Tuesday 27 September 2016

Sun casts the light on our crappy lives

Published 06/06/2016 | 02:30

Yes, the weather is great, but it’s not so great watching it from the confines of an office
Yes, the weather is great, but it’s not so great watching it from the confines of an office

The weather panic is awful isn't it? We wait and wish for it to come, and then when it's there we get this anxiety that we are missing it. It's like life really.

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Sometimes these days I sit in the office and actually wish the weather was not nice outside. And yes, I know that makes me sound like a very petty person, that I would wish that because I can't have it no one else can either. But it's just such a waste, isn't it? And I am a petty man in many ways. And who wouldn't want it to go away? Outside the window, taunting me. And I'm inside, bothered, bothered that life has come and I'm missing out on it.

I am making up for this with frenzied activity at the top and tail of the day. I am in the sea early and again in the evening when possible. And I have dusted off the shittiest garden furniture you have ever seen and am forcing us all to eat our evening meal outside, whether we want to or not. By teatime, the garden table and chairs are no longer in the sun, so in a way, it would feel more summery to eat inside with the sunlight coming in on us. But Godammit, your father missed the weather all day so we will eat out here, as a family, and we will enjoy it. The two kids were fighting over a large towel the other day to wrap themselves in while they ate. Another evening I distinctly heard the youngest one say to her mother, "But I'm cold!" and her mother shushed her lest I would hear it. Unsummerlike behaviour. Punishable by, well, not sending them to their room. That would be playing into their hands.

What's worse is that we have had a strange miracle recently of the good weather lasting until the weekend, and that makes it even worse. At least when it's during the week you can sit inside fuming thinking, "if only." But at the weekend you have no excuses. When it's sunny at the weekend, there is no hiding place. Just like the sun shows up the dust everywhere, it also shows up that you do not have a glamorous and exciting life. When it's sunny at the weekend, I feel I should have a boat or a country bolthole, somewhere in Wexford where we can just pack up the car and head off and have those dreamy summers people talk about. We should be making those memories for the kids. THE PRESSURE!

And even when you do think of going somewhere, you think of the traffic and the hassle and the fact that our own house is quite nice and everything we need is there and we can relax there, and our whole life is geared towards paying for it so we should get the use out of it.

We thought of trying to go somewhere for the bank holiday but trying to build a new TV show from scratch is a bit more intense than you might imagine, so for now I kind of need to keep the head down and chill a bit. So this weekend, as you read this, I will be having a city break in Dublin.

Pluses are, I don't need to hire a car. I have one. One I love. And I'll be staying for the weekend in a really nice place where we can totally make ourselves at home. Ten minutes drive, on the outskirts of this lovely European city, you can swim in the sea. There are lovely restaurants and I know all the good places where the locals go so I might go out for a casual bite to eat. If not, no worries because there are great local shops and I have insider knowledge of all them so we can pull together little meals ourselves. I also know where there are great local farmers' markets at the weekend. The place we are staying has a lovely garden area where you can hang out and relax, play music, read. You can buy the Irish papers in all the nearby shops, and I speak the language too. At night there'll be no adjusting to sleeping in strange beds in strange places and in the morning you can have whatever you want for breakfast. I also know loads of people there, so that's handy too.

And after my bank-holiday weekend citybreak I won't be tired or cranky. I won't have been drinking all weekend and I won't have put on about a stone. I will be relaxed, refreshed and ready for the struggle once more, the struggle of sitting inside watching the sun outside, missing out on life, furious that the dream of living in a hot climate has finally come true, that I've got what I wished for. But then, the weather is going to stay like this forever now isn't it? Hard to imagine it being any other way. So we can relax. No pressure to enjoy it.

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