“Never open a book with the weather,” is one of Elmore Leonard’s tips for great writing. What? We’re not talking “It was a dark and stormy night.” here, Elmore. Lighten up. IT’S SUMMER!
Bin those umbrellas, heavy coats and cagoules! Pretend you actually like Prosecco rosé! So what if Santa Claus last Christmas refused to let your kids sit in his lap because he was concerned about their genetic origin? And you realised that the mother-in-law respected your intelligence so much that her birthday present to you was toilet paper with page numbers on it?
Prepare yourself for articles bitching (quite rightly, in some cases) about men with enormous beer bellies and the least attractive chests in the Universe walking around with their tops off when everybody else wants to have them deported. Preferably, anywhere life-threatening.
And espadrilles. True, your espadrilles are probably made by exploited children, but let’s not rain on your summery mellow yellow parade. Don’t forget, if it worked for Wham! It’ll work for you. Boogie on ‘til you puke as the much missed Robin Williams said.
And spare some sympathy for the animals making the donkey rides on the beach. Lousy gig, and that’s just for the donkeys. Fat, doughy kids trying to ride the poor creatures like sodding Shergar; up and down, endlessly. No wonder The Samaritan’s crisis lines spike with their calls every summer. From the donkeys, I mean.
But beware, Gentle Reader. We don’t take to this strange, benevolent, hot weather rationally. It’s accepted that levels of aggression rise with an increase in temperature. And if you want to experience the dubious joy of having seven kinds of shit knocked out of you, just wait until the next hot day and go next door to complain about a) their barbecue fumes stinking up your washing line and b) how the Rihanna on their outdoor stereo contains sexually explicit messages about banging sluts coping with well-hung men that will corrupt any child; thereby inducing them to riot butt nekkid and fornicate wherever possible.
Not too sure about community cohesion thereafter, though.
New Yorkers say, “We don’t seem to have spring anymore. It goes straight from winter to summer.” Londoners say, ” We have a summer. It lasts two days at some point between April and October.” Don’t complain, exercise your grey matter and make your own sunshine. Mood is one thing; life satisfaction is an altogether different and more important matter.
Spread the rays; bring some sunshine into the lives of others. There are plenty of fun and inventive ways to achieve this, and be crazy! The most innovative and ground-breaking ideas usually seem crazy to begin with. It doesn’t mean you should be reckless and make poor choices, such as spending all your savings, but it means a lot to give that special and exciting idea a try without fear.
Me? I love cooking, and nothing makes me feel better than to cook for someone and see the smile on their face as they enjoy your dish. Food can really have the power to lift your mood, and it can evoke different emotions and feelings. Make something special, that tastes great, and that creates good feelings in you. There is nothing better than creating something that tastes really great, and then being able to share that pleasure with others too.
And before I go, here’s a little tip. On that beautiful summers evening, when you’re preparing dinner and everything’s great, here’s a little track to play that will complete the experience. It’s “Air a Danser” by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and it’s sublime.
Enjoy. And save some Prosecco for me.