A rush to make the most of the sunshine while it’s here

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What is it about the better weather that makes our spirits soar?

Since Sunday, Falkirk has been given a taste of summer, and it’s been a treat.

But it’s been heartbreaking to go to work in an air-conditioned city office when nature is doing all it can to tempt you outside.

And, by the time I get home, although it’s still a pleasant temperature, the best of the day is gone.

I suppose in warmer countries, there isn’t this kind of desperation.

When the weather is nice here, you will do anything to catch a glimpse of it, purely because you know it could be gone tomorrow - and gone for a long, long time.

But, in Australia, for example, which incidentally has just been voted the world’s happiest nation, there’s none of that.

When I was there a few years ago, I was walking in Sydney at around 8.30 a.m. as many Aussies were going to work.

They walked slowly but steadily and enjoyed the last of the sun before retreating to their offices.

But, on the way there, they chatted on their mobiles, making plans for that evening, that weekend, and even later that month.

I’m not going to launch into my best Australian accent and tell you all I heard was, “let’s throw another snag on the barbie mate,” but all the plans being arranged were based outdoors.

Imagine getting a call from a friend inviting you to a barbecue a week on Saturday?

You’d think they had lost their mind.

Barbecue invites here are very rushed and even frantic affairs.

I once got a call at 11 a.m. from a friend which went something like this:

“Right, it feels really warm outside and it’s Saturday so we’re having a barbecue.

“David’s at the supermarket right now getting everything.

“If it’s still not raining come noon, make your way over.

“If it starts to rain and you’re less than halfway to my house, just turn back and we’ll cancel the whole thing.

“Right, I’m away to get my shorts from the vacuum storage bag in the loft.

“Keep the radio on for the weather forecast, right bye.”

What followed was an uncomfortable afternoon of weather watching, as a harrassed David read the barbecue’s instruction manual.

He explained he’d been practically attacked in the chilled aisle as other barbeque-ees dashed for drumsticks and kebabs.

There was then a to-do after the ice ran out, and a panic when a menacing cloud floated above us.

As undercooked chicken was served up in blackened skin, the sun lost its warmth, and a more familiar afternoon of “I’ll get another jumper”, or “let’s just take our drinks inside” played out.

Today we can only hope the weather holds up a little longer to give us all more practice.