That one week in Scotland when we complain about the heat

It’s finally here. Some heat. Some sun. But it is so hot. This is meant to be the hottest day of the year so far and temperatures in Edinburgh are set to rise to 28 degrees. The best thing about today is that I am off work!! The worst thing about this week is that it has been rather hot and I have had to work long hours. I am even working this weekend. So cue the perpetual moaning about the weather no matter what it is like.

General Weather complaints

There is a list. It is repetitive yearly. Please note I have just as big a list about the good points of the weather. But this post is dedicated to my complaints. My list goes like this:

Autumn

  • How many times am I going to have to clear leaves up off this bloody garden?
  • There is no sun anymore and Its bloody freezing.
  • Why am I swearing and cursing a lot about Autumn?
  • My hair can’t cope with this.

Winter

  • This wind and rain is playing havoc with my hair (hair in frizzy mess or just generally bedraggled and stuck to my face)
  • Why does it never snow anymore for Christmas?
  • Why has it started snowing?
  • Why do the council not grit enough pavements (usually after falling on my backside down the hill)?
  • Why is this lasting so long (usually in April when it is still snowing)?

Spring

  • Why is it still snowing? It’s meant to be Spring!
  • It’s too wet to sit outside and I can’t plant my veg yet because the frost keeps coming back.
  • Why am I working on this one day when the temperature hits 14 degrees and this is a valid temperature in Scotland to get the shades on and get a sun tan. There is a phrase in Scotland when this happens “taps aff” meaning lots of blokes start walking down the street without their t-shirts on. Believe me this can be both a good and a bad thing.
  • Why is it not summer yet? Its cold!

Summer

  • This isn’t summer. It’s cloudy and raining (to be fair it doesn’t always rain but this features a lot in my weather complaints).
  • Why do I always pick the wrong annual leave? It was sunny last week and now I’m off the weather is rubbish.
  • I just heaved that sun lounger out to the garden for nothing. The sun has disappeared.

When it’s unusually hot

Apparently we British folk are obsessed by the weather. I might have disputed that in an attempt to look nonplussed about such things but the above points provide evidence to the contrary.

This week the temperatures have been up in the mid twenties and whilst there was initial elation, the reality hit me whilst sitting in the car on the motorway in a massive traffic jam. Thank god for cars having air con. Thank god I didn’t have too much water before getting in the car.

This kind of temperature is fine when on holiday. On holiday I would be waking up in an air conditioned room (the joy) and after showering I would be lathering on the sun lotion and getting a towel ready for the pool. The reality at home is that I have woken up in the middle of the night to open the window. I have pondered the only bedding options I have (duvet not thin sheets) given I have spent the night doing a too hot duvet off, too cold duvet on, too hot duvet off dance finishing in one leg out and one leg in. I have also considered why no one here (other than hotels) has air con (and then dismissed this on reflection of all the points listed above).

On holiday I would not be pulling on a pair of tights and a dress (probably both black due to my bare leg issues at work). I also wouldn’t be getting into an already hot car with a coffee. I wouldn’t be sitting in a morning meeting with a number of other people who have had an equally bad sleep (the grumpiness can be hilarious though). On holiday wouldn’t be depressing myself with the thought that by the time I get home the sun will have disappeared from the garden.

I clearly am obsessed with the weather!

Today I am off and as I said it is meant to be the hottest so far. So the sun lounger is prepped and ready for the garden. I am looking forward to a tan. In reality this will probably mean going a bit red due to the pastiness of Scottish skin. This is the one time (and week) of the year when I think there is utility in my face moisturiser having an SPF factor 15.

I will stop having a moan and complaining about the heat for a while. At least until noon. Then I expect to be commenting on the heat to my neighbours, looking for a cloud in the sky and wishing it to cover the sun for a bit of respite (this usually works the other way around – see points above) and drinking a lot of water.

This is the one week of the year when we complain about it being too hot! There are lots of things I like about the weather. But it may be some months before I am posting about the benefits of dark nights and the coziness of sitting inside with a bowl of soup whilst watching the rain, wind and snow. For now I am content with my complaining. Next week when it is raining on my annual leave I will probably complain even more. Anyway – to the garden!

My flip flops have shrunk!

Image by Uli Ebner from Pixabay

I shrunk my flip flops. I wasn’t even going to wear them today as its not sunny in Edinburgh. Apparently it is to be lovely later but I am off to Glasgow for a lunch. Anyway – I digress. I actually shrunk my favourite flip flops. Gutted!

The events that led to this catastrophe

I was in the garden on Tuesday. Such a nice day and so we (a couple of neighbours and myself) had a bottle of wine. Sitting under the sun umbrella my feet were peeking out into the summer sun; I really do like my feet when they have a summer glow.

Then from nowhere there was an eerie shadow that passed overhead. Odd given there were no clouds in the sky and the warmth of the sun (and the wine) was making everyone rather cheery. I looked down. I looked at my toes. Realisation hit. There was a splurge of dark slimy stuff on my pinky toe and, oh hell, my favourite flip flops. I screamed (to be fair I thought initially it was a slug!). My neighbours’ (they are meant to be friends) reacted. That was until they, and I, figured out that the slimy stuff must be bird poo.

They say (whoever they are) it is lucky for a bird to poo on you. I didn’t feel lucky. Toes were quickly soaked under the garden tap. Neighbours were quickly descending into hysteria. In my state of shock there was only one thing I could do. Laugh.

Don’t ever put your flip flops on a wash dry cycle

My flip flops, did I mention they were my favourite, required immediate attention. I ran inside and emptied my washing machine (washer dryer to be exact which is honestly a godsend in Edinburgh due to the changeable weather). In went the flip flops. I have washed them before so didn’t think anything would go awry. Stupidly I picked the quick wash dry cycle. This was probably in the hope that I didn’t need to wear my alternative flip flops, which are much less sparkly and less comfortable, for too long.

The wine took over. We laughed about the situation. I forgot all about the flip flops. Until this morning. Jumping up and out of bed early I retrieved them to wander through to my kitchen for coffee.

Aaaarrrrrgggghhhh! My flip flops have shrunk. How did that even happen? Why would rubber shrink? Why would I think it wouldn’t shrink? Why does this remind me of the time I put haggis in the microwave and it exploded? Why didn’t I think about the consequences?

Dealing with the consequences

I am now sat on the train to Glasgow trying to write this blog. I am also intermittently searching rocket dog and amazon to find replacement flip flops. When you have a favourite you want the exact same ones. Why is it you can never find the exact same ones?!!! This also happened with my Dune loafers recently (my favourite loafers). I bought a different pair but they are not the same. My amazon search (rocket dog flip flops) will take a while (I may sneak a look over lunch). The ones below are the black version of the white ones I have. If all else fails with my search I may have to go with them. If anything, these flip flops are generally the most comfy I have found. I would just like them to look as nice as the ones that are currently bordering on a size too small after that bloody bird sh** on them.

Amazon link on image

Birthday wish lists: are they a thing of the past?

Are birthday wishlists a thing of the past?

It is my birthday soon. Next week. Its not something I am keen on focusing on as it will be my 42nd year. This means I am definitely on the way in my forty something life. Ok – enough focusing (depressively) on my age. Its not that bad, but I’ve never been that good at birthdays. So when asked the question (yes it comes every year from my sister) ‘What would you like for your birthday?’ I usually coil into a small ball and rock front to back (much more smoothly may I say now that I started yoga haha!).

Do I have a wish list?

I generally don’t have one. This in some weird way makes it easier for everyone. I have got some wonderful presents just by not having one. Take, for instance, last year. Me and my mum went for lunch to Chez Jules (fabulously french and cheap but cheerful) last year and then we drunkenly went to Stewart and Christie‘s on Queen street because I suggested that I had always wanted a good ‘tweed’ jacket. Stewart and Christie’s is the oldest tailor of this type of attire in Edinburgh and I knew (in a loose way from a few parties) one of the owners and one of the tailors. This was following a quick look in a few George Street shops who would never compare. Result – I got a tailored (not bespoke but only a bit of work done) tweed jacket. It will last a lifetime! It is beautiful. My mum, having forked out for my birthday on my one, went back a month later to order her own. This also resulted in a drunken lunch (Tiger Lilly) to celebrate. All events combined meant good bonding over good presents over quality attire. The one thing it didn’t mean was that we stuck within the unwritten budget rule that as a family we have on presents.

The budget

This, as noted above, is an unwritten rule. A good rule as lets face it we are in an age where we buy what we want when we want. So a pre-defined limit takes some thinking. Don’t be shocked but its basically £50 per person. So my mum and dad will spend £100, me and my sister will spend £50. Its not much at all nowadays but to re-emphasise the point – we are in a time where we already have what we want so presents are something that should be different. Times have changed. Im not that old (as I keep telling myself) – but when younger we used to keep a list for ages (for birthdays and of course Christmas). The only times we got those overly desired objects was on these special occasions. At some point this all changed. We spend, use and discard. We don’t keep lists because most things are immediate. Its kind of sad and also wonderfully gratifying. I don’t even think its an age thing. As a single 40 something living in Edinburgh you would expect that I can sensibly afford the things I want. But to have the excitement back of the present list, the waiting, the build up and even at times the disappointment (oh the trauma of not getting that specific Barbie I wanted) would be something! We don’t do this kind of excitement in 2019. Its kind of a shame.

Rebel against the age

So….I thought of a list. All the things I have fancied since the start of the year. When the text came through ‘what would you like…’ I jumped on it like a typical amazon prime member. Here is my wish list. A feet up trainer (or alternative product)…oooh yes please (although that as you might have already calculated would be a joint sister and parents present). Or pick from the rest: yoga wheel, Blackberry and something or other Jo Malone perfume (my daily go to scent), Jo Malone soap (can’t recommend highly enough and am never using any other soap in the bath or shower ever again), candles (of any variety as always a good thing), or my incense sticks (this is a new thing but makes me very relaxed of an evening). If this list doesn’t work for them then I will take any surprise at my age! Only thing missing is a good man (possibly only useful at this time of year to buy me another lovely present)….ok scratch that – they are more trouble than they are worth and never meet the wish list expectations 🙂


Men in shorts: the good, the bad and the somewhat disturbing

I have had a busy week so when I get home around 7pm from a long day I tend to just want to nip into the local store for something easy. So on two nights this week, whilst looking a bit bedraggled and feeling blooming knackered, I have done the Tesco run (actually a short walk but you get my meaning).

But on the upside to this long week and my knackerdness, my grocery (wine and nibbles) shopping trips have been what you might call interesting. It might be due to the milder weather, or the fact that the whole of Edinburgh seem to have been involved in some kind of fitness (on the days I have stuffed myself with fatty food), but there is an odd phenomenon of increasing numbers of men in shorts.

This is not a wholly good thing. In fact it ranges on the spectrum of ‘ooh he looks good in them’ to ‘why on earth did you not look in the mirror before going out in public’. But, as I said, definitely interesting.

The good to the disturbing

Good shorts need to be worn by good men. Fact! Although the definition of a good man whilst assessing their ability in short wearing does not merit the full range of goodness that we would usually use a measure of someone. In fact, sorry about this, it really just relies on confidence and body shape. Men with confidence will pull anything off. The rest of those mere mortals however should really consider what suits them. I don’t feel bad saying this, we all try and wear what works for us. So if it works then great. I can still curiously look on whilst wondering about the decision making; but only in a curious and self amusing way rather than being horrible about it.

Take for example the 80s style bloke who lives around here. He wears luminous shorts, high socks and a headband. Curious but interesting (he must be confident). Then there is a bloke who (thank the leg gods) has great legs and wears not too short shorts but not baggy and long shorts either; just the right length and just the right legs :-). Then there are a good few who haven’t focused on the legs at the gym (instead favouring biceps) who wear a slightly longer short to suit. All of these are good.

The bad ones are noticeable. I know that the whole men tight things with shorts over the top is a ‘gym thing’ but I find it slightly odd (maybe disturbing was too dramatic a title). What is the need for it? Surely a thinner joggy bottom type attire would have done the same job. I am not even convinced about the 2 in one type shorts for the gym; aren’t they more suited to cyclists? The ones with a thin pair of legs wearing short shorts more suited to rugby players are not my cup of tea either. The only bad shorts I feel are acceptable are the ones similar to the deliveroo cyclist I saw. Functionally bad but rather acceptable given that Edinburgh is full of hills and the poor man must be cycling up and down them all day.

Why think about this?

I honestly don’t know. My only excuse is I like to notice things and I have a dry sense of humour. This amused me this week. Its probably an attempt in my head to avoid the fact that I should have done more exercise; instead commenting on the silliness of exercise attire. I also appreciate a good pair of legs in shorts. Disturbing – possibly. Bad of me – yes. Good – hell yeah! All I can say is bring on the summer for a more shorts variety.

The best looking Barman in Edinburgh

That’s not him in the picture and I should also caveat my title by saying he was rather pretty. He clearly knew it. I’ve also not done enough research (although this could be a new project) to say he was the best looking.

On Saturday afternoon I missed the girls lunch (owing to running around doing far too sensible adult stuff!) but I did catch them for drinks in Stockbridge. The catching them took a while owing to my lack of listening skills and two circuits around the wrong pub before finally making it into the Raeburn. On a side note the Raeburn has recently been done up and I am sure it is looking lovely. I couldn’t really tell though, as the Rugby had finished by the time I got there and so it was blooming well heaving (aka busy for those not in the colloquial know).

Anyway – got to the bar hoping on a red wine as soon as possible and there was a very pretty, well toned (not overly muscly but definite muscles) young barman ready to provide. I said what I was thinking out loud. Oops! He smiled, leaned across (complete tart, which may be another colloquial saying) and asked me what I would like. I refrained, this time, from saying what I was thinking.

The last time I really put any effort into thinking about a barman’s looks was a few years ago for the opposite reason. The worst looking barman in Edinburgh. This man was literally that guy in the goonies…you know the one who you think might be scary but turns out to be lovely. He was his long lost twin. I’ll not say the pub or the timeframe to save anonymity. But anyone who went there will be currently thinking ‘I remember him’.

Best looking barman or worst looking barman: who cares as long as the wine is good and company better! I’ll maybe continue the research though, to ensure I can offer as balanced an opinion as possible in future.