Summer 2012: 10 ways you know summer's here
Britain's sunny season is back, replete with sunburnt backs and tortoiseshell sunglasses...
For further proof, scan tabloids for the word "scorcher", broadsheets for yet more articles about cooking bloody asparagus, and these tell-tale techy revealers...
1. The New Beer invasion
As your pals “test” the local’s new garden furniture, at the bar you are confronted by innovative variations on your usual poison. Do you plump for the quadruple-filtered, pomegranate-infused lager or take a chance on the beetroot cider? And what’s that blue LED-lit, Heath Robinson contraption that it’s being dispensed from all about? One thing’s for sure: one pint later you’ll be back on the Beck’s.
2. Fair-weather Joggers
Spurred on by the first tantalising glimpse of sun, winter couch-dwellers everywhere reach for the iPod and headphones before blocking up the pavements and blighting public parks everywhere with their sweaty bulk. It’s enough to put you off your second Magnum.
3. Social Network Updates
Halfway through your fifth planning meeting of the day you steal a glimpse at Facebook, only to see that half of your acquaintances are “enjoying a second pint in the sun. ROFL!” The rest have uploaded photo albums entitled “Beer garden shenanigans”. Don’t these people work?
4. The big summer tune
Blaring from every open window you pass is a horribly compelling mix of the cheesiest electronic Euro-pop, some kind of novelty instrument – African thumb pianos or Swiss alpenhorns, perhaps – and a Latvian “modelturned- singer” exhorting you to “take it higher”
5. Weather App warfare
Weather Pro says it’s going to be sunny with a chance of rain, AccuWeather seems to be anticipating a tropical storm and Met Office is claiming it’s the hottest day of the year. Just pack a brolly and hope for the best.
6. Bastards with guitars
Go anywhere remotely grassy on a summer’s day and, like rats in London’s filth lined, whore-ridden streets, you’ll never be more than two feet from a posh James Blunt wannabe sharing his acoustic musings – usually Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here – with a deeply unimpressed public.
7. Sunglasses conundrums
Your old ones have gone AWOL so you must fork out for your sixth pair in as many years. Having tried on 500 different styles you eventually opt for your sixth consecutive pair of Aviators.
8. Convertible Crises
Finally its time to rub some pennies together and buy that summer runaround you’ve always wanted. There are few better feelings than setting off to a country pub with the roof down. Trouble is, you arrive picking bugs out of your teeth and looking like Jedward, tonsorially.
9. Weight-watching wobbles
With a beach holiday looming your mind turns to trimming down to a frame that won’t spill over your old Speedos. Armed with healthyrecipe and calorie-counter apps, you stick with the new regime for a full three days before deciding that baggy Bermudas and a Topman T-shirt are more your style anyway.
10. Wimbledon’s takeover
It’s the quarter finals and Murray mania has clamped your office in an iron-fist pump, as every company server in the land is stretched to breaking point by the millions of simultaneous streams of the BBC’s coverage. Five minutes later normality is restored: he’s bravely bowed out to an obscure Serbian. Come on Andy!