Of course, once the phrase had flittered into my head, it became my mission to Google and ascertain where the actual phrase came from. Some attributed to a poem or interview by Rudyard Kipling ; whilst others to Noel Coward and his aptly named 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' song. I can now attest [and so can Man] that it is a very catchy tune, as my Googletastic search session resulted in my playing a recording of Coward singing the ditty (youtube) for a substantial part of the morning and much to Man's consternation, I didn't stop humming the ditty during the weekend.
Which brings me to this weekend's escapade in the countryside of Bedfordshire. I, in typical fashion, had ignored all weather warnings and was determined that the forecasting for serious HEAT and SUNSHINE was a hoax by the Nationwide Weather Teams. This belief that all Television Weather Men/Women where in cahoots was compounded when Man sent a snapshot of the local weather which forecasted rain!
However, it would seem that one should always do your own 'weather forecasting' homework or pointedly ignore all negative reports; neither of these things did I do. I arrived in Bedfordshire, some 52 miles from my lovely flat in SW London in a dusty pair of jeans and to my horror, found that the wardrobe in my bag, did not fit the 'new and improved' weather forecast of the current climes. The selection of jeans, denim mini skirt and black tights, along with an array of Spring jumpers where simply not going to cut the mustard. No summer dresses, shorts, skirts or anything lightweight for that matter either where hidden in my bag and no matter how many times I shook it, I just couldn't Mary Poppins anything relevant to wear, out of it!
Now that the weather was going to be glorious, Man had the lovely idea of a long country walk which would culminate with a disposable BBQ in a suitable meadow, with the car storing the food in cool boxes until required. At this point, we had a preverbal 'spanner in the works', how could I sit in a meadow in jeans and a jumper with temperatures exceeding 24c? I'm possibly over romanticising at this juncture, considering there would have been two black labs involved in this picnic and it would never have been a meadow for practical reasons but let's not ruin my '20/20 rose tinted' version. The point was that on any other weekend, I would have been suitably attired and ready for the country, I just wasn't this weekend. I also, and far more importantly, didn't want to give up the opportunity of playing Sous Chef to Man whilst he BBQ'd and played with fire.
This 'spanner' wasn't going to disappear with any great ease being that we weren't in London, where there are many 'quick-fix' shops for the disaster outfit resolution on the doorstep. In fact, the selection I had to choose from were F&F (Tesco), Matalan or some other brand of which I have never heard. To make matters worse, these three shops where all miles apart from each other; so I had to pick one shop and hope that it would have something - which preferably was not made from 100% polyester. To cut a long story short and after a quick Google, F&F seemed like it may have one dress and some lightweight trousers that were the answer.
The outing didn't result in any great fashion finds, after 3 dresses and a t-shirt where tried and rejected, Man began to grumble that we'd been in the shop too long (err ... ladies, 30 mins to circle the floor, pick out items and try them on, isn't long in my book) and we headed home. Slightly beside myself at potentially melting, I suggested that bra and pants might be my only option of weekend survival; Man simply suggested I borrow a pair of his shorts. A simple solution except that Man is 6ft2 and I'm a fair few inches shorter than that. To add to this, all his shorts are long-cargo shorts (a juxtaposition, I know) which weren't really doing much for me. I then stumbled on a pair of shorts that were short enough to look like shorts on me, I pulled them on and paraded in front of Man. The horror, I was wearing his bed-shorts which are not meant for public appearance.
After much deliberation we came to a compromise, I could wear the 'bed-shorts' in the house whenever I liked and rather than finding our perfect meadow, we'd BBQ at home so that I could enjoy a little of the sunshine without dehydrating. However, as with all compromises, I had to agree not to wear the 'bed-shorts' in public or even step outside the front of the house in them. Thus my punishment for abandoning the Weather Teams national advise: I was to wash and walk The Girls early in the morning in my jeans so as not to dehydrate, make the BBQ marinades for the Saturday Lamb and Sunday Chicken, be dropped off in town to have a pedicure (so that I could wear my flip-flops) and picked up from a local pub (after a refreshing bottle of Crabbies); all whilst Man 'made and danced' around FIRE in the BBQ pit.