Finally, last week, the sun reached the British Islands. Temperatures soared to 25 degrees, every single patch of grass pullulated with Britons sun bathing and turning progressively pink (ignoring the weather man warning always to wear sun screen – the weather man in Britain sound like a HIV campaign: REMEMBER, ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTION), crowds of Pimm’s drinkers gathered outside pubs and restaurant… It was fun, colorful, it was… a normal week in late spring.
This for about two hours. After that, a word started crawling its way up to the British collective conscience… It’s HOT. Oh dear, it’s so hot, it’s scorching! people started winging, oh my goodness I’m sweating!!
The first reaction of “aliens” like me in front of such complains is usually “are you kidding?” It’s been raining for a month. 25C isn’t scorching, it isn’t even remotely near to hot. 25C degrees is just about pleasant, it’s what allows you to leave home, for a change, without looking like an onion – covered in layers of clothes that you’ll have to peel off only in order to put them back after five minutes. 25C during the day still means night temperatures of around 13C. Not exactly “sitting outdoors” conditions. At 13C people in “normal” countries wear coats and hats!
But the best thing happens on the Tube. Come late May, at every station loudspeakers start broadcasting the message “in this hot weather always carry a bottle of water with you when travelling on the London underground.” I want to suspect Travel for London is rehearsing a comedy show as I can’t imagine anyone dying for lack of dehydration on a twenty minute journey on the Tube. You must always carry a bottle of water if you’re crossing the Sahara, if you visit the Death Valley, if you’re on a boat in the middle of the sea. But on the Tube??? Are they serious???
The only result of such panicked messages is to install in the British minds the absurd idea that hot (or what they think is hot, ie 25 degrees) is bad. Hot is dangerous. Hot is only to be enjoyed in very small doses or when on holiday abroad…
Result, after three sunny days Britons starts missing the rain. They do. I swear. They truly truly do.
“Oh, but it’s so boring having hot weather for months,” they say, “isn’t it?” No it isn’t. It’s called SEASONS. Spring is warm, summer is hot, autumn is mild and winter is cold.
“Miserable weather produces great arts, culture and literature!”
Hmmm… Can I kindly remind you civilization started in Greece? Where temperatures all through summer stay well over 33C??? And how about the Renaissance? Florence isn’t exactly renowned for its rain. How about French and Spanish poetry and novels and arts? You’re not making any sense! You’re a country of miserable sods who enjoy their misery!
Anyway, four days later of course the sun goes away again and the rain comes back. The weather man, looking particularly pleased, says “finally we can enjoy some fresher nights” (FRESHER? It’s so bloody freezing I need the heating on) “and rain is very good news for our gardens!”
Oh, the gardens, of course. Nothing is more important than gardens in life, isn’t it. You might need to drink yourself unconscious to relieve your misery but God forbid your dahlias should suffer!
Honestly, I think there’s something profoundly wrong with this country, which explains its problems, its general unhappiness, its violence and its ridiculous levels of alcoholism. People who can’t enjoy the sun, who can’t enjoy the warmth, who can’t enjoy what such things do to your body (apart from making you sweat), can’t enjoy life. Summer is a celebration if life at its peak. People strip off their clothes, let themselves be more in contact with nature, stop hiding. They stay out until later hours because there’s more light, they socialize, eat together, talk together. In “normal” countries summer is the time to sit outside our house in the evening and talk to your neighbours until the early hours. Of leaving work behind. Of eating lighter food and have ice creams.
Summer is sensual, intense, passionate. All adjectives unknown to the British psyche.
Because the British can’t appreciate such things, because they’re attracted to them but scared of them, because they can’t produce endorphins in a natural way, they need artificial enhancement to avoid getting suicidal. So they drink. Alcohol is their substitute for sunny days. Alcohol is what makes them intense, chatty and inhibited. They drink and drink and they can’t see that all they need is to start enjoy life starting from right in front of them: the elements. So even when they do have the opportunity of grabbing “natural enjoyment”, they refuse it. They start moaning that it’s too hot.

Yes I know, now you’re all wondering why the hell I’m still in London if I resent the British so much. Well, number one, London is full of non-British, which is what makes it a great city. Two, there’s only one thing that sunny countries have been unable to produce, at least in the last 2000 years: great theatre. Yes, I’m in London for the theatre. Theatre has undeniably proved itself to be the greatest love of my life… Some people move abroad to follow their love… I did it for mine.
Which is why I’m really looking forward to the invention of a time machine. Then I’ll travel back to ancient Greece, where, they had it all: theatre, arts, literature, philosophy. And all of this open air.
Now, wouldn’t that be swell!


3 thoughts on “HERE COMES THE SUN, LALALA…

  1. Perhaps after living in England for a while I too would moan. As a matter of fact , I am Italian, but there’s something wrong with me: I hate hot weather ( as well as many other Italian “typicalities”). We had temperatures up to 35° last week and I started wondering how I could possibly go on working till mid-July. So … I’d like to live in London even though I know British people tend to drink a lot and not to be passionate or spontaneous. Every country and every people have got their pros and cons. Would you rather see or hear Berlusconi or someone talking about him any time you turn the TV on? By the way, Have you heard the latest?
    About a certain “Legge D’Alia”? Only Beppe Grillo on his blog and few other bloggers have written about it. It’s appalling. READ THIS (it’s just copied as I read it online) :
    ” Berlusconi e i suoi sferrano il colpo definitivo alla libertà della rete internet per metterla sotto controllo.
    Ieri nel voto finale al Senato che ha approvato il cosiddetto pacchetto sicurezza (disegno di legge 733), tra gli altri provvedimenti scellerati come l´obbligo di denuncia per i medici dei pazienti che sono immigrati clandestini e la schedatura dei senza tetto, con un emendamento del senatore Gianpiero D´ Alia (UDC), è
    stato introdotto l`articolo 50-bis, “Repressione di attività di apologia o istigazione a delinquere compiuta a mezzo internet”.
    Il testo la prossima settimana approderà alla Camera.
    E nel testo approdato alla Camera l´articolo è diventato il nr. 60.
    Anche se il senatore Gianpiero D´Alia (UDC) non fa parte della maggioranza al Governo, questo la dice lunga sulla trasversalità del disegno liberticida della “Casta” che non vuole scollarsi dal potere.
    In pratica se un qualunque cittadino che magari scrive un blog dovesse invitare a disobbedire a una legge che ritiene ingiusta, i provider dovranno bloccarlo.
    Questo provvedimento può obbligare i provider a oscurare un sito ovunque si trovi, anche se all´estero.
    Il Ministro dell´interno, in seguito a comunicazione dell´autorità giudiziaria, può disporre con proprio decreto l´interruzione della attività del blogger, ordinando ai fornitori di connettività alla rete internet di utilizzare gli appositi strumenti di filtraggio necessari a tal fine.
    L´attività di filtraggio imposta dovrebbe avvenire entro il termine di 24 ore.
    La violazione di tale obbligo comporta una sanzione amministrativa pecuniaria da euro 50.000 a euro 250.000 per i provider e il carcere per i blogger da 1 a 5 anni per l´istigazione a delinquere e per l´apologia di reato, da 6 mesi a 5 anni per l´istigazione alla disobbedienza delle leggi di ordine pubblico o all´odio fra le classi sociali.
    Immaginate come potrebbero essere ripuliti i motori di ricerca da tutti i link scomodi per la Casta con questa legge?
    Si stanno dotando delle armi per bloccare in Italia Facebook, Youtube, il blog di Beppe Grillo e tutta l´informazione libera che viaggia in rete e che nel nostro Paese è ormai l´unica fonte informativa non censurata.
    Il nostro è l´unico Paese al mondo, dove una media company, Mediaset, ha chiesto 500 milioni di risarcimento a YouTube.
    Vi rendete conto?”
    I am convinced you live in a more civilized country. Have you heard of any Italian Minister or Member of Parliament who resigned due to a small or big scandal? Definitely rare! Hardly ever!
    Sorry for my long, maybe too long comment/digression. Hope you don’t mind.
    Anyhow, I love your posts.

  2. Maria Grazia now here’s an Italian woman who talks sense, I wonder are you single? keep your 33c spontaneity and toupee wearing right wing autocrats. We’ll stick with rain, west end theatre, parliamentary democracy and William Blake(His cold horrors silent, dark Urizen Prepar’d; his ten thousands of thunders,Rang’d in gloom’d array, stretch out across
    The dread world; and the rolling of wheels,
    As of swelling seas, sound in his clouds,
    In his hills of stor’d snows, in his mountains
    Of hail and ice; voices of terror Are heard, like thunders of autumn When the cloud blazes over the harvests)

    Who Cursed with a permanent tan constant sunshine and affable neighbours would have been a very different poet.

  3. While making light of the British lets not forget us Americans. We are such a Hodge podge of culture and confusion that no one understands us not even ourselves. I do envy you the London theater, I would move there too just for that.

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