Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunshine, Procrastination and the Hottest Day of the Year

I love sunny weather so much I often wonder why I don’t actually live somewhere that has a bit more sun than this very wet (if lovely in so many other ways) island I live on. I’m certainly enjoying the weather we are getting this year. There is so much more sunshine than usual. It’s a far cry from the last two summers we have had - particularly 2007, when it seemed to rain all the time.

In fact, today it is so hot, I think it may well be the hottest day of the year so far in the part of England where I live. This is a shame for my husband, who went to London by train today. Although it is a fairly short commute, there is nothing like the steamy inside of the London tube system on a hot day. The trains resemble a cross between a sardine tin and a pressure cooker, which is one of the most unappealing combinations you can imagine. I’m very lucky to be able to stay in the suburbs, and if I do have to go out, I have a car with a retractable roof so I can feel the breeze in my hair.

I have, of course, wacked on copious amounts of sunscreen - factor 50 believe it or not. I’m so pale, you can practically see through my skin in places and the sun and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. The only tan I get anymore is from a bottle. I can’t even use proper self tan, as it turns my skin so dark it looks a bit odd - and that is when I use the “light” or “pale skin” versions. So I use those moisturisers that gradually tint your skin. I had a bit of a false start this year though. I used the same one I’ve been using for years, but without the same results. It’s by L’Oreal and I don’t know if it was my skin that changed or the formulation but a) it smelled really odd and b) the colour came out slightly to the orange side of tan (not enough to be noticed by anyone else, but enough for me to think “oh dear”). So I decided to splash out on a much more expensive Clarins “Golden Glow Body Lotion”. It promised “year round hydration and sun-kissed skin” and it delivered. It’s fantastic. It smells like proper body lotion (not like chemicals) and really did give my skin a “golden glow” after just one application which is quite challenging when you are working with skin as pale as mine. I am impressed. I guess you do get what you pay for, even with self tan.

While I may be keeping my skin up to date in terms of protecting it and keeping it looking summery, the warm weather seems to be exacerbating my unfortunate habit of procrastinating with just about everything else. Once again there is an ironing monster, and even though I have a new cleaner starting on Wednesday, I don’t think she’ll have time for ironing this week. She’s got her work cut out for her just with the house. Plus, it’s my son’s school prom tonight and he needs his shirt and suit pressed by close of play today. I’ve known about this for months, and it isn’t as if his dinner suit and dress shirt are something he wears every day - I could have ironed it in the cool days following the 21st birthday party he wore it to a couple of weeks ago. But no, I have procrastinated, and now will be ironing on the hottest day of the year so far. Will I never learn??

I’m particularly glad that this week promises to be so nice weather-wise, as for the first time ever, we have tickets to the tennis at Wimbledon. Getting tickets to Wimbledon is a huge challenge. First you have to apply, and your name goes in a draw. (Only one entry per household is allowed.) If your name is drawn out you are offered tickets on a specific day for a specific court (no choice). If you are able to attend, you can then buy up to two tickets (no more). If you are unable to attend, that’s your chance gone for the year, and the tickets go back into the ballot. Well, this year, not only did we get tickets for a day we could go, but we got Centre Court tickets for the last week of the competition. I am completely over the moon about this, having watched Wimbledon for years on television and always wanted to attend. Thursday is the big day and my husband and I can’t wait. I’m sad our son can’t come too, but there are only two tickets and as he is younger than we are, he has not been wanting to attend for quite so long as we have!

In the spirit of motivation, I’ve just gone and sat outside in the steamy heat, and eaten a beautiful, juicy nectarine. Ah, the pleasures of summer! Now I’ll just go and heat up the iron and get on with my chores....

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