Sun’s out, bun’s out

– or a meditation on flip flops

At long last, England had thawed. The sun is beating down upon our fair country, the bird are tootling away, the socks have been paired with their sandals. When this country puts her mind to it, she is stunning.

I’m not just talking about the lazy spring sunlight, that’ll give you a nasty burn if you don’t play enough attention to her preening. Or the cool apple-bite the air has to it after the chance rain, which many of us curse for getting our flip flops wet. No, I’m talking about the fact that we’re wearing our flip flops already. There they are, poking out from beneath our weekend jeans and casual button downs. Defiant, yet chilly. The sun is out, flip, it must be warm, flop, bring it on, flip, ice cream, anyone?, flop.

It’s like the sun does something crazy to the British brain. We’re almost reverse werewolves. In the full daylight, unhindered by clouds, we tear out of our clothes, exposing pasty white flesh and unfortunate sproutings of hair. We run howling off into the horizon, searching for the largest body of water in the area. For we are hungry for the flesh of deep-fried cod.

We all do it, don’t deny it. Even I headed down to Bristol Harbourside yesterday, with a book in hand and pale noodle-arms exposed. There I whiled away the hours, watching people wander by, playing a game of guess the native. The trick is, anyone still wearing a scarf and looking on bemused at our optimistic shorts, is probably not native to our shores (also, I suspect, correct on the scarf-front).

And I love you, you English nutters. That perfectly blend of hope and cynicism, the weathers nice, let’s enjoy it while it lasts. Always looking forward to the rainy tomorrow, just so it proves your point. I think I’m gonna miss you while we’re gone.

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