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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Summer's Here: Yay and Pah Says Fair-Minded Local Girl

First of all, let me start by saying that OBVIOUSLY, I like this nice sunny weather as much as the next person. It's clearly FAR easier to drag yourself out of bed in the morning when the sun is beaming cheerfully through the curtains, and the thrill of buying your first ice-creams for the year in your weekly supermarket run can under no circumstances be underestimated.

But. An unseasonably early run of temperate climate conditions is not ALL good news, and in the interests of the fair, balanced journalism for which I am internationally renowned, I feel it is up to me to try to counteract a Twitter timeline that currently consists almost entirely of people using the words "yippee", "lovely" and "gorgeous" in only minorly varying combinations. Here are a few of the significant downsides to all of these Spring-time shenanigans:

1. Sunny weather's poor inability to differentiate between a weekend and a school day. There are not really any problems, as far as I can see, with having nice weather on a day you're not working. For me, those days are Saturday and Sunday, and very nice they were too. However, as I have spent the whole of yesterday and today teaching in a stuffy classroom with a window the approximate size of a postage stamp (presumably to discourage any ideas students might have about escaping through the window whilst my back is turned, perhaps engaged in writing a particularly tricky spelling on the board), I have not really benefitted from this. Bright pink students coming into the room wearing shorts and exclaiming about how nice it is outside do NOT help matters.

2. Lack of communication between blazing sun and unhelpfully earthy contents of weekly vegetable box. Now, I'm very fond of root vegetables. Very fond. And yet, you'd think Mother Nature would send some kind of communication between the sky and the earth, giving a basic heads-up that hot weather is on the way and thereby avoiding a sorrowful scenario in which one wishes to make a light frisky salad, but has to do so only equipped with swede, carrots and parsnips.

3. Difficult sartorial decisions. It's all well and good being a million degrees by lunchtime - what about the dangerously nippy walk across the carpark at seven thirty in the morning? There are three possible options here: wear nice thick winter tights, which will be unbearably hot and uncomfortable by lunchtime; go daringly bare-legged, which will necessitate a virtual sprint to the office (and don't even THINK about stopping for petrol) but will pay off later; or my own personal choice of wearing tights and then whipping them off mid-morning. The only downside to this particular manoeuvre that I have discovered thus far is the look of shock and terror on the face of the only male member of staff in the office at the female disrobement unfolding before his startled eyes.

4. Garden guilt complex. Now, obviously I'm fortunate to have a garden, but as it spends a good 95% of the year making me feel guilty, lazy and neglectful, this is something of a double-edged sword. In fact, the only time my garden looks nice is when it's been snowing, and all offending eyesores are smoothed into a perfect white blanket. Luckily, for most of winter it's entirely possible to ignore the garden altogether and have another glass of wine instead; however, whilst it's clearly lovely to be able to hang one's washing on the line again, having to climb over a stack of dead weeds and last year's tomato plants to even reach the lawn brings it home loud and clear that work needs to be done.

*makes note to commence nagging Mr Liz re: garden*

5. Inability to stay at home and get anything done, ever. I'm aware that certain regular readers of this blog may have (erroneously) come to the conclusion that I go out all the time, and maintain my superlative ligging record by only agreeing to drink wine on days that have a "y" in them; I can assure you, however, that this is most definitely not true. I spend a great many sober, industrious evenings at home, cooking healthy nutritious meals and completing intellectual, mind-improving actities; it's just I choose not to write about them. Trouble is, when the weather is like this, the mind-improving activities are the first thing to be jettisoned, to be replaced with general lying about - perhaps in a beer garden, perhaps in the park, or perhaps just on the bed with the windows open while the cat flops limply by my side.

Take last night, for example. I certainly didn't MEAN to go into Didsbury, and sit outside Felicini in the sun, drinking Happy Hour Birra Moretti at £2.85 a bottle. I DEFINITELY can't then be held responsible for being lured inside said restaurant, where we lounged on a couch as the gentle breeze wafted through the open doors, and feasted on taster platters piled high with bresaola, chorizo and prosciutto, with mozarella and rocket and shaved parmesan, with hummus and stuffed vine leaves. And no-one in their right mind would blame me for choosing to dine on zingy Crab and Coriander Linguine rather than the poor old mardy-faced swede waiting dejectedly at home. And even better, all week this most sunny of restaurants is offering a 40% discount from your food bill - just follow them on Twitter (@feliciniD) to snaffle your secret code.

So, I hope that a sense of balance is now restored regarding all this giddiness. Rest assured though, I'll be the FIRST to complain when the wet weather returns - swede casserole, anyone?

- Felicini is at 747 - 751 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6RN; tel. 0161 445 2055.

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