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Around the middle of June each year, a curious phenomenon starts to take place around Britain. As the sun fattens in the sky and the air temperature rises, the huddled masses of merry England start to emerge, blinking, from their winter torpor and gear up for the short-lived annual heyday that is British summer!
Perhaps it is our habitual resignation to the gloom and drizzle that makes up two thirds (in a good year) of our annual weather that provokes this curious change in us as a nation, perhaps the heat affects the functioning of our brains. Whatever the cause, one thing is for certain; the British, in our admittedly mild and somewhat reserved way, go crazy for summer. Ok, not paint your ears blue and run naked through the shopping centre screaming for custard crazy, but as the sunshine hours increase and we start shedding the layers our national eye starts to twinkle that little more brightly, our heart to dance a little antic hey, and a subtle, full moon character shift takes us in its gentle grip. Grey complexioned office drones gain a little of the latin lothario; tweedy librarians, unfastening the top buttons of their pussy-bow blouses lean a little closer to their dreams of glamorous tropical shores; po-faced bartenders segue seamlessly into relaxed and gregarious hosts. Hem lines and blood pressure rise with the thermometer’s mercury and the cocktail hour gets earlier by the day.
With the spirit of summer tangible in the air; this time of year is the perfect for falling in love and indeed, large numbers of romances do blossom at this time of year. Want proof, just think about how many of your friends have birthdays between March and May and then do the maths! But how many of these new romances will stand the test of time and how many blow away with the first breath of autumn?
We asked number of people for their thoughts on summer romances; here’s what they had to say:
“I’ve had a holiday fling or two, once with a gorgeous lifeguard in Majorca but never anything I’d have wanted to carry on longer-term.” – Jodie Hill, 22, student
“My current boyfriend and I got together in the early summer last year and we’re still going strong.” – Maria Crabtree, 29, folklorist
“I’ve had summer romances, sure, but they never last. You want a different kind of woman in the summer, a glamour and bikinis kind. Winter times are more about having someone cosy around to snuggle up to.” – Anders van Hoogstraat, 35, tourist
“I met Ralph in the summer of 1942 when he was home on leave. We had a whirlwind romance and were married three days before he went back to war. We were happily married for 58 years.” – Mary Walton, 84, retired shopworker
It seems that summer romances can in fact be durable and long-lived, so as the sun’s shining outside and the weather is warm, I’m off to paint my ears blue. Now, what’s the quickest route to the shopping centre?