Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring has sprung

Another period of extended absence – sorry – I get quite distracted you know.

Anyway, as I’m easing my way back in to this, I’ll just continue on from the other week. Spring is apparently here (according to the BBC):

Outlook for Friday to Sunday
Sunshine for most of the week then becoming breezy on Saturday with some patchy rain on Sunday
…and London is nearly a buzz with sunshine, cheeriness and a birds tweeting.

It’s the subtle things in the Capital you notice that let you know it’s Spring. Fire and a booth become alfresco; beer is replaced by cider; and red wine by white/rose (you drink a lot here, obviously). Last night we were able to sit outside for at least two drinks before having to retreat in doors.
We’re coming in to my seventh UK summer now and the automatic question becomes: “how do you deal with the weather?” However this question is primarily asked by English – not the Aussies. And the answer is Seasons.

Now I’m from Melbourne where the Seasons are hot and dry, hot and wet, chilly and wet, and cold and wet. In fact, I’ll go so far as saying the UK’s weather is better than ours. Not in summer of course, but as a general rule, it trumps us.

Well, it’s how you look at it.

Spring is here and the excitement in the air is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Every night brims with possibilities and excitement, the beer garden and the pavement – people everywhere – all coming out of their winter slumber. There's smiling, there's conversation, there's such gaiety that a Gilbert and Sullivan musical wouldn't be a miss.
Kings Cross Tuesday night - going off!!
I personally like watching the ‘is it cold or is it warm’ debate that people so subtly have on the tube as one person drops the window and 10 seconds later someone puts it up. It’s the Northern Line Mexican Stand Off.

This leads in to Summer, where the appreciation for the tiniest glimmer of sunshine is so high that anything about 18 degrees with slight cloud is viewed as a sign from the Gods, and rambunctious tanners fall outside in an effort to get the slightest dose of vitamin D – it’s like a festival.

Autumn comes around and the lead in to Christmas begins – will it snow, won’t it snow – and the leaves start falling.

The Winter hits and it’s in to the pub. Every night is around the fire, wine in hand. In fact, I go out more in winter than I do summer I reckon! And then cycle repeats.

So that's how we deal with the UK weather here - pretty easy isn't it?

...but I've heard all this bullshit before, so I just went to Italy for a week.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Erect nipples....(not what you think)

Nearly 7 years ago I landed in the UK. In that time I’ve lived, lounged, loved, longed, lamented and laughed at all the things this fine country has thrown my way, and had a lovely time doing it.
But what the fuck is this 6 month winter?

I'm on the right.

What has roused me from literary slumber to come up for air and pen my first opinionated diatribe in a year? Read on.

It’s been just over a year since I last updated my blog. I remember it well. It was my birthday – middle of March – and that morning I was strolling across Clapham Common in the sunshine with nothing more than a hangover and contented smile. What's the main point here - see that word ‘sunshine’. This year we couldn't even wander the streets as we needed to avoid the wind and chill!

I for one feel jilted. We all sit here being told about global warming, hottest summers on record, etc, but how on earth is this passing us by? Even when I got here I was treated to an amazing summer: Summer Loving
Honestly, it’s like being given a complimentarily gift before subscribing. So I for one have decided to complain.

Dear Britain,

Seven years ago I decided to subscribe to your country and way of life. Your introductory offer of four proper seasons, split in to three month increments over the course of a year was both appealing and advantageous to my lifestyle. Summer was jovial and free, Autumn was comfortable, Winter was all skiing, fires and red wine, and Spring was excitable.

However, over time I have since been disappointed to find your service lacking.

In recent years I feel that rather than delivering on your initial product, you have come to rely on me being an existing customer and had faith that my complacency would keep me loyal. Whilst this has been the case, my time with you and your countrymen has taught me a valuable lesson – the ability to politely complain.

While I appreciate that you have offered me numerous ‘sweetners’, such as location, fried chicken and being to be drunk at 11am and not be looked down upon, your inability to rectify issues with your core product is disappointing.

Unfortunately, given the loyalty points you award me in the form of £ are pretty much worthless when exchanged with numerous others around the world and my fondness of your staff, I’m limited in my options. However, I do want this to serve as a warning, as many of my friends have cancelled their subscriptions and returned to their previous providers, citing the reasons above.

Yours Sincerely,
Bart Nash