Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I can't stand heat

It's not like I can't see the point of sunny weather.

I get the feelgood thing - the glow of azure blue sky peeking below my blinds when I wake up in the morning, the waft of barbecues and sun lotion swirling across the suddenly flora-festooned back garden, the comforting caress of warm rays on a body that's used to being goose-pimpled within a minute of stepping out the door... These are things I appreciate. But not enough to like summer.

We've had some proper hot weather over the last couple of weeks, and though lots of people have no doubt enjoyed every second of it (especially the many Northern Ireland folk who believe there's Mediterranean in their blood, 'which explains why I love a Spanish omelette') I have been reminded why I'm not cut out for temperatures above mid-November Donegal.

Flowers look good but bring hay fever. Heat feels nice briefly but then ushers along angry red skin rashes and the stench of other people's BO (you only need to use public transport at rush hour on a sunny day once to garner a memory that will plague your dreams forever).

barbecues sound like a good idea but as a friend of mine said recently - what's the big fuss? It's just normal burgers with black lines on them.

Worst of all though, is the debilitating effect the sun has on one's appearance.

This week the papers have been filled with the usual set of 'celebrities enjoying the summer' pictures, making those of us who don't fill out a bikini like Black Eyed Peas' singer Fergie, or possess the thoroughbred limbs to pull off high-thigh beach briefs like Naomi Campbell feel bad.

It doesn't help when magazines accompany these celeb photos with a list of products that'll give you 'glowing golden pins like Kelly Brook's'. Standing behind a 20 stone fifty-something with frizzy grey hair, three chins and peeping black stubble over her newly exposed calves in Boots yesterday, I couldn't help but feel sceptical about the 'shimmer like a supermodel' promises of the fake tan she was holding.

I wasn't made for summer. I look best wrapped up in big heels, skinny black jeans and long-sleeved black tops. I have a pale blue Celtic complexion which makes baring skin a bad idea - and dabbing on orange paint even worse.

There is no solution for my problem. If I dress my usual way in serious heat I'm sticky, slimy and I snap at lollipop ladies. But I look ridiculous in summer clothes. I've grown up a bit since the days when I'd rather fall over than wear flat shoes, but I'd still prefer to look mental than square.

So flip-flops are out, alongside pastel colours, and anything white, nautical or made of straw.

People like Daisy Lowe and Kate Moss look cool in long floaty dresses so I've tried them. No use. They get caught in lifts. People tread on them. And don't even talk to me about the amount of freeloading insects I've trailed into restaurants in the hem of such garments.

It's even worse for my face. Lipstick liquifies, eye-liner melts - with my visage smothered in factor 50 I look like Morticia Addams after feasting on a human sacrifice.

With the Jubilee tomorrow inspiring various local events involving cakes, it's likely I'll have to go outside. I'm praying for rain. Sorry to be a wet blanket, but even a wet blanket has more kudos than a linen safari suit.

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