The men of Cumbria can go from nought to topless in the time it takes for two clouds to part...

First published in Opinion The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE sun showed its face for about three minutes last week and half of Kendal immediately stripped to its underwear.

It turns out the men of Cumbria can collectively go from nought to topless in the time it takes for two clouds to part.

“Phwoar, it’s roasting out here today!” said a vitamin D-starved man, as the temperature gauge wobbled above freezing.

“I’ve got to do something about this heat!”

His wife responded: “Alright, Frank, calm down, I’m as frazzled as you are - but there’s no need to take your trousers off too.”

It’s safe to say we’re a predictable bunch when it comes to that hallowed of occasions: The First Sun of the Year.

The men strut about, topless - or at least in their ‘slightly-shorter-than-normal’ trousers - ignoring their goose bumps and pretending it’s mid-July.

The women throw off their chunky jumpers with gay abandon, dig out last year’s flip flops and rush to the nearest ice-cream van.

“This might be the only summer we’re going to get!” you hear them cry.

“You know what the weather’s like - it’ll be raining come the school holidays. I won’t get a tan at all if I don’t make the most of it now!”

People also start talking vaguely but optimistically about ‘getting the barbie out’ or ‘finding a beer garden’.

As a result, you suddenly start to see couples shivering their way through romantic picnics, and women quietly pulling a cardigan on over their sun dress, that they’ve conceded ‘might not have been a good idea after all’.

But that’s Britain for you.

And if we didn’t do that we could easily go one year to the next, slowly forgetting about the existence of ‘that yellow ball we sometimes used to see’.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, a patch of blue just appeared in the sky that I really ought to make the most of.

Cornetto, anyone?

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