Terence Blacker: Tell-tale signs that change is in the air

 

Share
Related Topics

It is the moment of the year when, after months of chill greyness, nature stirs and, slowly, colour and warmth seep back into the world around us. A butterfly lands on the compost heap! A chiff-chaff calls from the cherry tree! A hedgehog shuffles out of the woodpile after its winter hibernation!

Fortunately, for those for whom the countryside in bloom means little, the human world contains 10 unmistakeable signs that summer is on its way.

1. A celebrity will be caught with his trousers down. The famous are at it most of the year but as, Jeremy Clarkson discovered this week, it is when spring arrives that the tabloids like to sniff out this year's love-rat, and proffer words of comfort and advice to the "long-suffering wife" of the moment.

2. Andy Murray fires his coach. As dependable as the return of swallows from Africa, the skinny Scotsman will have his annual crisis. There will be pictures of him staring gloomily into space, with or without a towel over his head. Soon he will find another coach. In the summer, he will reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam tournament. There will be different photographs of him – exultant, bellowing in triumph, the veins starting from his neck. Then the process will start again.

3. Suffolk will be hotter than Sicily. It will be a Stowmarket sizzler as the East of England steams in record temperatures. Cue unattractive pictures of the British in the sun. Alternatives to this story include Margate/Morocco, Runcorn/Rome and Cambridge/Capri.

4. Prince Charles will complain about being misunderstood. Seasonal experts will not have been surprised to read that the heir to the throne complained this week about being ridiculed for his views on religion. He has started spending more time in the garden. The sun beats down on his poor, naked pate, scrambling the royal brain and influencing his next public pronouncement.

5. A pointless survey will tell us something we either know already or are not interested in. It happens every month in the year but the spring brings certain favourites: the difference (a lot or a little) between men and women, weight loss, changing attitudes to holidays, the vegetables and fruit juices which are (or aren't) surprisingly good for us.

6. Big Brother announces another series. Like some pestiferous alien creeper that strangles more interesting plants that compete with it, the never-ending reality show is impossible to eradicate and returns every year. Even on Channel 5 it is a menace.

7. There will very soon be a water shortage. No matter how recent the spate of floods, somewhere soon will announce that water stocks are getting low and that a hosepipe ban will soon be enforced. There will be much empty talk of climate change.

8. A footballer will use a rude word, get drunk or sleep with the wrong person. It is the end of a long, arduous season. Footballers are getting tired, and so are fans, for whom the need to see the public humiliation of a successful player becomes an urgent biological imperative. Phrases like "a disgrace to football" and "foul-mouthed yob" bloom in the tabloid headlines. We learn new words and sexual practices: roasting, pigging, grilling, hogging, dogging, catting and so on.

9. A kitten snuggles up to a pit-bull terrier. Or a chick with a boa constrictor. Or a tiger suckles a mouse. Who cares so long as they appear in a goo-goo picture near the back of the newspaper?

10. A "troubled" star will go into meltdown. Michael Barrymore has disappeared, Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty are not destroying themselves in quite the interesting way they used to. Thank goodness Charlie Sheen is on hand to be this spring's celebrity addict.

terblacker@aol.com; twitter.com/TerenceBlacker

React Now

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

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Outgunned by a lack of military knowledge

Guy Keleny
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week  

General Election 2015: What on earth happened to Ukip?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions