I wrote this on a beach in Tenerife.

Don’t judge me. It wasn’t a beach where I could play ASDA bingo (2 points for a screaming brat, 5 for a mobility scooter, 15 for a face tattoo). It wasn’t a beach where pre-pubescent hormonal boys sit and drink Bacardi Breezers. Instead, there were 10 people there, they were all surfers, and they were all Spanish. Thanks to Avis car hire we managed to escape the chavvy masses and the identikit cafs serving up gammon and chips, and we found real authentic Tenerife. There, Spanglish is frowned upon and matching family football kits as good as banned.

I don’t know about you, but I go to foreign countries to feel like I’ve gone to a foreign country, not just a warmed-up version of Merseyside. Not like the couple we met, who go to the same hotel every year for two weeks and don’t leave the resort. I’d be poking my eyes out with tacky cocktail umbrellas after the 3rd day.

So, for those of you who find yourselves on a plane to Tenerife and are hoping to experience some culture beyond that of your local Lidl, may I recommend:

  • El Medana in the South East = surfer’s paradise
  • Las Terresitas in the North East = a pretty beach with imported white sand from the Sahara
  • Puerto de la Cruz in the North = the old town with more tapas and cocktail bars than you can shake your ‘I Love Tenerife’ beach towels at
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Oh look, it’s a blog post about the Olympic opening ceremony. If you don’t want to know what happened, look away now. And crawl back under the stone you’ve obviously been hiding under since the UK very nearly COMBUSTED WITH PRIDE on Friday night.

Let’s face it, that was better than we expected, right? Us Brits aren’t particularly good at an awful lot, apart from showing resilience in the face of July rain. I don’t mean we’re useless, but on the whole we’re never really anything better than ‘average-to-good’ are we? And that’s exactly what most of us were expecting as we settled down with a cuppa/pint/takeaway meal of another country’s cuisine at 8.50pm.

And then the camera panned to sheep, and we all held our heads in our hands as we imagined the Chinese laughing and pointing at us in perfect unison.

But suddenly, the sky blackened and Kenneth Brannagh went all ‘sexy Brunel’ on us and these big ol’ chimney pipes emerged out of the long jump pits and everyone shut up. Apart from Trevor Nelson, but let’s not get onto that now. And over the next couple of hours Sir Danny Boyle had us laughing, crying (just me and my Dad then?) and recoiling in horror at the child catcher. He even gave the world a bit of an ‘Up Yours’ as he reminded them that the WWW is one of ours. (To that point, I heard that an NBC commentator rather ironically telling the audience to Google Tim B-L if they hadn’t heard of him).

I had one eye on Twitter during the ceremony, and am flabbergasted that for the first time ever Sir Boyle managed to create an entirely positive feed. He won not only the respect and praise of a nation, but also THE INTERNET.

The story of our country was magnificently regaled, history and music and culture and emotion wrapped up in a delicious Olympic stadium-sized ball. And for the first time, we felt that calling ourselves Great Britain wasn’t so much a hyperbole than a fact.

Oh, and the flame kicked the ass of every flame ever lit.

Even the one by that guy with a rocket strapped to his back.

Clapham Common was a grassy wasteland of pheromones on Sunday. It was like someone gave schoolchildren a few more wrinkles and set them loose with a stomach-full of cider.

Watching the masses running around fuelled by hormones got me thinking. We all know everyone looks better when the sun’s out. This is a universal fact, verified by scientists at CERN (it isn’t).

I’ve been hypothesising why:

Hypothesis 1
When the sun is shining, it causes an excess of UV rays to hit your retina.
This isn’t good.
So to control the levels of light that the eye has to deal with, our pupils dilate massively. When this isn’t enough, we squint. But wait! Squinting causes WRINKLES!!!! And we all know wrinkles make you look old and bitter. So we wear sunglasses. The sunglasses trend means they are getting bigger and bigger – conveniently hiding larger proportions of our faces. Ergo, we look better than usual, because people can see less of our ugliness than usual.

Hypothesis 2
When the sun is shining, it causes an excess of UV rays to hit your skin.
This isn’t good.
So to protect our skin cells from damage, melanocytes secrete melanin which forms a barrier. This gradually turns us a darker shade of pale, slowly diluting the appearance of cellulite, acne, and enormous ears. A subtle sheen of perspiration – a ‘glow’ if you will – usually comes with a freshly tanned face too, meaning for those amongst us who aren’t of the ginger variety, we tend to look better than usual.

Hypothesis 3
When the sun is shining, the UV rays heat up the earth’s atmosphere. Our bodies heat up accordingly.
This isn’t good.
To counteract this, and keep us at the right temperature for vital chemical reactions, our bodies have a number of mechanisms, e.g. sweating. Aside from these autonomous events, we can also proactively cool ourselves. Plunging in a pool or swigging an ice cold pint helps, but shedding clothes is priority number 1. The minute the temperature rises above 20 degrees we start seeing much more flesh than usual. Unless we want to wear jeans and drown in a pool of sweat, we have to unsheath our wobbly jiggly bits. This is great for those with minimal wobbly jiggly bits. Less so for those made up almost entirely of WJBs – the sunlight exposes our flaws. This results in less ‘summer-ready’ folk sticking to the shelter of walled gardens, while the fit and beautiful parade in public.

Whatever the reason behind the increase in childish flirting tactics, I’m going to sit behind large dark shades and enjoy watching it all.

Bus stopThe bus is late.

Again.

The way I see it, I have two choices:

1) Log into Facebook and bring on a bout of guilt-ridden self-loathing for doing so.

2) Do something productive with my time.

I’ve pretty much used up my ‘1’ quota for the year. So today, I chose ‘2’.

This is the result.

Sorry.