It’s the first day of spring
These are all the things you’re about to start doing
In those (literally) darker moments of January – when you dressed in the half-light and proceeded about your day somnambulant and despondent – you were too self-involved to acknowledge this day would come. But it has – it is spring. We have officially passed out of winter and into the light.
The arrival of spring demands a new code of conduct: sincerity and smiles instead of winter’s sarcasm and smirks, optimism instead pessimism. And forgetting that you don’t have olive skin – no matter how much you insist you do – and that your nose has gone red and prickly in the weak sunshine.
These are all the other things you’re about to start doing.
Stubbornly not wearing a jumper even though you are definitely cold
All year round, you get it a bit wrong – throughout winter, you probably wore one jumper too many, or persevered with a scarf even though it was creating a slick, sweaty ring around your neck. Now it is spring, you will veer off the other way. Overnight, you will start wearing your lightweight jacket instead of your coat, even though the temperature has not changed, and the arrival of spring is largely symbolic, at this point. Nonetheless you will not take a jumper out and you will not concede that you are uncomfortable. Of course we can sit outside! No, I’m not cold!
Wearing something really rogue
“Mannish” shirt and teeny floral shorts and Stan Smiths? You go girl!
In winter you’ll happen upon a Facebook picture of yourself in this “get-up”. The Stan Smiths make your calves look stumpy.
Knowing obsessively what the weather is going to be like
In the UK, winter is largely unremarkable. Occasionally, we have a cold snap; usually, we have several months of spittle and bluster and darkness. You don’t have to check. If pressed, you might venture that it was colder yesterday than it is today? Other than that you don’t really have opinions on the weather other than it makes your soul feel a bit like sludge.
Come spring, though, you will be able to tell people how warm it is, to the precise degree. You are invested in the variations in clime and weather – you will check, days in advance, “what the weekend is looking like”. Perhaps you will download another weather app. Because suddenly, the difference between bluster and gales really matters.
Instagramm-ing pictures of blossom and daffodils
B a s i c.
But you don’t want to look like you didn’t go outside this weekend, so here we are. 17 likes.
Talking about summer
Obviously, spring is just a reason to talk about summer, because you are never satisfied with what you have. And as soon as spring turns, someone starts a WhatsApp group. As does someone else, and someone else. And you start to wonder how you have passed through so many seasons still knowing all of these people.
There’s the Glastonbury one – “guys, we should really start thinking about tents” NO WE SHOULDN’T IT’S IN JUNE – and the one about the group holiday to Portugal – “guys we should really start thinking about accommodation” YES WE SHOULD IT’S TOO LATE AND ALL THE FAMILIES HAVE BOOKED ALL THE GOOD STUFF. There is the one to plan for a pub trip in two weeks’ time. That’s technically during spring, but is still annoying.
You’ll do one really weird activity which will get boring, fast, but everyone will have to pretend it hasn’t because ‘it’s SPRING!’
Going on a boating lake. Playing frisbee. Playing tennis. Playing football. Playing croquet. Going to Ape Escape. Renting rollerblades. Renting bikes. Going to a national park.
Later, when you are all sitting down – safe, still – with a cider you will all do a really good job of pretending that was worth it.
Going for a run
The weather made you do it. You limber up, with the determined expression of someone who “does this all the time” (the pedestrians will never know). You make it round the park, quite successfully.
Later that week, you describe yourself as “a runner”.
Going for a walk
You have manufactured an excellent excuse to go to the pub.
You have a new selection of most-used emojis
For isn’t this really how we measure the progression of our lives? In winter, it’s the gun, the skull, the sassy nails emoji to dampen the pierce of that washpish comment, the crying emoji, the cheeky one with its sticky out tongue.
In spring, though, you see the world in a softer focus. You use flowers and sunshine and pints. Indeed, a whole row of your “most-used” keyboard is given over to different blooms (the pink one, the yellow one, the bunch of flowers). You are also inserting the dancing girls and the sunglasses into much of your correspondence. Occasionally you might use the bow. You were drunk.
Having a picnic
Someone brings one of those netted bags of Babybel and briefly – fleetingly – you are really, truly, content.