Oh look, it’s raining again. Look, I’m used to rain. I spent 5 years living in North Wales. I don’t let it confine me to the house. But what pisses me off the very most about our complete washout summer is the lack of ability to plan anything that requires it to, you know, not be raining.

We have already had to cancel a camping trip so far. Yes, we are fair weather campers, but really, there is nothing fun about being stuck in a tent, cold and damp with two children under 5. What sort of holiday is that. Not that I consider camping a holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I really like camping, but in order for something to be described as a holiday it has to meet certain criteria.

1) a phrase book should be required. This does not count.
2) there should be some sort of extreme weather, preferably sun, but snow is also acceptable.
3) there should be a body of water involved somehow, swimming pool, lake, ocean. Puddles do not count.
4) there must be a real bed to sleep in, not shared by either of my children.

So you see camping does not meet the criteria for a holiday, but it is a break at least. And the only one we can afford. But it is impossible to plan a trip for the summer.

Also most summer activities to keep children amused involve being outside, farm parks, theme parks, play parks. This is especially true for free or very cheap activities. As it is we will be spending most of the time at the library.

I love the seasons. The fresh crunch of autumn; cold but cosy winter; the feeling of rejuvenation that spring brings; and the welcome warmth and sunshine of summer, all the more coveted because of its scarcity. But it is times like this when I wish I lived in California, or somewhere else with eternal sunshine. There is something so cheering about the sun and blue skies. Even the drive to work is significantly improved by its morning rays, with the windows down and the Isley Brothers on the stereo.

But psychologists insist that people who live in sunny places are not happier than those who don’t. They call it the hedonic adaption, the theory that everyone has a set point of happiness, and while things like lottery wins, promotions, and sunnier climes might temporarily increase our happiness, pretty soon our happiness levels return to their state pre-change. As you life circumstances improve, so do your desires and expectations.

While I get the theory, I’m dubious of its veracity. I’m fairly certain that if you took away my money worries, I had a cleaner, and a glittering career, I would in actual fact be significantly happier. I’m sure people who have fled lives lived under the threat of domestic violence, brutal dictatorships or abject poverty, are in fact actually happier

And tell me that I would not be happier here

Ayada ocean villa, maldives
Yeah, I’d be totally fed up here after a while…

than here:

Home in the rain

4 thoughts on “The sun will not make you happier, no really, it won’t…

  1. Oy, Dilly Tante. If you really want some sunshine in a cheapy way, come and stay in our house in the south of France. It’s glorious sunshine, the pool in the garden is up, and we’re going away mid-August. We wanted to rent the house out for 500€ a week, but if we don’t we may as well lend it to someone in dire need of a break and some sun. We have two under fives too (well, one just turned five) so are totally equipped for a family like yours. Check out flights to Nimes/Marseille/Lyon. And if you’re serious about it and want some photos send me your email address, erm… DM via Twitter? (@inagainoutagain)

  2. Hmm, we’re off camping in two weeks’
    1) a phrase book should be required – we’ll be going to France so my family could use a phrase book.
    2) there should be some sort of extreme weather, preferably sun, but snow is also acceptable – we’re hoping for the former (Normandy is renowned for very, very high temperatures with gentle breezes)
    3) there should be a body of water involved somehow, swimming pool, lake, ocean – there’s a big pond for the 1 year old to fall in, and the Normandy beaches to crunchify our lunces.
    4) there must be a real bed to sleep in, not shared by either of my children – Hmm. We fall down on that one – all five of us squooshed into a four-man tent is going to be fun. Fun, I tell you.

  3. I might not be happier overall if it was sunny every day, but I’d certainly have a few nice moments of happiness if I could plan to do something and know that the weather would be nice for it.
    Maybe we need not California but somewhere with more consistent seasons, where you know that it’ll be snowy in January and sunny in June.
    And I agree, camping is not a holiday. Camping is hard work.

  4. Refusing to be beaten we invested in some full-body waterproofs and I’ve got to admit the novelty of splashing down the slide in the rain was great fun … for a couple of days … Now when the boys see the waterproofs come out I spend the following hour trying to prise them out kicking and screaming from behind the sofa.

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