The Flip Flop Threshold

Posted on April 6, 2012


Where the flip did summer go?

At this time of year England experiences a weird phenomenon I call the ‘flip flop threshold’.

Winter here is miserable, and essentially spent waiting for summer. During the cold, grey cavity that is January we dream of sundrenched days spent lounging in the park, firing up the barbeque and scoffing our body mass in ice cream. Come April, those days are agonisingly close.

In recent years early springtime has blessed us with bizarre heatwaves, the last few weeks being a prime example. Coats, hats and scarves are smugly banished to the back of the wardrobe, pub gardens country-wide become littered with delirious, cider-addled Brits, city dwellers sunbathe proudly on roundabouts and…the flip-flops come out.

No, not thongs, sandals or (throws up in mouth) ‘Jandals’. FLIP FLOPS, people.

There’s nothing better than the feeling of toe liberation after a season clad in winter boots – walking around with your feet exposed feels positively orgasmic. But thanks to the twists and turns of the English climate, these little pockets of hot weather never last long. Soon we’re speeding back to quaffing hot chocolate under a blanket as the Met Office predicts snowfall and arctic winds over Easter Sunday.

Flip flopping in the rain

But not for everyone. Because there seems to be some kind of unwritten rule here that once the flip flops are out, they’re out to stay. The good Lord has unveiled a teaser of what the months ahead could hold for us, and by golly we’re going to cling onto it. The flip flop threshold has been passed, and that overly cheerful weather girl on Channel 4 is going to get a poke in the eyeball if she tells us we need to get the snow boots out again.

It’s like making a trip to Brighton beach, arriving euphorically jazzed for a day at the good ol’ British seaside, only for the clouds to roll in as rain begins to spatter the picnic. And instead of resigning ourselves to a day indoors, we’ll whip out the windbreakers and soldier on. Crying. Because we’ll be damned if a stormy sky or soggy, itchy sand is going to wreck our one day outdoors.

It’s this defiant attitude towards the weather which drives our two finger salute to plummeting temperatures, as we march out in the cold and damp in our brand new Havianas.

It could blizzard and hail golf balls tomorrow and I can guarantee I’ll still spot an overly ambitious teen in shorts and weather- inappropriate footwear, pale-faced and shivering at the bus stop. Why dress like that? Because he’s crossed the flip-flop threshold, and quite frankly, he can.

Posted in: Humour, Society