Culture House Daily

Summer sucks

30 June 2014

Who could possibly choose hay fever, insect bites and heat rash over an open fire, cashmere blanket and hot chocolate laced with brandy? Although I love the bright early mornings and blue sky I can’t bear the heat and all that comes with it. Give me winter over summer any day.

But to admit my dislike for the most popular season will bring forth accusations of total madness and misery. The images conjured up by a mention of summer are, for most people, cold beer, ice-cream, gentle boat trips, evenings in the garden twirling the stem of a frosty glass of bone-dry wine, dipping into an outdoor swimming pool and then drying off in the sunshine while reading a best seller.

Except that you would be confusing the entire season with a summer holiday, as many of you obviously do.

Working in a town or city in relentless heat, unless you do nightshifts, is pure hell. The journey to work or the shops is fraught with pain, everyone walking much slower. The tube is baking and the bus a nightmare. Shoes hurt because feet swell, but sandals rub, and anyway, summer clothing is, unless you work in a garden centre or building site, inappropriate.

The clothes are actually ridiculous. Men in shorts, singlets and flip flops, affecting a penguin gait are seen everywhere from offices to art galleries, and women feel the need to expose their bra straps.  I feel under pressure to shave my legs, and for a feminist and a lesbian that is tantamount to walking around naked.


Car journeys become a nightmare as you crawl along in the heat and humidity, lagging behind day trippers clogging up the roads. For parents, the cost of living triples as they are forced to shell out on cold drinks, swimming baths and Alton Towers. For some weird reason folk want to be outside when the sun comes out, despite all the discomfort.

I can never get hold of people I need to in the summer because everyone is either on holiday or behaves as if they are. Prices escalate because of school holidays and children are everywhere. Men insist on getting the barbecue out, which ensures that the small percentage of the workforce still active come down with food poisoning.

My head aches with the heat, my skin itches because we have to sleep with the window open so hideous creatures suck my blood all night. If I do manage to sleep through the bites and heat, the birds wake me at 4am.

Work is almost impossible. When the air conditioning breaks down, I want to fall asleep at my desk. In winter you are allowed to get a cold or flu. In summer no one believes you.

The humidity makes my clothes stick to my body, your skin to chairs, and it usually ends with a massive downpour of rain that gives me the cold that no one believes I have.

The sun is bad for your eyes, bad for your skin (white people look ridiculous tanned – and it causes cancer), bad for your plants, your pets, and your mood. If I were Prime Minister I would abolish summer, or at least privatise it.

Julie Bindel is the author of Straight Expectations: What Does It Mean To Be Gay Today? (Guardian Books)

Follow Julie Bindel on Twitter @bindelj

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  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Summer and Britain …. Gimme a break. You jokers think 28C is hot.
    Simply switch from whisky and soda to gin and tonic. Although both will stop hay fever in its tracks.
    Jack, Japan Alps

    • George Smiley

      Are you British or a Japanese? Kindly make up your mind!

  • amicus

    When the temperature is over eighty, it becomes uncomfortable.

  • KasimAwan

    I Agree :)

  • Smithersjones2013

    So Bindel likes this country when its cold, damp, miserable and to the greater extent lifeless. How appropriate for an urban liberal.

    It does seem to me though there is a simple solution, Bindel should move to Antartica. She would then rarely if not never feel the heat and have plenty of excuse to over indulge herself with all those open fires, cashmere blankets (nice if you can afford them) and hot toddies and we would not have to suffer her narrow minded self indulgent drivel again!

    PS And if Bindel thinks that children do not cost a fortune in winter when they have to be entertained indoors (bowling, the cinema, cold drinks, Christmas etc etc) then she’s even more living in cloud cuckoo land than I thought.

    What a crass article!

  • Sarah Stuart

    Wow. Such journalism.

  • goneunderground

    Hopefully that will be the last pointless article you write on this site.

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    Top tip for Julie Bindel: us real (as opposed to political) lesbians and feminists don’t feel under pressure to shave our legs.

    • girondas2

      take advice from a connoisseur of the female leg, be it feminist, lesbian or what have you. Shave ’em

      • Trans Fan and Proud

        I have two female legs so consider myself something of a specialist.

        • girondas2

          As you wish
          I will not press the point
          (though I’m right)

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            I’m right *and* left in the leg department.

            • girondas2

              Fair enough!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    So pointless to complain about something that is totally beyond your control. But that`s women for you, nagging and complaining is what they do best.

    • George Smiley

      And you also constantly say that “women have this amazing ability to spot the nutter in 30 paces” ! Talking about self perchance?!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        What`s up Jock? Another dry hole?

  • hdb

    I cannot believe The Spectator is employing Julie Bindel. She has to be one of the most unpleasant and extreme writers ever to be employed by the Guardian. How someone with a journalistic portfolio that consists of nothing but the most outrageous misandry could be employed by a magazine such as The Spectator is beyond bizarre.

  • Cyril Sneer

    The only good thing about the summer is the totty, the bare naked attractive ladies… this eye candy somewhat offset by the not so attractive, terminally obese bare naked ladies.

  • Amir
    • Cyril Sneer

      Who is Roland Reagan?

      If you can’t get that right then why should I believe anything else you say…..

  • shaft120

    Julie Bindel, the walking hyporcitical stereotype.

    • Liz

      Whereas you are armchair based.

    • justejudexultionis

      Yes, especially in relation to so-called ‘transsexuals’. For some reason she believes that these people should be denied basic civil equality, hypocrite lesbian idiot that she is.

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    Emigrate then. If you get too hot take some clothes off. Luckily I am not ashamed of my body so I dont mind being in the flesh.

    Get a life!

  • Donafugata

    I cannot disagree with one word, Julie, summer is vile.

    Spring is best, the autumn and then winter.
    It is easier to keep warm than it is to be comfortably cool.

    And people dress and act like idiots in hot weather, they dress for the beach when in town and become obsessed with having barbeques.

    • Kitty MLB

      Oh I agree too.Spring and autumn are so very beautiful.
      Sitting in the garden during late spring reading whilst
      its still quiet.Although our cottage is in the country, its not
      as rural as before so you still have lawn mowers etc.
      Flowers and reading, with no wasps, or flies.
      I Love warm weather but not baking.
      And oh yes, as you say, people wear very odd clothes,
      forget how to drive etc.

      • girondas2

        What’s a matter with you all?
        Summer is wonderful.
        The buzzing of bees
        Cats asleep under the rosemary bushes
        village fete on the green
        cricket on the green (standard is not to good but who cares)
        tomatoes and courgettes
        jugs of pimms
        straw hat
        gin martinis
        picking fruit
        picking beans
        walks along the river
        listening to the proms on the radio and falling asleep on the swinging hammock
        on and on it goes
        you miserable bunch!

        • Kitty MLB

          Excuse me, I am never miserable. I am sunshine, turquoise,
          small cats, the smell of wild roses, and grass beneath my toes. I never said I disliked summer.Just prefer late spring.. hate flies, one landed on my
          breakfast this morning.. you wouldn’t like that I am sure.
          Its is also.
          Breakfasts outside
          Waking up to daylight.
          Sleeping free of duvets, blankets, and hundreds of layers
          Bees ( you said that one)
          Tennis ( especially Wimbledon.. we are still in that Oops! )

          • girondas2

            I’m sorry for calling you miserable.
            I was being jocular.

            • Kitty MLB

              Oh never apologise for jocularity.I just responded mischievously. One must never
              become terminally serious, joyless or dull.
              Oh I must set a better example for the new
              bloggers..I am quite outrageous..sorry !

              • girondas2

                I retract my apology in that case
                Please accept an emoticon smiley thing

        • Kitty MLB

          Apologies, the computer wouldn’t let me continue, I hardly
          speak rather a lot, where was I
          Straw hats ( some of us wear hats through out the year)
          Listening to birds singing in the garden.
          And my list goes on.. and its a late spring list.
          You must have a couple of sturdy trees to support you whilst
          you swing in that hammock.. not saying you’re large but
          weight increased with alcohol consumption.

          • girondas2

            I am as lithe as ever thankyou Kitty

      • eclair

        You must have a gardener. Summer consists of nettle rash from every plant I try to stop climbing through the bedroom window, Hedges so tall that Im rocking in the hammock in the semi dark, fretting into sweaty pillows at night and sweat rash where no man ever has to speak its name.

        • eclair

          And while we’re on the subject of summer, having to cart about a chemists shop of hayfever remedies to counteract the snot that pours like summer thunder storms, making a similar noise in the process and then there are the headaches…..Please. snow, ice thick sweaters..NOW!

  • Sean Lamb

    Cheer up, I understand it only lasts a couple of weeks over there before you get your nice drizzle again.

    • girondas2

      A couple of weeks? You’re misinformed my friend. I haven’t known one last that long since the drought of ’76

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