Updated: Oct 18
I’ve always enjoyed being warm. I am a person who wears fluffy boot slippers for almost the entire year, so you can tell summer has arrived when I finally take them off. And this time, it’s most definitely summer. It’s the first time I’ve lived somewhere where it’s actually reasonable to have outdoor swimming pools. Although I have been to the ponds in Hampstead Heath, and the lido (once) in my eight years in London, unless you’re a die-hard swimmer, there are only going to be a few weekends of the year where it’s desirable to go there.
Last week, the local outdoor swimming pool opened again for the first time since restrictions were in place. And this is a serious pool. Slides, whirlpools, huge play areas for children, it was the kind of place I dreamed of when I was a kid. Rhyl Sun Centre was as close as we got, and I remember that being pretty cool.
Rhyl v my local pool. No comparison!
Needless to say, my small one was in heaven. Having got her some armbands, she spent four
hours trotting around, jumping, walking up and down steps, splashing, giggling and generally having a brilliant time. And she wasn’t the only one. At the weekend I got my partner to come with me so I could go on all the slides. Hey, she’s not the only one that gets to have fun.
The benefits of sunshine have been lauded since Hippocrates linked seasons and health, and there are many ways that it benefits your daily life. The production of serotonin to make you all happy, and being in all that light all day means you sleep better at night. No more spinach required to get your Vitamin D either!
My computer reminds me of the slight drawbacks of sunny weather. As my ‘working from home’ space is at the top of the house, I’ve found that, in the afternoons, it starts whirring and complaining as the temperature increases. With heat comes fatigue. I’ve had to move down to the living room in order to maximise brain function on the more sweltering days. I've found that it's particularly the creative stuff that's suffering. Inventing new things is tricky when my brain is too hot.
This is the view at the top of the hill. Hello, summer. Please stay.
It reminds me of the punishing conditions I used to teach in. People that work for private companies are always amazed by this, but it was absolutely standard to have no temperature control at all in school buildings. Whenever there’s a summer heatwave, there’s a scramble to find the five working fans on the premises and lock them in a cupboard so you can teach without melting into a tiny puddle on the floor. In the last school I worked at, one side of the English corridor was unbearable in the mornings, the other in the afternoons. If they were free, we’d swap over to save ourselves from the constant moaning about how it was too hot to work. To be fair, they had a point.
But I don’t want to complain too much. I might need to invest in a fan and stock up on ice cubes for my water, but the sight of clear blue skies and that gentle hum that hangs over the world when it’s hot is more than worth it. Stay as long as you like, sunny weather.
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