This weekend, the sunshine came out in most of Britain and temperatures near us reached 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This, of course, is the nation’s cue to drop EVERYTHING and head outside to soak in the rays. After living in coats and sweaters and a permanent patch of grey for months, there is nothing that can stop a British person from whipping out the deck chairs and pretending like they’re sitting on the beach in France rather than in their overgrown backyard.
In case you’ve experienced this sunshine madness or are anticipating that you may one day be faced with the rare occasion of a sunny day in Britain, here are my top 5 tips on taking advantage of the British sunshine.
1. Fashion Doesn’t Matter
Especially since it’s only early April, many of us haven’t quite switched our winter clothes for the summer ones. But don’t worry. If the sun comes out, fashion doesn’t matter. We all understand your plight. If the only bathing suit you have is the one that fit you 20 pounds ago, WHO CARES! You wear that bathing suit and you wear it with pride. Everyone else is going to be too busy hiding their winter pudge to care about yours.
2. Make Do With What You Have
We haven’t gotten around to buying outdoor furniture for our house yet, but do you think that is going to stop me from sitting outside? No, it’s not. We’ve got a perfectly usable deck and an old beach towel that got bleached on accident, and you know what? That beach towel may well have been a luxurious 5-star lounge chair for all I know because – don’t care, sun. Is the family begging you to turn the backyard into a Slip’n’ Slide? Pull out your tarp filled with rust, put some cheap soap down and turn on the hose because who cares about safety when there is SUN!?
3. You Are Allowed to Smile
Sunshine in Britain is one of my favorite things because it gives you the implicit permission to smile and not have your neighbor think that you’re creepy or want to know too much about their life even though you haven’t said a word to them. In fact, I may have even heard people on the train have a conversation who DIDN’T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER. This is unheard of in the winter months, but suddenly we’ve all refreshed our Vitamin D and are reaching out to our fellow humans like we’re all on this Earth together or something. Normal social rules are straight out the window, and we don’t care because – sun.
4. Talk About How Fast Your Clothes are Drying
Here’s a pro tip for the Americans who may not be aware: the custom in Britain is usually to hang your clothes up to dry, rather than stuffing them in giant dryers like Americans do. This means that in the winter, your house is probably damp and filled with clothes that take about 8 years to dry.
But when the sun comes out and the temperature are right, back doors fling open and clothes are put on the racks outside to dry in no time. You could even do two loads in a day if you want. I KNOW. After your clothes have dried in record time, it is then appropriate small talk discussion for the rest of the day because let’s be honest, everyone is probably very interested in how fast you were able to put your underwear away.
5. Complain About How There Will One Day Be Clouds Again
You are not being British correctly if you just embrace the sunny day and leave it at that. This is not America – we do not all pat each other on the backs and talk about how great our country is. No, you need to be actively preparing everyone around you for the reality that the sun will one day end. That could be tomorrow, it could be the next day, or it could be next week, but you can’t finish the day without complaining about the weather so get creative.