Of all the ways to measure how successful you are at doing life (as in living, not a life sentence) my preferred yardstick (staying consistent with a metaphor) is this one: you are having a really good time when you get out of bed and put the same pair of shorts on each morning, for a week or more, and you don’t get cold because it’s warm outside.
Often, this is hard for most people who are over the age of 14 and are not on school holidays. But can you remember when that’s how life was for a few weeks? Well probably you’ve done similar whilst travelling or on a trip somewhere, but travelling and tripping always comes with a little uncertainty and subtle menace (if you’re doing it right) and on a lot of my trips all I’ve really wanted was to import the amazing environment and weather that I was experiencing back home so that I could share it with my own people.
And that’s what’s been happening the last couple of weeks. I’ve been wearing a red pair of shorts all day, every day, and they’ve been laundered when I jump in the sea for a swim. Every day now for the last 9 days we’ve been out standup paddling without wetsuits, slapping on the factor 15. The surf’s flat and I don’t care because piloting my Starboard Touring through the rocky passes around here is addictive. So is the glide every time me and this sublime bit of kit lock into the crest of a white horse.
I’ve got a Casio watch; I bought it two weeks ago and it’s just great looking at it function underwater. The screen of a watch always looks so clean and clear underwater, it’s like wearing your socks in the bath as you contemplate how this electric device can work in those conditions. I’ve got that tight feeling across my back where the skin is getting a bit cooked from the sun, can’t always reach those bits or have time to ask someone else to do it.
The salt water is actually a very good way of cleaning yourself. It stops all body odours, your skin is not robbed of its oils and so doesn’t feel dry and I’m sure a residue of dried salt on the skin has an antibacterial property.
Anyway, best two weeks ever in Cornwall, or Britain, I can’t remember a time like it. It looks set to carry on for a few more days, and Smiler’s dad, who keeps records, said that the weather patterns this year are exactly like those of 1976, and then it was sunny till August.