Mid-life crisis: Catching hold of summer fantasies
On the longest day of the year someone told me it was the longest day of the year and it hit me rather hard for such an obvious piece of news. I think I had been thinking that the whole summer was still ahead. And suddenly you realise that things have peaked, and it's all downhill from here. Before I know it the mornings will get progressively darker and then we'll be into Christmas, and sure you might as well give up then.
I love the summer. I love it more than anything. In reality it's probably the idea of the summer I like. The truth is that I am stuck in work for most of the summer. Indeed, sometimes, I work even harder in the summer. I make up for it by getting up early, and trying to squeeze in some life before work. And I try to be grateful for every scrap of it I get. I take a 99 whenever I can. I never miss an opportunity to have a drink sitting in the sun. I take off as many clothes as possibly at every available opportunity. I go barefoot as much as possible. I try to get Mark who cuts my hair to shave it all off, though we usually end up meeting in the middle somewhere. I love to hit the road as well, to get out and about around the country with music playing in the car. I even got a gas barbecue this year so I could barbecue at every available opportunity. I went four days on the trot recently, every week night, until my wife pleaded that she could take no more meat and the children starting eating pasta before I arrived home just to avoid my porcine tyranny.
But I don't get to do enough of any of it. Because summer is like life. It's what happens when you're making other plans, and doing other things. And it flies. It flies faster every year. It probably doesn't help that in this country it can be over before you know it's begun.