Moving abroad is an exciting and exhilarating prospect. For some, it is nothing short of completely necessary. With the unravelling politics, the dire reality television and the atrocious lack of summer, Brits are taking action, packing up their troubles and heading off into the sunset.
Did you know that over 1.2 million Brits are now living in other EU countries? This is according to the 2015 estimates from the UN and, the Office of National Statistics reported that approximately 297,000 people emigrated in 2015. It is predicted that this number has continued to rise through 2016 and 2017. We are fleeing the cold and setting up digs in warmer climes.
So, where the shivering heck has the sun gone? British summer really does seem like a thing of the past. Those of us that have been around for more than two decades will remember the pure joy and elation of breaking up for the summer holidays because we knew it would be 6 whole weeks of playing out in the sun. Usually, the paddling pool would go up in June and stay out right through until September. Now… If you put the pool up, do so at your own risk, because the odds are, you’ll have to take the bugger back down in a day or two because it’s sitting in the depressing mound of sludge that is now your garden.
Just consider summer outdoor events in the UK, they are so hit and miss. Glastonbury is now famous for being an abhorrent bog of mud and misery. Wimbledon…. Raincoats or Roof? Staycations pose a risk… who knows if you’ll get a moderately warm day or if it will thunder down? Probably the latter…. Just note that tone… The weather is making us eternal pessimists.
Oh, how we suffer without the sunshine. Our poor deprived, pasty white bodies are starved of vitamin D. Our tortured minds and souls are without the comforting warmth and glorious light of the sun. We are living a grey and gloomy existence. As a grim side effect of the UK’s non-existent summertime, the increase in those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is exponential. SAD is depression linked to the changing seasons and a lack of natural light influencing one’s inner body clock.
‘More people than ever before are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder’ – sad.org.uk
According to experts at sad.org.uk, Brits are particularly susceptible to SAD as the UK sits in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and as a result, we are exposed to significant changes in the levels of light which, in turn, gives our body clocks a good ol’ kicking.
In the winter (which now seems to last forever), we go to work when it’s dark and we come home when it’s dark. We have dull and dingy weather for long periods of the year and consequently, we aren’t getting near enough natural light. This does not a happy bunny make.
There’s not much like the quint essential Brit on a sunny day. The moment we see a ray of sunshine, it’s panic stations… sorry, party stations! Our pasty white pins make their long-awaited appearance, we grab our cool boxes and head for the nearest beach or grassy park to sit on the ground and ‘day drink’. We rejoice at the familiar twinkle of the ice cream van and we can’t move for disposable barbecues. We drink Pimm’s by the literal jug load and we play loud music… often opting for a bit of reggae. Oh yes, us Brits are ‘happy go lucky’ folk in the sunshine.
Then, in rare cases, where it lasts more than just one day, we will start talking about how hot it is… If a Brit doesn’t state that it’s a hot day when it’s a hot day then are they really a Brit? Let’s face it, it’s not all fun and games for us when it’s sunny. We are rarely prepared for heatwaves so there is no air con in our homes, we usually burn like we are albinos that have visited the actual sun and we will get a face full of allergies.
So, to summarise, in the heat, we Brits are happy and outgoing but that happiness can quickly turn to torment as we are just not equipped to deal with it. It is different, of course, if and when you are living in a sunny country. There’s air con and pools and siestas or different working hours.
The point is, we don’t want to be here… We want to be in Spain!
The rubbish weather makes us all want to take more sunny holidays and to holiday later in the year. Many pensioners are opting to go away during the coldest winter months so that they can avoid the harsh frost and the subsequent colds and flu that tend to come with. This may be a valid option for some but not everyone can afford to go away every winter and certainly not for 3 or 4 months at a time. The thing about going away just for the winter to avoid the cold is that it is still likely you’re going to experience the UK chill as it’s pretty nippy most of the year around now and if it’s not cold in the summer then we will still be drenched by the inevitable summer downpour. Ugh – Seriously!
So many Brits are now taking control and going in search of the sunshine. It is no longer enough to enjoy the sun of Magaluf for one week a year in the form of a summer holiday. We want sunshine and we want it NOW. The best way to get this, and for more than 5 minutes, is to just move. Just go, DO IT.
Image courtesy of: "Beach" by Kris Arnold | CC BY 2.0