Julie Bindel Julie Bindel

Summer sucks

Who could possibly choose hay fever, insect bites and heat rash over an open fire, cashmere blanket and hot chocolate laced with brandy? Although I love the bright early mornings and blue sky I can’t bear the heat and all that comes with it. Give me winter over summer any day.

But to admit my dislike for the most popular season will bring forth accusations of total madness and misery. The images conjured up by a mention of summer are, for most people, cold beer, ice-cream, gentle boat trips, evenings in the garden twirling the stem of a frosty glass of bone-dry wine, dipping into an outdoor swimming pool and then drying off in the sunshine while reading a best seller.

Except that you would be confusing the entire season with a summer holiday, as many of you obviously do.

Working in a town or city in relentless heat, unless you do nightshifts, is pure hell. The journey to work or the shops is fraught with pain, everyone walking much slower. The tube is baking and the bus a nightmare. Shoes hurt because feet swell, but sandals rub, and anyway, summer clothing is, unless you work in a garden centre or building site, inappropriate.

The clothes are actually ridiculous. Men in shorts, singlets and flip flops, affecting a penguin gait are seen everywhere from offices to art galleries, and women feel the need to expose their bra straps.  I feel under pressure to shave my legs, and for a feminist and a lesbian that is tantamount to walking around naked.

Car journeys become a nightmare as you crawl along in the heat and humidity, lagging behind day trippers clogging up the roads. For parents, the cost of living triples as they are forced to shell out on cold drinks, swimming baths and Alton Towers.

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