Sunday 14 July 2013

High on Vitamin D

Roses in Regents Park
Hi! I'm high on vitamin D, which may well make you happier and lower your risk of depression according to some reports that may or not be whacky because I read them on the internet, and could not verify their sources; but I certainly feel sunny. Can you remember how giddily gorgeous the weather has been in England and Wales in recent history? Me neither, I am always surprised when the sun comes out in a constant way on our emerald island, and when it does it is cause for rejoicing - except when observing all the naked pink flesh on display in Regents Park - a phenomenon I was first gobsmacked by when I arrived in London from SA in '86: "Why are all these English people naked in the park - and why are they all pink - haven't they heard of sunblock - outsized hats and shades?” I asked myself. I endeavoured to instruct, inculcate, educate, wherever I could, but it just didn't work, when the sun came out the British went berserk (and pink - the Anglo-Saxon variety anyway).

The science bit:

According to the experts (see above link) 'little and often' is the key to getting you vitamin D via the sun. Nota bene, pink folk: little and often should not be making you pink or ‘redden’ like you have been smacked on the bottom all over by the sun.

The middle two on a middling hill in North Wales

There is less pink flesh scattered about the place, here in Wales, where we are lurking for as much of the summer as we can – mostly on hills and beaches, but also in paddling pools and in the garden. Yes! A real live garden – you just open the sliding doors at the back of the house and voila! – there it is, all splendid and twinkly with sunshine and flowers (in London we live in a rabbit hutch - though it is a centrally located one near Regents Park.) Man! I am one high Zimbabwean girl. 

I still miss Africa (I lived in South Africa for five/six years as well as Zim) and often dream (in hot red and orange) of going back there, but I do love the distinctness of the seasons here. Zimbabwe, had the best climate going: mostly hot (not unbearably so like many other parts of Africa) but dry, not humid, for a lot of the year; I loved the rainy season too - the rich smell of the earth after rain - now that was a natural high too - the magnificent thunderstorms...oh dear I am getting homesick; but I was less aware of the change in the seasons there, except when the msasa trees came out in the spring – think small leaves of pomegranate red; deep shades of burnished peach – glorious...

Here in the UK, I look forward to each distinct seasonal change and enjoy spring (the wedding-worthy pink and white blooms bursting out on all the trees in the park!) autumn: the children kicking up the vibrant coloured leaves in their wellies - and the serenity of a blue-tinged snowy landscape in winter: stripped trees stark against white skies; in Wales the ice on the mountains, in league with the sun, slices your eyes with its glaring beauty. And then there is the short, sharp shock of summer: always a sublime surprise. I'm in the pink.

People are not the only pink things to be discovered in Regents Park