Literally why do all British people do these strange things when the sun comes out?
We’re weird. We’re weirdos. We don’t fit in and we don’t want to fit in
British people don’t get proper seasons. This we accept as a fact of life. Our lives are 70 per cent winter and then a little bit of Autumn and at most, on a good year, like, five days of warm sunshine.
So it makes sense that whenever the sun does come out, we all lose our minds a little bit. We engage in strange cultural traditions that from an anthropological perspective, just don’t make sense to anyone outside Britain. Things like this:
SUDDENLY DRINKING ONLY FRUITY CIDERS SO SWEET IT COULD MELT YOUR TEETH
You convince yourself that the likes of Strongbow Dark Fruits and Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime are delicious and refreshing, despite having the taste of melted Brighton Rock and the texture of molasses – and don’t even get us started on Brothers. After a pint and a half your entire jaw will ache, your tongue will be fizzing and your eyes will have dried out, like a parched rodent in the desert. Still, it looks good on your Instagram.
DRINKING PRE-MIXED GIN & TONIC OUT OF TINS
Despite the fact that it tastes 20 times more metallic and 30 times less alcoholic than a gin & tonic you buy in a bar, there’s something about cracking open one of those criminally small cans which makes you feel like Summer has arrived. It just isn’t the same out of a crumpled Evian bottle, you know?
DRINKING LITERALLY ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, AT ANY TIME OF DAY
In normal weather conditions British drinking traditions are lax, but when the sun comes out we lose our minds entirely. Only after 5pm? Only on the weekend? Fuck that, it’s sunny, and I am gonna spend every second of this glorious opportunity absolutely shitfaced.
TALKING ABOUT THE WEATHER TO EVERYONE AND ANYONE AT ANY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY
Isn’t it a lovely day, grandma? Isn’t a lovely day work colleague? Isn’t this a lovely day random cashier at Tescos trying to do his job without mindless smalltalk?
HAVING A BARBECUE EVEN THOUGH IT’S STILL REALLY QUITE FUCKING COLD
The sun hit your patio for 20 minutes at 3pm which wasn’t even long enough to cook your 80 per cent water Iceland sausages so you all huddle beside the barbeque shivering in fleeces and then it inevitably goes out and you decide to cook it in the oven instead. Well we tried our best.
TAKING YOUR TOP OFF IN PUBLIC
Maybe your trousers come down a little bit too.
TAKING UP EVERY AVAILABLE SPACE OF GREENERY, NO MATTER HOW UNCOMFORTABLE
Public parks were not made to take this many pasty torsos.
MOANING ABOUT THE WEATHER
“It’s actually too hot though”, your mum is saying to you on FaceTime. She’s out in the garden drinking a Pimms and fanning herself with a copy of Grazia. “It’s uncomfortable”. The papers do two page spreads on sweaty, uncomfortable city workers in suits and someone on your Facebook is posting a lot about how “global warming is no joke”. In two days the sunny spell will break and they’ll all go back to complaining about not getting a proper summer in Britain all over again.
There’s something about the heat that gets people wild. We stab each other in parks and smash Wetherspoon’s pints into our faces. Like rutting deer. Blindly primal and violent.
SLOWLY FOLLOWING THE PATH OF THE SUN ACROSS A CROWDED PUB GARDEN
In the sun, it’s hotter than the fires of Mordor. In the shade, it’s colder than the chilling arctic wind over the Misty Mountains. Thus you will follow the distinct line between the two as the sun gets lower in the sky, until it gets to 8pm and the entire population of your hometown are huddled in one weed-ridden corner outside the back of the Plough and Harrow.
GOING TO THE NEAREST ROOFTOP AND SAYING “AH, THE CITY WE LIVE IN”
“It’s just such a different place in the summer,” your friends say to you. You’ll stay up there for hours on end, drinking overpriced prosecco and gin and tonics out plastic cups, sitting round on bean bags and fake grass, gorging on any kind of new food you’ve never had before, whether it’s Japanese buns or Italian arancini. You’ll leave the rooftop skint, but wow, what a sunset.
CHECKING YOUR SKIN EVERY FIVE MINUTES EXPECTING IT TO HAVE TANNED
You’ve been in the garden for an hour and you literally can’t comprehend why you don’t look like you’ve had a week in the Costa del Sol yet. You spend half your day inside in the bathroom doing 360s in the mirror convincing yourself you are not burning.
It’s 17 degrees and you are on fire. For whatever reason God gave you thermoreactive chat and from mid June to the end of June you are unstoppable.
PICKING UP A SMOKING HABIT
You’re spending so much time in sunny beer gardens, typically dominated by smokers, that you might as well pick up the habit yourself. Your chances of developing skin cancer are already high, so why not up the stakes of getting lung, heart, throat or mouth cancer whilst you’re at it? I must warn you, they do not sell 10 packs anymore my friend.
DANCING IN A FIELD OF SWEATY PEOPLE WHILE PISS GETS THROWN ON YOUR HEAD
Also known as: day festivals.
EVERY SNAPCHAT MUST HAVE THE DEGREES FILTER ON IT
It’s 21 degrees where you are and every motherfucker should know about it.
PRETENDING TO LOVE PIMMS WHEN REALLY EVERYONE KNOWS IT’S AN AVERAGE BEVERAGE
It’s a glorified fruit salad, so why do you feel so refined and fancy when you drink it? Because it’s sunny, and that changes the shitty patch of grass you’re standing on into Polo at the goddamn Coronation Cup. Ah, absolutely spiffing day.
STRUGGLING TO DECIDE WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE TO SLEEP WITH THE WINDOW OPEN
Many an eager sleeper has prematurely cast open their Everest double glazing only to wake up shivering like a shitting dog. Alternatively, leave it too late and Sundays will be spent wringing sweat from the 15 tog IKEA beast nan bought so you wouldn’t need heating in December.