Yep, it's time for an OutdoorsMagic Unilateral Declaration of Spring - shorts only from now on in...
Posted: 9 April 2013
That's 'International Shorts Day' in the much same way that the US has it's own World Series Baseball Championships by the way. Regardless of that, it's the time of year that I make a Unilateral Declaration of Spring, a declaration that has wide-ranging and momentous consequences because it means that from here on in, I shall mostly wear only shorts.
Obviously not just shorts, I shall also don other, appropriate clothing, but mostly - and I reserve the right to change my mind if Arctic winter returns - I shall put the longs away both outside and in and revert to legwear that exposes my calves. I was going to say knees, but actually I prefer a short that just about covers the knee - ideally the hem-line should sit just below the lower edge of the patella for a blend of aesthetic and functional rightness.
Why shorts? Well, first, wearing shorts in itself means that it's spring. Which makes very little sense. Next, the UK summer is so lamentably short and lacking in conviction, that to stand even the slimmest chance of sporting legs which are anything other than a dazzling polar bear white in hue by August, you need to start early.
And then there's practicality - shorts are comfortable. There's less of them to get wet when it does rain. They're inherently cooler when it's hot. They save washing detergent costs by using less fabric and possibly even save the planet a tiny amount for the same reason. And there are no semantic dilemmas about 'trousers or pants'. And last but not least, in my head at least, they look hot...
Er, yes, like I said, 'in my head'... Mostly though, what matters is that you have the conviction and mental strength to wear them. Because it is something of a head game. And in a minute I shall pop out for a pint of milk and rejoice in the liberating feeling of icy early-spring breezes wafting deliciously across my bare legs.
The odd looks I'll get. The barely concealed shudders. The hands across the eyes at the sight of my dazzling white legs will wash over me like a stream over a smooth, rounded pebble and inside I shall rejoice, because ultimately people, shorts are freedom.