Shortcutting… The Summer

23 May

At risk of ‘jinxing it’, I am going to acknowledge the arrival of our dear Sun, after weeks of our less dear rain, here in London. Having barely retracted our umbrellas, we’re now frantically rummaging for our sunglasses and our incredibly chic wide-brimmed sunhats (I’m sensitive okay!) as we set out into summer. But there’s so much more to summer than just sunglasses and hats isn’t there? It’s a whole mentality, an entirely different way of living, and, come September, the population can be divided into summer winners and summer losers. If you want to ensure your place in the former category, then read on…

1) That tan. I’m going to assume you wouldn’t be here if you already knew how to get the perfect tan. If you don’t it’s probably time to accept that it ain’t going to happen, not naturally anyway. But don’t despair: there are some alternative options. I really don’t like the idea of sunbeds – is it really worth risking skin cancer to look like a glass of Tropicana? Instead, I’d say spray is the way, if you really want to tan, and you can even get these tinted moisturizer type things which are less long-lasting, and therefore a bit more forgiving of mistakes. But as a non-tanner myself, I prefer to stubbornly repeat the mantra ‘tanned skin is damaged skin’, and just pile on the factor 50. I like to think that the fact that my skin doesn’t tan means that a tan wouldn’t suit me anyway. But definitely avoid that burn at all costs.

2) Not passing out. The heat can be hot. I am very susceptible to headaches, hence the hat, and I often find the heat of the summer nigh on unbearable. But there are some ways to keep it just about bearable. Firstly, dress for summer. Even if you feel that the revealing clothes of summer aren’t really your thang, I can assure you that they are more your thang than sweating in a heavy black overcoat. Also, bring a bottle of water around you. Now I know warm water isn’t the most thirst-quenching drink, but if you try freezing the water first, then it will gradually melt throughout the day, so you have constant access to cool water. Yum. Oh and most importantly of all, find the nearest place with air conditioning and go there a lot. It’s the only true relief from the incessant rays of summer.

3) Holidays. If you’re lucky enough to be going away, packing is always pretty difficult. My first piece of advice would be: assume you can buy NOTHING at the hotel/ in the village/ wherever you’re going. I always leave a few things off my list, saying naively: “I’ll get it once I’m there.” No you won’t, former self, no. you. won’t. If you make a mistake as foolish as this, you will spend your entire summer holiday without sunglasses/ mosquito repellent/ [insert essential thing here]. Secondly, do not pack light. Try and bring as many clothes as you can possibly stuff into your suitcase, because you will find when you get to your destination that you actually don’t like half of your clothes. This half cannot be predicted beforehand: it will be utterly random. So just bring the lot. Finally, check if there’s WiFi wherever you’re going. If there isn’t don’t go. You won’t be able to read my blog.

Be a summer winner this year.

Keep shortcutting,



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