Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Summer is on its way.

See full sized image by neloqua@Flickr here.

There’s no clouds.
Or at least there weren’t any earlier today. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the air was clear. Of course, being in the UK meant it was almost too windy (and thus too cold) to go outside, but that didn’t stop lots of the people on my university campus from braving the chance of being blown into the lake for a little bit of heat.

A high of 30 degrees.
Or so say the Met Office about this year’s British summer. We can only dream, hope and pray for it. But what should we do? When was the last time you can remember there being actual sun in the sky in the summer?

Survival Guide.
Here’s my advice for you for when the sun hits in June:

  1. If you’re not a student, or you’re a student who has a job, phone in sick. Or be a good employee and book the day off work in advance.
  2. Wake up relatively early, 9am at the latest, so that you can get the most out of the day. I don’t know how many times I’ve woken up late in the morning and seen the sun, only to emerge from the shower an hour later and it’s already overcast and dull.
  3. Take a quick shower. After you dry off apply a suitable factored SPF to your skin to protect it. I will admit to being very un-fabulous and not using any unless I’m in Spain or Florida, but I’m sure I will be paying for it later. A good SPF will help avoid damage to your skin from the sun’s rays – wrinkles ladies!
  4. Have a bite to eat and a large drink of something hydrating, preferably water, so you don’t overheat in the sun straight away.
  5. Get your bits and bobs together to take out into the sun, whether it be into your own back garden or the local park. If you’re going on your own pack a book, your MP3 player, something to drink and another snack (possibly something to lie on as well). If you’re meeting up with friends pack some snacks, a drink or two, portable battery operated speakers for an MP3 player (if you have them) and a pack of cards.
  6. Head out into the sun and enjoy!

The clothes on your back.
I panic the minute the first streams of sunlight hit my face through the blinds as I lie in bed. Not because I’m terribly pale and scared of ruining my Princess roses and cream complexion by burning; not because I don’t have anyone to enjoy the whether with; and certainly not because I prefer the cold and the miserable rain.
I panic because I don’t know what to wear! But really, once I’ve calmed down it’s easier enough, especially if you’re not going out there to impress anyone:
A little pair of denim hot pants – available anywhere and everywhere from TopShop to Tesco, from as little as £8 to as high as £50. The best pair I’ve ever bought were actually a quick impulse buy from Primark last year for £8. They’re getting a little baggy now though, but they lasted me well and have survive trips to the beach and nights out fine. I would never buy shorts in the higher price range – to me their just not worth it, but when I invest in a new pair I’ll probably hit up a pair that are about £15 to £20 for a bit better quality.
A teeny little vest top – again, you can get them everywhere, though I would avoid the lower priced shops for them as they’ll quickly stretch and become baggy and faded. TopShop vests are fairly good quality, but do tend to stretch a bit in the wash so buy a size down than normal for a perfect fit. The thickness in strap in a vest top might not seem important but if you plan on playing games with your friends or running about a lot, I would suggest a thicker strap to avoid the strap-down-the-shoulder-OMG-I can’t push-it-back-up.
A light, full sleeve, cardigan – remember we’re in Britain. The weather can change quicker than you can ladder your tights climbing on barbed wire. Your legs might still be chilly, but your arms will thank you and it makes a good make-shift rain cover as you run for the nearest shop should the heavens unexpectedly open.

When summer finally does hit properly for you, whether it’s your holidays from uni or a long weekend from work, please enjoy it.

Does any one else have anything else they think is essential for summer preparation?

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