Temperatures are getting silly. It's a race to eat your Diary Milk before it splats onto your knuckles, and you're in the habit of lining your flip-flops up by the side of your bed before you go to sleep. We are The Young, Wild And Free, so I'm told, and this is the kind of weather we thrive in.
If we were animals in a zoo, we would be in a sandy enclosure under heat lamps. The information board underneath the viewing window would inform enthralled visitors that not only is heat an essential element of the natural environment of The Young, Wild And Free, it is also catalytic to our mating habits. It also makes us want to dance around, providing much visual amusement to the visitor, and makes us a lot less fussy when choosing a beverage with which to slake our thirsts. And it makes us take our clothes of and show off our impressively sculpted, athletic young forms. And it makes us run around singing lustfully like the cast of Grease! The Musical.
Except none of this is actually true. The recent heat wave arrives as a living museum of just how frumpy we - The Young, Wi- etc - have become. Revolting numbers of us are dodging the sun to send Snapchats of ourselves in pyjamas on the sofa, or tweet lethargically about how late the royal baby is. After all; why should we be grateful that our country has finally afforded us a seasonal backdrop inductive to the dormant Super Soaker of last year when it hasn't sent a Princess into labour on cue? The gents are modest in trousers and the ladies are modest in long skirts and jackets. We probably won't accept your invitation to go make Daisy chains in the park today, as it'll be just as nice tomorrow (the forecast is trending on the newsfeed), and that would require moving.
Then along comes Grandma. I almost say no when she invites me to accompany her to a ukulele concert in the evening; what does a woman of her age think she is doing, imposing on the rigorously virile schedule of a member of the Young, Wild And Free? She should be seeking refuge in the cool shade of her sitting room - a copy of the Radio Times on her lap and glass of iced water and cucumber on a coaster to her right, lest she become flustered! - whilst I fulfil my role of sexy living amid the UV rays.
Narcissistically convincing my snivelling, sofa-ridden self that the evening might be an opportunity to ironically relate my ironically 'fun' experiences to my extremely important, avid Twitter following, I agree to go. Never would I have anticipated the hidden world of the summering O.A.P that awaited me. As I stand here in the half-time wine tent at the ukulele concert - knees covered like a premature monk and phone purring on vibrate in my pocket - the world of unabashed hedonism and Summer Lovin' before my very eyes rings out loudly my internal shame.
Grandma's friends shriek boorishly upon seeing her, skywards thrusted arms haphazardly spraying Pimm's all over their entourage. The ladies aren't a day under eighty, but this hasn't dissuaded them from an almost unanimous sartorial persuasion for short denim skirts, strappy tops and high-heels. Every wrinkle is on display, even hip replacement, and every liver spot. Flesh is bawdily bandied around in the evening sun as if it belonged to Jodie Marsh at a charity picnic. Whilst I won't go into specific details about Grandpa's activities at this time, know just that, whilst not flaunting as much chest as his female counterparts, the man is refilling his wine glass as if the bottle were a gushing fount, and screaming heartily between jokes.
The half-time tent smells exactly like summer should smell; of canvas, wine, and over-heating plastic. The crowd sounds exactly how summer should sound; a tipsy cackle alongside the slosh of a pint being knocked over. The scene is also how summer should look and how summer should feel (squinty and colourful, grassy and sweaty, for those members of The Young, The Wild, The Free who have forgotten). Grandma and her gaggle knew summer to be the marrying of these sensual elements, and they knew exactly where to come looking for it. I am the only one here liable for a student overdraft, and yet I am by far the most boring.
It's up to us to reclaim the reckless joy that rising temperatures and pollen counts are meant to engender in our horny young hearts. Here's to A & E becoming more crowded following bramble-patch related misdemeanours, and more tutting from your mother as you leave the house wearing not much more than a pair of Havaianas and your underpants. Here's to more divebombing amongst the ducks, and more motorbikes. More sun cream willies on your sleeping friend's back. More drunken scuffles outside pubs and sausage throwing at barbecues.
Until we've undone some of our growing up, I'm off to Grandma's for a bit too much Pimm's. I might also have a flick-through of the Radio Times, if she's got it. That royal baby should be here any time now.