An English Summer

Last year I observed and marvelled at British sun worship. That particular god must be very happy. I even witnessed one of their pagan solar ceremonies at Stonehenge.  This year I marvel at their complete unpreparedness for extreme hot weather. (Almost as bad as their admitted lack of preparedness for extreme cold weather during the coldest winter in London so far).  But what a human sacrifice – heartsickness, skin ageing and cancer.

No one has air-conditioning.  No one has ice in their freezer.  These English people sef.  They’re idea of cool down is sipping tepid Pimm’s’ in the garden. In the sun. And what is it with the Pimm’s anyway? I mean it tastes fine but whats the story behind it. Ask ‘What would you like to drink?’ and a chorus responds with childish eagerness “Pimm’s!” The solar nectar perhaps?

I saw some fit middle aged white dude looking very orange and sitting in the full sun in the garden of The Bull.  Ditchling. Population 2,400. A house here could easily set you back £1,000,000. The cars parked in front of the The Bull are usually Ferrari’s, Bentleys and Aston Martin’s.  Vintage. They don’t have air-conditioning at home.

Everyone is running around in as little clothing as possible.  It can get quite amusing.  If you glimpse a fully clothed figure closer inspection will reveal a female with brown skin already and obviously not in need of a tan or air on their skin for that matter.  I wrote a really bad poem last year asking if they were ashamed of their skin. I was just wondering. It didn’t win any awards.

In the tropics you avoid going outside or doing much when the sun is at its highest – usually between 11am and 5pm. By 6pm you can be sure the sun is waning and venture outside. No such luck in England. The sun comes out a 4am, its already hot by 8am and it doesn’t begin to wane till 9pm.  Vampires must hate summer.

The natives always plan all sorts of events for the summer. Brighton Pride Parade is in a few days.   There was a Naked Bike Ride last month. And there is a naturist beach nearby. What better way to overcome inhibitions about your body than to hang out with lots of other naked people. I might even finally get that all over even tan I been missing since I moved out of Lagos.  Eleko Beach used to be great for sun bathing.

Another summer observing the natives. Should be fascinating.

Copyright Lesley Agams
Copyright Lesley Agams