EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT: Summertime Blues

EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT: Summertime Blues

Whatever your musical persuasion, the mere mention of summer is likely to leave you with an earworm. From Billie Holiday’s definitive version (objections on a postcard) of Gershwin’s Summertime to One Direction’s questionable (objections via Twitter only) Summer Love, there’s a tune for every taste and occasion.

The overriding themes of these seasonal songs tend to be lazy days, long evenings, balmy nights, the first flushes of love and an overwhelming sense of disappointment when it’s all over and life in the real world returns to bite you. It harks back to a simpler time when the summer seemed to last forever – although that may only have been in ’69.

For most of us, that recreation of summers past is now potentially confined to a couple of weeks’ respite on a rickety lounger perched poolside in the middle of a building site that may one day be the hotel you imagined when you read the brochure. And despite what you may think, this might not be a bad thing.

Our experience from talking to installers is that, for the most part, they really do enjoy their jobs. This, it seems, has long been the case. In 2005, plumbers ranked fifth in the City & Guilds Happiness Index, rising to third in 2012. There’s every chance one or two of you might be completely consumed with contentment before long. Yes, the hours are often long and anti-social. Yes, customers can be a royal pain in the proverbial with their endless demands, requests for a cash-in-hand discount and refusals to pay up. No, it’s not necessarily a glamorous life. But it’s honest, worthwhile graft and there’s no substitute for that.

So if your flight’s delayed and you’re stuck in a provincial airport for 18 hours with nothing to do but read the papers again; if your coach breaks down on the side of a dusty excuse for a road on the way to an all-inclusive resort where the “local spirits” taste somewhat methylated; if the kayak you rented for a spot of marine adventure is little more than a poorly moulded piece of plastic that won’t stay upright… remember this. In a fortnight, you’ll be going back to what you love – even if the livin’ isn’t always easy.

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