Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Are we there yet?

Is it spring yet? I’m never sure when it begins. I’m sure tradition dictates that St. Bridget’s day is the start of spring, but I’m not convinced.
Since then we’ve had snow, rain, and more snow. Yes, the daffodils have popped their heads out but it’s still fecking freezing. Surely I’m not the only person holding out for the lighter nights like a slimmer holds out for the post weigh in trip to the chippy?
It seems as if the promise of warmer days, shorter nights and the chance to hit the exercise mecca of ‘Fat Ass Pass’ has been in the air for a long time, but it’s yet to land firmly on our doorsteps.
My garden furniture remains covered up and the boy has turned an unattractive shade of grey from the lack of natural day light. As for me I seem to be in danger of putting back on the two stone I lost with such effort over the past few months as my energy levels have dipped to an all new low. I admit I can see small differences. I
know it is now light when I wake up in the morning, which does help with my mood and when I walked out of work at 6.30 the other night to see just the smallest glint of light in the sky I felt myself perk up almost immediately.
But last summer’s lack of any kind of summery weather has left us all gasping for a hint of a nice day and I have to admit my patience with the waiting is wearing thin. Sure I laughed with everyone else at the start of the summer when rainy day followed rainy day followed rainy day. I had a great giggle with my publishers. “Look, it’s a rainy day and a Tuesday,” we would laugh, but by the end of July the joke had worn thin.
I longed for just one nice day - just one afternoon of glorious sunshine. I longed to leave my coat at home and drive about with the windows down in my car. I wanted to get just one day away to Benone with my family where we could have a paddle in the sea without risking life and limb from frost bite. I’m sure, 100%, that the lack of these sunny excursions contributed to me being in a very bad mood throughout the majority of December.
I didn’t just get SAD. I got MAD too.
So now I can’t wait to find myself sitting in the garden at 8pm, glass of wine in hand and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. I want to have a barbecue without the rain dousing the darn thing before my sausages are cooked. I can’t wait til the boy gets the chance to run about again outside like a mad thing instead of trashing in the idea of my house with gay abandon.
I’m tired of getting home in the evening to a carpet of toys on the floor and risking life and limb tripping over a plethora of ‘Lightning McQueens’ of various shapes and sizes. Dare I say it, I’m even looking looking forward to getting out walking in the evenings.
I like a good walk - especially with my bargain price MP3 player from Tesco (Ipod? Naw - I’ll have the Tesco Value version). I’ve been known to puff my way up many a hill in time to a cheesy Whitney Houston track blasting into my earphones - but I’m a fair weather walker which is perhaps not ideal in Ireland. It also means it’s been an exceptionally long time since I had a decent walk anywhere.
Last week I had to traipse the streets of Dublin and by the end of it my thighs were aching and my feet had swollen to three times their normal size. It was all the proof I needed that I am unfit. But there is no fun to be had in walking across the Foyle Bridge on a blowy and rainy night. I’m always afraid someone will mistake me for a jumper and try and haul me into their car.
Sure I look at the people out running and walking in the rain in their funky high visibility jackets and feel a pang of guilt mixed with a healthy dose of inspiration but it’s hard work to make the effort when all you have to look forward to at the end of it are sore legs, frizzy hair and temporary deafness in one ear from the biting cold.
It’s all much more appealing on a cool summer night. You head out when it’s still light and feel a soft, warm breeze wash over you as start walking out. Maybe you stop to watch the sunset, or maybe you get all that hard old exercise business over and done with before sitting down at home and relaxing with your windows open.
You feel more relaxed - not least because you no longer have to consider taking out a second mortgage to continue heating your home and the working day even seems shorter because your not spending all the daylight hours chained to your desk. So surely, it’s March now. It must be spring soon - we deserve a little sunshine in our lives.

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