take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Things meteorological 

So absorbed in my own "wibbly wobbly world" am I that I cannot often be accused of writing topical posts. Today, however, I shall break this habit to discuss something we Brits are known for discussing at any available opportunity, although having lived in France, I actually believe they are more obsessed with this particular topic than we are. Or maybe it was because I was British and they thought they were making me feel at home by discussing it. I doubt it, however. Making me feel at home was not usually on their agenda - they much preferred baiting me about my home country and its inhabitants when most of them had never set foot in it. I digress.

At the risk of alienating myself from my readership, I wish to talk about the weather.

While visiting e a couple of weeks ago, she claimed that she could do without the "in between" seasons altogether, preferring extremes of either heat or cold. I, on the other hand, bemoaned the seeming lack of spring this year. Mediocre to the very core, I like weather which is neither too hot nor too cold. Bright, yet cool - autumnal or vernal. I don't mind rain - it fills our rainwater butt and keeps everything green and lush. I don't mind wind - it makes me laugh when my hair flaps about in it. I don't mind cold - I have plenty of clothes and a large man to keep me warm.

Unlike many people, I am consistent in my views about the weather. I do not enjoy heat, ever. I do not like anticipating the arrival of summer, nor do I like the reality of it. Many people claim that they want it to be hot and yet when it arrives, they complain about it. I dread both its coming and its being. I resent the weather forecasters who tell me that today will be a "glorious" day. Thank you for your valued opinion, Messrs BBC, but I shall be the one to decide whether or not a day is "glorious". Being unable to sleep at night is not glorious. Being perpetually covered in a film of sweat is not glorious. Being able to run only at the crack of dawn is not glorious.

I'm not clear on whether it really is getting hotter in Britain or whether my tolerance of heat is declining, but I think it may be a combination of these things. As a skinny child, I was mostly untroubled by it. Equally, as a skinny child, I would happily prance around in a swimsuit or in skimpy clothing throughout the summer months. And here's where the problem lies.

When you suffer from body dysmorphia (as I so clearly do, yet am only just admitting it fully), summer can be a troubling time. When wearing a decent covering of clothes, I can just about maintain an even keel. In summer, the desire to shroud myself is jeopardised by the heat. Forced to bare flesh, I am confronted by the body I loathe. The volume, colour and complexion of my flesh are all repulsive to me. When reading in bed, despite the heat, I will go under the covers so as not to have to contemplate my voluminous thighs. The instinct to wear regulation black is scuppered by its tendency to absorb even more heat. Whilst I know that my body would be improved by exposing it to the sun's rays, my disinclination to expose it traps me within its pale, unattractive contours for all eternity.

And trapped is the word. I feel trapped by summer. I cannot escape its oppression.

In winter, you can add layers, turn up the heating, snuggle up to something or someone warm. There are, however, only so many layers of clothing which can be removed.

So when you say to me, in a cheery tone: "Lovely weather we're having," just don't expect me to agree with you.

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