Family: Janet Christie's Mum's the Word

Sunshine and heat, what's not to like?



Another week of unbroken sunshine in the hottest summer on record, even in Scotland, and I take no great pleasure, OK I do, a lot, in the fact that all my pals who are heading off to the sun are annoyed that for once it’s just as nice at home.

“Faliraki! Why bother,” moans one, “but we’ve got to go. Tomorrow, oh God. And I’ve still not packed.”

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“Sounds great,” I say. “Sunny beaches…”

“The Algarve… it’s going to be so busy and hot, and the flights...” gripes another.

“There’s a pool, you can just fling the kids in and lie next to it all day, endless sunshine, what’s not to like?”

“All their stuff to take,” he says, “and they’ll be out of their routine and grumpy... And we’ll be forced to spend all day every day with each other, uggggh. I’d rather just stay here.”

“Sounds amazing,” I say. “Wish we were going. So lucky...”

It’s all lies. I don’t. They’re absolutely right. If it’s sunny, where better than home, where a trip to the beach is a simple matter of locating the frisbee? Where the fridge is full of stuff they’ll eat and the beds are made up and the devices charged. Why go anywhere else if you’ve got the weather?

Of course there’s always someone not happy chez nous.

“Toooooooo hot! Way toooooo hot!” says Youngest Child. “It’s not right. It’s global warming.” She gives me the look. The one that says it’s all my generation’s fault, despite me being the only one who takes the recycling seriously and my main hobby is no longer smoking but trawling through bins for rogue cellophane because I’m the only one who can be bothered learning the difference between landfill and recycling. Oh, and my other hobby is going on about it.

“When will it be back to normal?” she pants.

“Probably never. Why don’t you join me in the garden?”

“Nooooo. It’s horrible. Too bright, can’t see my screen. It’s rubbish. I’ll go out later when it’s getting dark.”

“Yes, the nights are drawing in again,” I say sadly. “Summer’s almost over. And it’s the festival next week, so it’s bound to rain.”

“Good! Sunshine and heat, that’s for abroad. We shouldn’t have to put up with it. This is Scotland.”