Britain continues to be grey. The sun puts in the occasional and unreliable appearance. The weather prospects change as each new bunch of forecasters comes on shift. Forecasts of a warm, sunny weekend ahead give way to ‘cool with showers’ as Friday approaches. The prospects of warm sunny weather in Greece is more appealing …… and a whole lot more reliable. I’m very much looking forward to it.
It’s easier to put up with unpleasant things in the present if there is the prospect of something better on the relatively near horizon. The light at the end of the tunnel. It always struck me as a bit sad when colleagues spent the time after summer holidays planning Christmas and then came into work after the Christmas break and immediately start scouring holiday brochures. They lived from event to event, the only way they could cope with the mundanities of everyday life. How much sadder when the holiday turned to be a damp squib (I’m really getting into the mixed metaphors here) and Christmas was once again a disappointment. The really sad thing is that for most people it’s not so much that everyday life is boring, and it generally is, we can’t live life on mountain peaks, but that whatever has been attained is never satisfying, the enjoyment slipping away like water through the fingers.
It seems most people consider what they have now, the everyday, the humdrum, the house, the car, the job …. to be unsatisfactory. They cope with it on the basis of the attitude “If only I had …. another car, another house, another job …. then things would be OK” , the ‘er equation’ – newer, bigger, better equals happier.
Arguably that is a significant factor in the recent so-called riots, which for once the press can’t mindlessly blame on a ‘long, hot summer’. Rioting there doubtless was but it seems that a good deal of what was going on was just looting. I heard interviews on the radio with some of the looters and the explanation they seemed to be giving was “I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get stuff for free”. They did have one valid point “this Government doesn’t understand what it’s all about”. Frankly, how can it, with such a concentration of public school and Oxbridge educated ministers in the Cabinet. What connection can they possibly have with the urban dispossessed? However, you would think that they would have more of an understanding of the destructive tendencies of youth given that a number of senior politicians including Cameron, Osborn and Boris Johnson were members of the Oxford, Bullingdon Club which has such a reputation for trashing places that it was banned from meeting within 15 miles of Oxford.
Enough of the rambling. Because it’s part of the human condition, I suffer from the boredom-aspiration-disappointment syndrome the same as others though thankfully I only have a mild dose of it. Most of the time I’m content with my lot. Don’t want or need a newer car. Didn’t and don’t want a better job. Certainly don’t want a bigger house. But now with ageing metabolism and incipient arthritic joints I find myself looking forward to warm sunshine soaking into my bones and the prospect of long walks in the mountains unencumbered by all-weather gear. Grey Britain just doesn’t deliver my version of the ‘er equation’ – warmer and sunnier equals fitter and healthier.
I fly back to Greece next Wednesday 24 August for a short break, splitting my time between Kalymnos and Symi. Weather forecast for Rhodes is cloudless blue sky with temperatures 30-33 dropping to 22-24 overnight. Probably a few degrees warmer on Symi. Just my kind of weather. I’m planning on walking and swimming a lot and taking photos. And doing a bit more research for my walking guide.
Now all I’ve got to do is get the garden sorted out, see a few friends …. and pack.