburn as much as the British. To us, sunburn is a triumph. It’s a ”summer’s here at last, it’s fucking warm for once and I’m going to make the most of it by searing myself before it starts raining again”. We’re not used to sunshine, but feel like we should be. The rest of the world have their relationship with the sun pretty much grasped. We however still haven’t a bloody clue. Abroad, us Brits are unmissible, marked by a distinct array of pink patterns and weeping, blistering flesh. Sun cream is an alien, adulterous substance standing between us and what we have been waiting all year for, holding us back from the vitamin C and UV cocktail we pined over all winter.

Pushing the pollen and the peeling aside, now that summer is here, it’s time to enjoy it with plenty of beer, charred animal bits, beaches, parties and festivals. Have a great summer everyone, this is your editor signing off for the very last time.

Holly Dicker