It happens every year around the time the clocks go forward. As the daffodils lift their heads, up step the fantasy forecasters & we desperately want to believe them. Here we go again, this morning I read the first headline of the spring to herald a long hot summer in 2010.
The experts who were so narrowly wrong last summer (oh did you miss it?), the same experts who told us we would save on the heating bills through this mild, warm winter - they have dared to come out to play again! I quote, 'a summer of unbroken sunshine & record breaking temperatures, perfect BBQ weather, the best since 1976....'
I know their predictions are about as reliable as the human rights entry on Google China - But I can't help myself, I already feel hope of a suntan stirring in spite of a Met Office reputation for missing the target that rivals the unused directors cut footage from the new Robin Hood movie.
Our problem is that we are just too cynical. We congratulate ourselves over this national characteristic, we see it as a positive to always find the negative. We've moved beyond the simple, naive acceptance of earlier generations, we're the conspiracy generation, we don't believe the lies they feed us, & we should know, the powers that be have fed us enough rubbish!
I'm all for a robust questioning attitude, but cynicism is a dangerous poison. It hardens in us a natural critical response, it undermines our trust of authority, it produces a weary sideways view of the world which always expects the sky to fall in.
Imagine that we lived in an alternative Trumanesque world of sunday school innocence. A world where you say what you see, to quote Jim Bowen of Bullseye fame. A world where I am now busy cancelling my exotic foreign holiday in order to book a camping trip to mediterranean Cornwall on the strength of the Met Office predictions.
Imagine a world where WMD really did exist & the war on terror made sense after all. A world where the headline 'Peter Mandelson Spin' refers to a jocular radio two show. A world where Princess Di really is still alive, living in a mobile home in Skelmersdale with Elvis & riding Shergar to the corner shop each day to buy her copy of the Daily Mail. A world where Rio leads the triumphant England team up the steps to lift the World Cup in Johannesburg........
.....oh that's really too absurd. I'll be in the pub in July wearing my coat, watching us lose on penalities in the 1/4 final to some lank haired lantino types whilst it belts down with rain outside. Here's to a long hot summer of cynicism!