Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Some like It Hot. I Don't

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Some like It Hot. I Don't

Article excerpt

Byline: gary BAINBRIDGE One man's struggle with the 21st century Follow Gary on Twitter: @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at

UNTIL technology evolves in such a way that you are able to read my thoughts as I think them there is always going to be a risk that this column is going to be out of date by the time it reaches you.

Sometimes we have to take that risk. At the moment, as I write, it is quite warm where I live, and has been for some days. By "quite warm" I mean that when I get on the bus to go to work, the passengers look like extras from Tenko.

Of course, the likelihood is that by the time you settle down to read this, owing to the usual trajectory of the British summer, you will be wrapped in a blanket, drinking hot chocolate, while you listen to the hail battering your window.

But right now, I can hear the delighted cackle of flagstone manufacturers as they anticipate a bumper crop of orders and develop a range of paving slabs specifically designed for the frying of eggs.

Climate change deniers are having to think up new outlandish justifications for burning oil as much as they damn well please.

Men are walking about the place topless, wearing shorts and sandals, thinking they're Conan the Barbarian, if Conan the Barbarian had terrible tattoos and a beer gut.

(I do not want you to think I am one of those fat-shamers they have these days. It is just that there is a time and a place for topless men in flip-flops. That place is "anywhere" and the time is "never".) In short, it is too sunny. And I am miserable.

For I am not built for this weather, for sunshine and blue skies and beer gardens. I look at the Golden People with envy - these people who are burnished by the sun, rather than ruined, the oliveskinned beauties in white linen who remind one of Milan and Marrakech.

But I am a white Englishman. I am built for disappointment and drizzle. I currently look not as if I have caught the sun, but more as if I have head-butted it. I do not remind people of Milan and Marrakech. I make people think: "Oh, that reminds me! I must buy the ingredients for that beetroot, tomato, and cherry salad I was planning on making. …

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