I write this in a delightful hazy evening in late May – springtime is just blooming and blossoming into the promise of early summer. The swallows are swooping (or they may be house martins or even the Beautiful South – to be honest I’m shaky on the difference). The smell of combined carbonisation of many barbequed meats drifts over the fences and the only sound to be heard is the sizzle of cold beer bottles against sunburnt flesh.
When the weather turns like this it’s tempting to think that it’s going to be sunny and warm till October. Well it had better be now I’ve shaved my legs and sorted out the toenails so that they are fit for public airing. With great hopefulness, you shove your winter woollies in some suitcase or other and shove them under the bed and try to locate those fancy flip flips you bought last September in the sale.*
By the time you read this piece, though, I am willing to bet that it will be snowing, or hailing, or The Village will have been swept away by some sort of freak weather storm.
Because the only thing that seems to be predictable at the moment about the weather is its extreme unpredictability. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s always been a bit like this – but it does seem particularly startling at the moment. It certainly keeps you on your toes. One day last week I swear I put the electric blanket on at bath-time and by the time I was ready for bed I was opening windows and turning on the electric fan.
And then there’s the clothes indecision – not just for me, although that’s bad enough. I have to commit to the appropriate outfit for the day at 7am, which is frankly far too early and then I am caught on playground duty shivering like a plucked whippet in a flimsy cardigan.
But I also have to commit the children to my own inaccurate weather predictions too and this can lead to judging in the playground at home time. Those smart gingham dresses don’t look quite so smart when lashed with driving rain, and anyway where ARE those sunhats and why does every other child seem to have parents who are able to locate sun cream at short notice in early May.
But enough of my inadequacies as a parent, at least until next time – I can’t promise not to wheel them out again, as they are a rich source of humour for all concerned, except possibly the children themselves, although I’m hoping it might be terribly character building. Well on that score only time will tell – just wait a few years until they turn into stroppy teenagers and they will be able to tell me themselves, pretty confidently and articulately I am guessing, based on current form.
In fact come to think of it, this spring has been like the worst kind of stroppy, hyperbolic adolescent, blowing hot and cold and stomping off to its room when you have just committed yourself to a big barbecue on your back garden. There’s nothing we can do really, with both the narky teenager and this bonkers spring weather, other than wait for it to grow up into nice predictable summer. And we all know what summer means.
That’s right – time to buy that new umbrella you had your eye on. And maybe those cosy bed socks.
*Don’t bother. They will give you huge blisters, make your feet smell and they will be borderline health and safety hazardous making you trip over in the supermarket car-park when you are trying to push a full trolley and strange children will laugh at you. THAT IS WHY THEY WERE IN THE SALE – DER.