Saturday, 5 May 2012

Shorts, or no shorts? That is the question...

UK summers are often rather disappointing. Everyone hopes that the good weather will arrive, the shorts can be fished out from the back of the wardrobe and the suncream can be put into our handbags (only to be forgotten and/or ignored all together). But often, such weather fails to present itself. Nevertheless, Brits are determined to make the most of what's on offer, and at the mere sight of a bit of sunshine, they head to the beach for an ice cream and some sunburn. And I say good for them!

Yep, that's about right. (from
I on the other hand, am not at all content with the uncertainty of summer in the UK. Or the uncertainty of the weather in general. I love the sunshine. This is half the reason why I packed my bags and headed for southern Europe, knowing full well that there were to be far fewer drizzly days and lots more sun. And I was not at all disappointed by what I got. Sure, we had cold weather, we had rain, we often have a lot of wind (oo-er), but by the first week of March, we started getting some warm days. Some 'let's take off the jacket and maybe get an ice-cream' days. And now, at the beginning of May, it's a very pleasant 25 degrees. Aka, a British summer. If the whole of the British summer were like this, I don't think people would complain. Italians, however, cannot seem to get their heads around the fact that this is acceptable as a summer. I sat in my classroom the day before yesterday, with a slight shine to my face (yes, that's my way of saying I was sweating just a little). And what was I wearing? A shirt and light trousers. And that's it. Because I'm BRITISH. And 25 degrees is really rather warm.

We have noticed that here, in this region, people appear to have a specific timetable in terms of acceptable clothing. Let me explain. They dress for the season, not for the actual weather. If it's 22 degrees in March, they still have a jacket and scarf. Because it's March of course! And the fact that it's 22 degrees doesn't matter. When May arrives, almost as soon as the first day of the month comes around, heavy jackets are substituted for lighter ones, and you may even see some cropped trousers. If you're lucky. Do you know what I want to wear when it's 25 degrees? SHORTS. And a VEST. And some SANDALS. But I can guarantee, if you step outside in said attire, you will get looks. People will peek out from behind their summer jackets and marvel at the amount of leg or shoulder on show. How different it would be in the UK. It would be a sea of hot pants, boob tubes and sandals with socks

Does this kind of weather make you want to wear a jacket? No, me neither...

However, I think I may be beginning to comprehend the reason for this 'seasonal dressing' madness. If I pull out the shorts and flip flops in May, what on EARTH am I going to do come July? Walk around in the buff? I think not. The Italians are in fact on to something. They know full well that if they get the shorts out this early then July will be impossible. So they hold back. Let their bodies adjust to the heat. Yes, they may be sweating a bit in their jumper and boots but at least when the REAL summer comes along, they can get the actual summer clothes out. And these clothes will be suitable for the 40 degrees that July brings. I on the other hand, having already revealed my toes and upper arms to the world, will be melting. Literally. Into a big sweaty puddle on the floor. So, I have decided to make like an Italian, and keep the jeans until June. That way, although sweaty and hot, my legs will really feel the difference and appreciate it more when, come June, they are revealed, in all their glorious paleness. (Denim shorts are technically jeans, right..?)

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