Thursday, 1 April 2010

Out with the cold, in with stupidity.

Spring has sprung and I should be full of the joys ... but I am not. After a winter of distinct discontent and dark dreary days mired by recession, freezing temperatures and general hard bloody work, I was looking forward to enjoying – nay, revelling – in the mellow and sublime British springtime. What form does this revelling take, I hear you cry. (Those who know me understand that I am not a natural partaker in revelry.)

Well, it might include strolling past daffodils in the park, sitting outside a cafe sipping a cosy hot chocolate as I watch the world roll by or going for a brisk walk along the Thames. But all my attempts in this direction have been thwarted by the sheer annoyance that has risen up within and turned my innards into a writhing mass of knotted irritation.

This particular strain of annoyance was triggered when I was waiting for my friend on a pleasant springtime Saturday morning. As I stood outside Waterloo Station, I saw the most incredible sight: a trio of girls were walking out with no coats on. Not only had they failed to adorn their bodies in the vital warmth provider that is the blessed coat; they also had short sleeves and bare arms. By the time my friend arrived I was incredulous and spitting a rant on the subject of the madness of the British public.

But just consider for a moment the fact that this sight was not a one-off. Later that week I saw a woman hurrying past me with no coat and showing bare arms and legs. You might well hurry, lady, I thought to myself, but speed ain’t gonna keep you warm.

I keep seeing people behaving as though we are in the midst of a heat wave. I just cannot fathom why we go through this year after year. The moment a weak, struggling ray of spring sun descends upon Britain, the public goes mad. They discard their clothes and all rational thought along with them. They step out and display their pasty limbs which, frankly, should be kept firmly covered until there is no danger of goose bumps making their legs and arms look like chicken skin.

Is it just the British who suffer from this over enthusiasm for the sun? Are we the only nation that has no concept of temperature? Why are we so keen to display our flesh? It is unsightly, undignified and distasteful.

I will be keeping my coat firmly on my back until the temperature is at least in double figures. In the mean time, I am trying to avoid the ugly sight of pale chicken skin, so I am limited as to where I can go. The park is out. The riverside walk is out. And I can kiss daffodil-gazing goodbye. Please, people, I want to see the spring. Put your clothes back on. Read more by Naomi.