How have you been doing? In the heat, I mean.
Me, I’m not so good. I am to summer what Kim Kardashian is to small bottoms. It’s just not me.
So now I’m cheering on the rain.
It’s the legs really. At heart, they are the key to all my discomfort, because in summer, for women, it is all about the legs.
Our legs keep us awake at night. You men might be worrying about the new signings, dreaming that your team manager was until recently coaching kids on the park - whatever it is you men think about in the dangerous hours.
But we summer-averse women have weightier, whiter matters on our minds.
It’s okay for the ones who tan. Male or female, they are laughing. They are on the floor kicking their legs in the air with merriment.
Life is so darned easy for them. In April they remove their leg coverings - trousers, tights, whatever. And that’s it. Their lower limbs turn a socially acceptable shade of caramel, or honey or mahogany all by themselves, no effort required. Just like that, they are summer-prepped.
I see them as a different tribe. The Golden Tribe. To look at one of The Golden Tribe in the fierce, summer months is to look at a sort of mirage. They carry with them an aura of shimmering, sun-dappled ease.
And they look smug. Up to their ears, fit-to-bust smug. For they know they are among the chosen people. They pull on old shorts with an insouciance that says St Tropez - and I don’t mean the fake tan stuff. They slip their feet into a pair of old sandals, and they are dressed. Their tan is their golden armour.
We white people can mutter “melanoma” as much as we like, they don’t hear us. All thoughts of cancer are drowned out by the hum of their self satisfaction.
For we pale people it is a different life. In April our legs are still firmly covered. Some of us have to be medically separated from our black , opaque tights. Really. Those screams you sometimes hear in the night, that’s not foxes, that’s not cats, that is a pale-skinned woman having the 60 denier peeled painfully, inch-by-inch, from her flesh.
Come morning, still pink-eyed and sobbing, she has to make a decision about how to proceed next.
She could go the trouser route, lots of us do. We will sweat inside those trousers until we need intravenous rehydration rather than reveal the pallor underneath.
Some of us brazen it out. We show the world our bluey-whiteness with a defiant tilt of the chin. That’s fine, there are women out there taking selfies of their colostomy bags and insulin pumps.
A deviation from the accepted norm of perfection is all the rage - still, have you noticed? They usually team their medical equipment with a tan.
Or we could go down the fake tan route.
There I’ve said it. How easy it is to write. But that phrase “fake tan” or “self tan” to give it its more acceptable name, that hides a world of pain. I’m telling you: a world.
I had one recently. My first ever proper, therapist-applied fake tan. I know! At my age too.
All you need to know is that it ranks high on the humiliation chart. There is nothing pretty about standing in paper knickers with your limbs akimbo in front of a girl who is pointing a spray gun at you.
Nor about the journey home by bus as you take on the hue of an old sideboard, or the unpleasant night endured before you are able to sluice off the residue the next morning.
It’s time to sum up. I’ll make it short and snappy. Here’s what I really want to say. You Golden People, I hate you. Everyone okay?
Less tweets more sense
Leeds “model” Josie Cunningham has apparently suffered a drop in her quality of life.
Josie is the woman who had a £4,000 breast enlargement on the NHS. after claiming her flat chest had led to years of bullying
As a result of the publicity, Josie went on to make a name for herself as a defiant spender of taxpayers’ money.
She has since claimed to have had Botox on the NHS for a sweat problem and, as a further means of splurging our cash, has been taking her two children to school each day by taxi to avoid “negative atttention” - attention mostly grabbed by debating whether to abort her third child for the chance to appear on Big Brother. But the taxis have now been stopped and Josie is upset.
Now I understand that, in the scheme of things, the amount spent on Josie Cunningham is small. Smarter, wealthier people deprive the nation’s coffers of billions of pounds through legal tax avoidance schemes.
But still, there is something unpleasant and sad about a woman who tweets “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but taxpayers will always fund me.”
Josie isn’t remote enough from her public to make that sort of deliberately provocative statement and not actually suffer. She isn’t some celebrity playing a game, she lives in a real city with real people.
She should think about using a final chunk of our money to get real training in a proper job. That will protect her children more than riding to school by taxi.
We all know the common sense about dieting. It is short, sharp and brutal: eat less, move more.
That way lies tedium, deprivation - and success. Keep it up and there will be less of you. There just will.
So we don’t need a charity called Sense about Science to tell us that extreme diets don’t work.
For instance, we already know that, although sugar is now the eighth deadly sin, it is impossible to cut it out of our lives completely.
And we know that the caveman diet - protein and protein with a side order of protein- isn’t the way forward. Likewise any diet that tells you it can make you lose weight on specific bits of your body is a load of cobblers. Meal replacement diets are not going to work - unless they gradually reintroduce real food so dieters know how to eat properly.
And the latest diet which involves eating clay every day - don’t even bother to Google it. It won’t work.
We know, we know. So don’t bother to tell us. We do these diets because they break up the boredom of losing a bit of weight - not because they work.