It’s January, a New Year, and I’d like to change prevailing attitudes towards...summer.
Yes, you heard right.
I totally get that it’s a quintessential part of our ‘Kiwi Culture’: stubbies, sunburn, wifebeaters, barbies, and warm beer with every other New Zealander who decided to show up in the Coromandel.
We languish under our quasi-tropical paradise and say “Gee Golly! I’ve been waiting all year for this!” (like straight out of a 40s Disney cartoon), until the temperature climbs somewhere over 25 degrees, and our masochistic, pain-loving sensibility switches to non-stop groveling and utter misery, awaiting the soothing return of Winter.
Now, I may be one of the few, but I know I’m not alone: I can’t stand summer.
Come November, and my stress-free, sweat-free winter has been turned on its head in to become and sweltering mess of fuzzy-headedness, incessant sneezing, and a distressing pink tinge to my forehead thanks to a day-glo Scottish inheritance.
My girlfriend and I tried to work out at least one thing good and decent about summer, coming up trumps aside from the idea that lemonade iceblocks were slightly inappropriate when a crinkly frost coats the ground.
It’s probably the sheer inanity of summer that I can’t stand – it seems to largely involve lying about and “soaking up the rays” either at the beach, on a veranda, outside a pub, in the park across the road, or any other open space woefully devoid of shade.
It reeks of that scene from Constantine where Keanu Reeves wanders about in Hell as evil spirits languish in the eternal fire.
A good, decent winter is bracing and gritty. It makes one feel alive and mildly exhilarated, determined to beat the rain and actually get something done for once!
Summer is the lazy, lethargic, soul-destorying opposite.
So here’s my heart’s desire.
Because we’ll be inundated with searing heat for the next three months, I’d like to issue a challenge to the average weatherman and weatherlady to not proclaim the “good news” whenever a crushing heat wave heads our way. And equally, to not slander a storm front as if it were the arrival of The Four Horsemen.
Instead, why not keep it objective and indifferent, and let the masochists make their own minds up as to whether 21 degrees plus is anything other than a motivation-deterrent?
It’s hard enough coping with an indignant meteorologist, let alone a salmon-coloured zombie army emerging from a shimmering horizon.
So, Mr Weatherman, as you televise your weather propaganda in your air-conditioned studio, spare a thought for those longing for the cooler months.