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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas