[Editor's Note: Yes, it has been a while. But it's amazing how much there is to do when one moves to the other side of the world. I hope to be a little more active on here from now on, PhD permitting.]
The British are notoriously good at whingeing. They don’t whinge about everything, mainly just the weather. And foreigners.
But curiously, when spring arrives, suddenly everyone in Britain decides that the weather will therefore miraculously improve. The central heating gets turned off (regardless of the outside temperature), and everyone starts wearing shorts (again, independent of the actual temperature).
Then there’s the gratuitous shirt-removal. Even though the British practically invented prudishness, as soon as some glimmer of sunlight shines from between those low suffocating clouds that England is so famous for, men start taking their shirts off. I’ve been in far hotter climes (Melbourne during the summer anyone?) where people still walk around in suits in 35 degrees.
And then comes the particularly Cambridge take on all this: punting shirtless. If the sun is shining (or even making a somewhat concerted effort to shine) then the Cam instantly becomes choked with punts, and a large proportion of these are piloted by men wearing only shorts and boat shoes. I suppose it does mean that there is less to get wet if one does fall in, but surely that’s just an acknowledgement of one’s lack of skill. In any case, it makes for a lot of half-naked men wearing silly shoes.