And so to shed
One thing I have realised from a couple of years of mostly non-working Mondays (and quite a lot of non-working Tuesdays) is that I don't, after all, hate summer. No. It is mornings that I hate. If I don't have a reason to rise, then 11 is the earliest you're likely to see me. Quite likely later, in these days of wireless internet access, or if I am reading a good book.
I wish it were otherwise, but it's not, and I've gradually come to the conclusion that it's hard-wired. It gets gradually better with age -- was a time you wouldn't see me before 3pm -- but in those days my phamaceutical intake was more creative and I regularly stayed up till dawn. But I am not, never have been and never will be a morning person. In the winter, this doesn't feel so bad (except on the days when I don't get up till it's actually dark, those aren't good) but in the spring and summer it feels like a criminal waste to still be lying in bed managing anxieties while the man next door but two with the mail order bride* has been up and tending to his brassicas for, ooh, hours.
It is the modest ambition of the rest of my 30s to come to terms with this shortcoming. When I think about it, it has shaped my life. I have never commuted to work, I simply can't get up early enough, so my career has been defined by the jobs available within five miles - this makes me green, but that's an accident, not a design. I never went to nine o'clock lectures at university, and have but a sketchy understanding of the thoughts of Hobbes and Locke as a result. I don't make weekend plans before lunchtime. I have only very briefly considered having children, and one of the (many) reasons for not doing it is I couldn't face the early starts. I have never caught the worm. Our household motto is 'seize the afternoon'.
And I don't think that's going to change. So my new working hypothesis is 'that's ok'. Lots of good things happen in the afternoon, and I'm about to go and plant my gherkin seeds to prove it.
* No empirical evidence of this. But I can't imagine this union happening any other way.