Harriet Walker: It may sound trite, but sun and smiles are natural partners

Share
Related Topics

Spring – and the advent of the wedding season – and such a fluttering of new feeling that I hardly know what I'm about any more. Now that I regain consciousness to Radio 4 in the morning rather than the American high-school guitar strains which used to permeate slumber when I was about 16, getting up rarely feels like a scene in the film of my life any more. But when the rays filter through the curtains, they can't but make waking up a bit more special.

It's incredible how the sun can make even getting out of bed an adventure, changing the scenery between acts so we know that things will be all right again. I forget this every year. And every year, I have a goldfish moment of happiness at it all anew.

People's faces split open in the street, they look above their collars and expose their chins again. It means all the more after that winter of discontent we've just survived – a dragged-out winter of Arctic snow on valiant blossom even at the beginning of April; of wind chill that made you feel like you'd left the house naked and with wet hair; whose extended chilly embrace seemed to encourage everyone to look out for themselves and themselves alone. A winter of rich versus poor, the haves against the have-nots. Of bedroom tax and the "vile products of welfare UK".

Surely we are ready to like each other again. The sun is an excellent excuse. Those first balmy days where you could go outside without a coat, I cycled home through Bloomsbury streets littered with laughing people and colleagues on hiatus from being in competition for jobs that are dwindling fast and pay rises that won't come, but who were content in blue-sky drinking and letting the sun dapple their pint as they talked about Game of Thrones.

At the wedding I went to last weekend, everyone liked each other very much, not least the bride and the groom. They floated about with dizzying smiles (by the end of the night, they were just dizzy – but then so was everyone else), talking freely and openly about how much they loved each other. Speeches were devoted to it, the dancefloor made ready. And everyone lapped it up.

Why don't we act like this all the time? Judging by the photos which cropped up a few days later – most of which feature the bride and groom, beaming into the lens, backed by a murkily lit crowd of other couples snogging away – acting like this is infectious. Love begets love.

So no wonder we hated one another all winter long. There was very little to be cheery about. It may sound trite, but people respond to this stuff: when the sun shines, we're nicer and life is easier. When the sun shines and people get married, it throws a spotlight on how much we all think of each other.

I know what I sound like – and trust me, this isn't easy. My usual shtick is about how frustrating life is when you're surrounded by idiots who stand on the wrong side of the escalator and think Les Mis is high culture (no, I can't forgive that). So now that I'm being all, "Let's bake a cake and flavour it with rainbows and dance with unicorns," it feels a little disingenuous. I may need to bathe in acid later on and watch an episode of The Cube to remind myself how much I hate my fellow man.

But I can't help it – I was struck last weekend and on my daily tussle through London's busiest tube station, how differently we act when we have something to smile about. Banal, fine, but there aren't many reasons to do that about at the moment. That's why I'm chasing the sun and grinning like a fool this week.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would create a government that actually reflects its people

Kaliya Franklin
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower