I don’t see the point in doing things half-heartedly, and so when sunlight poured into my room this morning I took that as a definite sign that summer is well and truly on the doorstep and I slipped my sunglasses on and now I am sipping on a coconut, blasting summer tunes from years gone by and feeling pretty happy that it’s warming up around here. Blue sky sunny days are a rarity in this part of the world (cough, China, cough) and so we must take full advantage. If that means blinding all your colleagues with bright sun beams by opening all the blinds, do it. Soak up that vitamin D because you never know when you’ll get your next dose and throw an ice cream or two into the mix as well, because that is what summer is all about.
Spring lasted about a week here in China. Just as quickly as the streets were lightly showered with a sprinkling of raindrops and baby pink blossoms, the sun appeared and dried it all up. Now the roasted chestnuts of winter have been replaced by boxes of irresistibly sweet mangoes and the Chinese girls have whipped our their trusty umbrellas to shield them from the freckle-inducing rays. I’m partial to the odd freckle, and so now it will be my daily routine to skip up to the balcony at exactly 4pm to indulge in a little freckling. I’d say ‘tanning’ but well, I’m Scottish and the closest my milky skin will ever get to a tan is when all my freckles join up to form beautiful constellations. And thus it is, dot by dot, freckle by freckle, I spend my summer days.
I used to hate the sticky feeling of a freshly applied layer of sun lotion, but now I love it. In fact I often put it on even when it’s cold and there is absolutely no sunshine, just because. Because of the delicious scent that catapults me back to summers growing up, and also because I am getting old and nobody likes wrinkles. Seriously. Even if the warm rays can’t penetrate the hazy polluted skies here, I’m still lathering that lotion onto every single surface of my skin. I want to be forever young. There, I said it. And skin cancer is also very much a reality. And people will sniff you as you walk by and instantly feel like they’re on holiday. Everyone’s day is made.
I want to go on holiday. I don’t mean travelling which I do way more often than my bank balance can handle, but I mean really go on holiday. To an island in Indonesia or the Philippines that is filled with banana trees and coconuts, where the waves trickle along the shore to where my toes are buried in the sand. I want to read a book a day and eat my bodyweight in fresh fruit. I want to do nothing. I rarely do nothing. I actually don’t think I’ve ever really been on a holiday like this. I thought it would be the kind of trip that would bore me, but when you live in China and have to zigzag through a gazillion people a day just to hop on a bus with another billion, you start fantasising about places with NO people. So, maybe that’s what I’m going to do sometime this summer. Run away to a deserted beach and come back smelling more coconuty than an actual coconut.
In the meantime though, I can at least apply my ninth application of hand lotion for the day, so perfectly labelled ‘my coconut island.’
Are you dreaming of summer too?