Summer’s Here

I don’t want to tempt fate or anything…

But this summer has actually been pretty good. After two washouts in the last couple of years, this summer has actually been pretty cool. Or not cool. It’s been warm. And, in parts, sunny. Very sunny indeed.

Meanwhile, back Up North, where I no longer live for most of the year, it has been cooler, darker and wetter. Generally, in other words, shit. Not a day goes by where I don’t compare the five day forecasts for where I live now, and where I used to live.

Weather is important for us English, but for me it’s even more so. I’m one of life’s weather OCD freaks. It has to be just right, or I get tetchy. Winter is a total write-off for me. It’s too dark. Too cold, obviously. But definitely too dark. Autumn is also a disaster, because of the long, slow decline. It’s too depressing.

For six months of the year, as long as the weather treats me right, I’m happy. The days get lighter. They get warmer too. At least they’re supposed to. It fills me with the joys of Spring. I guess that’s where the phrase comes from. I like knowing that each day that passes is making the conditions better, brighter, sunnier. It’s so… uplifting.

So when the summers turn out to be grey, wet disaster areas, I get pretty pissed off. That seemed to happen more often than not the last few years. It made the winter so much harder to bear if I knew there wasn’t really any nicer conditions to offset the badness.

It seems ridiculous, but the 200 miles from here to Up North just seems to make all the difference. Generally speaking, it’s warmer here. It’s also sunnier here. And it definitely rains less. I also observed this when I lived in London for a year. It is a major bonus of not living Up North, one I’m grateful for every day.

As long as it’s warm and sunny. Or at least warm, with a bit of sun. Definitely no rain allowed.

Whether I’m making full use of it is less certain. I feel like I have to squeeze all the optimism out of the sun while I can still see it. I need it to keep me going. It’s like a store of energy to see me through the winter.

But still, like I said, can’t complain right now. Here’s to a, sort of, summer. And let’s hope I haven’t tempted fate…

25

Travelling once again across the country, my mind as usual is in reflective mode.

And even more so today, for it is my birthday.

A quarter century today. That’s pretty scary. Years and years of my life just rolling by. I honestly can’t believe that another one has gone.

But enough of the platitudes. Is there anything worth celebrating? Has there been anything worth celebrating over the last year?

Right now, the answer to both is a qualified yes. A few months ago, I’d have said the answer was a no. That’s quite the turnaround, I reckon. Especially as a year ago today I was working in a petrol station to try to make ends meet.

The last year has been something of a rollercoaster when I look back. The stresses of wondering whether I’m doing the right thing with my life are never far from my mind. There’s almost not a day that goes by when I worry about if what I’m doing, trying to run my own business, is sustainable, or whether it’s going in the right direction, or indeed if it’ll keep earning enough money to pay the bills.

That, I think, is the reason why in the last nine months I seem to have developed more gray hairs than I did have.

The last year of my life has been totally dominated by this choice of what to do with life. In all honesty, the amount of interesting diversions and noteworthy events has been absolutely minimal. Part of this is because it’s who I am. I’m not a very interesting person generally. The rest is because I’m terrified of spending money because I don’t have much of it to burn. And then there’s the fact that if I want to do something, I’ve either got no one to do it with, or no means of physically getting there.

That’s pretty shit, and a damning indictment of my current situation.

I’m making major sacrifices with my life during the time when I’m, I think, in my prime. Never again will I feel this young. Never again will I be able to not have to worry if I can cope with doing risky or slightly unacceptable things, either physically or mentally. I don’t really have aches, pains, creaks, and I’m certainly in a reasonable physical condition. These are all advantages which I won’t have in 15 years time.

And right now, I’m not taking advantage of any of them.

That’s just another worry added to my list.

So I am celebrating another year successfully navigated. And I am, quantitatively and qualitatively, in a better position now than I was this time last year, when I had no hope and no prospects.

For that I can thank my move away from home. The gamble has at least paid off for now. Moving away was probably the event of the last year. It was difficult, it was traumatic, but it had to be done.

Where it goes from here is the biggest unknown. I can’t keep renting forever. And I don’t really want to share with my housemate for any longer than is necessary. Yet I can’t see the end to it right now. Business is certainly not good enough for me to live on my own. And, in any event, I am wholly reliant on his transport!

It’s been a transformative year. I’m hoping the next one is exactly the same but in other directions.

Before I’m too old to have a nice young girlfriend!!