A perfect summer’s day is like walking into a shop with a bakery at the back and smelling the freshly baked bread. It’s heavenly. The air is filled with the smells of goodness. Grass is cut. Recently fallen rain has made the garden leap for joy. Birds are chattering madly about the general goodness of the day. I envy them. Birds live in trees and don’t have to go to work. They fly around all day, avoiding the stalking of cats and the barking dogs yapping wildly at them. Birds flit over swimming pools and dive down for quick sips that they take home to the nest for thirsty youngsters. It’s a good life, being a bird.
Today was a day like no other. It started with a peaceful stirring from my cosy and warm wife. Sunday means no mad rush to work or to the shops. It’s a special day for lying in bed and reading books, or for taking the dog to the park, or for lazing in the pool. At about ten I eased my way out of bed for tea and toast with chocolate spread, a rare indulgence. I let the dog in. During the night she’s ripped open a rubbish bag and there’s junk spread all over the driveway. I don’t mind, the sun is bright, I am well fed and the dog has been behaving well lately. I get a new bag and pick up the rubbish and the tatters of the old bag and put all the rubbish outside on the pavement. Time for a swim. I fetch a crisp dry towel from the cupboard and make myself a beer shandy – half beer, half ginger ale (not lemonade as is more traditional). These I take outside to the shimmering pool. My daughter is still asleep, although she’ll probably love to join me in the pool on a day like this. I let her sleep in for a while longer.
I put on some music to add some atmosphere to an already perfect day in the pool. The music I started downloading last night is waiting like treasure on my hard drive. I click play and the tranquil rhythm of Brazilian lounge music trickles outside to the pool area. I’m hot from the sun and my skin is peeling slightly. I ease back into the refreshing water and lift my half empty glass from the hot paving. Droplets trickle down the glass and onto my lips as I drain the last of the shandy. Some fragments of ice remain in my mouth and I slowly chew these, gazing at the restful movement of the breeze through the tree.
I’m sure the birds are just as happy I am. Strands of candy floss clouds stretch out across a blue, blue sky. In the distance a plane takes people back home to their lives, holidays slowly coming to an end. Perhaps some are going on holiday, to some exotic destination like Paris, or Italy or maybe to an adventure hiking through the musty and danger-ridden Amazon jungle. There they would encounter half-naked boat people with spears and red-painted bodies, renowned for accurate use of a blowpipe and for licking frogs for their hallucinogenic effects. Perhaps these people are having as much fun as I am. It’s also summer over there this time of year, so surely?
My wife asks me to bring in the washing that she hung on the line this morning. Each item of clothing is crisply dry, and warm. I neatly fold each item and place these into a plastic washing basket. Avoiding dog poo, I walk into our kitchen, my eyes not yet used to the relative darkness inside after the white sunny glare from outside. I am slightly blind and I stumble into the dining room where a pile of not-yet-ironed clothes awaits on the table. Mabel will be back this week to do the ironing, I think, and I dump the pile of washing free from guilt. Time for lunch, surely? My daughter is up already and has taken the remains of the turkey out of the fridge. Turkey and mayo sandwiches, with some tropical fruit juice. The sun is starting to kill me, so I decide to stay indoors for a bit. The TV looks inviting, so I pop in a disc I got for Christmas (the full Tin Tin box set, a joyous trove of entertainment) and kick back the lazy boy. My wife joins me and lounges out on the day bed, with my daughter taking up her usual spot on the floor directly below the TV. Another mad-cap adventure begins. I cannot believe that one person can have so many adventures, villains plotting against him constantly and really, what’s with that dog Snowy? Not plausible for a dog to be so intelligent, I think, as I look at our Labrador cross Great Dane. She’s got a good nature though and is very loveable. Another thing though, in almost every episode of Tin Tin the adventure seems to come to an end and then suddenly out of nowhere, there is a TWIST! The story continues! The villain is not truly defeated and must again be hunted down! I’m sure this formula must work for some reason, why else would Goscinny and Uderzo have done so. Or did they create Asterix? Ah well, I think, who cares, it’s Sunday.
It’s back to work tomorrow for me and I am refreshed and relaxed. It’s a new year, what new challenges await? It doesn’t really matter right now, this day is perfect and there will always be summer days.