The sun, the fierce, scorching tropical sun. Quickly, hand me my pith helmet, pass me the sunscreen and chuck me a gin sling, I don’t think I can take these searing temperatures much longer.
Which is just as well, since it could be snowing by Tuesday.
We don’t do hot weather well here. It’s partly genetic. You look at my mum. She’s a tiny Scottish person who looks like a Scottish person. She has hair of much redness. Admittedly, the shades vary a tad these days, depending on what’s written on the bottle. ‘LA Sunset’ was a favourite, but now it’s something she gets from one of those I Can’t Believe It’s a Pound shops. The instructions are in Polish. It could be called Good Morning Gdansk, or G’Day Gdansk for the Australian market.
However, underneath this month’s choice of tone, she’s still a redhead, like many of our nation, and with it goes the skin that can be pale enough to glow faintly in the dark, like those strange undersea fish that hang about deep water vents with their mouths hanging open. Or is that Cockburn Street goth teenagers?
The minute the sunlight hits her, mummy starts to burn. I’ve seen the effects of her standing in front of the open fridge door for too long.
Our sunny clime wardrobe seldom stands close examination. The men of other nations may swagger with the confidence of the stylish, wearing loose linen jackets with aplomb, sporting the espadrille ankle, exposing brown flesh below the trouser hem, but not us.
Our men may cast off the anorak, but only to expose the last year’s Lanzarote T-shirt, which unfortunately does not bear frequent washing and has thus taken on a weirdly lumpy outline. And men without socks in Scotland tend to be regarded as forgetful at best, poverty stricken at worst.
Our women put up a better fight, sloughing of the winter woollies and the thick tights, and then realising they still look like they have the thick tights on. Remember, refusing to shave your legs during a Scottish winter is not solely a feminist option; it also means you have an extra layer of insulation.
A few hair-raising sights in Great Junction Street
With spring’s arrival, young ladies stampede to the beauticians for Brazilian waxes, where, I am reliably informed, you are left with a strip of hair where the sun doesn’t shine. Dalkeith, possibly.
Here in Leith we favour the Great Junction Street Stripe, frequently spotted in the Kirkgate. It’s where you are left with a strip of hair somewhere obvious, notably on the back of the calf where you have failed to reach with the Bic for the first shave of spring.
It’s time to strike a blow for every sun-worshipper in the Capital
Anyway, here in Edinburgh, we don’t really need to concern ourselves too much with the effects of searing sun on pallid flesh, do we now? No, and we all know why.
It can be blistering in the Borders, peeling in Peebles and scorchio all the way to Stirling, but Edinburgh, oh no.
We have our own sunscreen, the thick white haar that just seems to sit waiting off the coast for the first sign of a cast-off cardy and in it moves, leaving us screaming at the weather girl on the telly for wittering on about what a nice day it’s been.
Last week, I swear, I couldn’t find John Lewis in the fog.
Now, I might just run for the council if I can propose the following. Go with me on this. A sort of giant hairdryer arrangement, on top of Arthur’s Seat, to blow the haar back out to sea. Yes, I am aware of the difficulties of such an engineering feat.
For one thing, where are we going to get all the hot air necessary to drive the fog banks away? Look at the foot of the hill, people! There’s an endless supply – the Tories alone produce enough hot air to keep us fog free for a year!
Yet another half-baked Tory idea
Let me get this straight. There is VAT on a pasty that is ambient. But there isn’t on one that is cold. I thought ambient meant it could walk? Are there walking Cornish pasties? Sounds like a horror film, Attack of The Walking Pasties.
Oh, so it’s room temperature, I see. Whose room, exactly? My gran kept her room at steel smelting temperatures, whereas my dad had a habit of reducing the ambient temperature to a level that could freeze woolly mammoths.
How do you know when the pasty temperature isn’t ambient any more? Is there a VAT thermometer somewhere?
I’d like to ponder this further, but I must go and fill up my car with diesel.
The man from the government says I shouldn’t panic because they have the situation under control. They know what they’re talking about.
One word. Pasties.