Brain space, rainy bank holidays & the answer to eternal happiness* / by Nigel Rumsey

A view of the horizon over Dungenesss, Kent The rainy bank holiday, in the British psyche, is the epitome of British pessimism. The average Brit expects it to rain on a bank holiday because 'it’s miserable here that’s the worst thing that can happen', right? Well, as it transpires, no. I like everyone else had been watching the weather forecasts and had bemoaned the approaching weather. So perfectly timed that the worst of it arrives over the 24 hour period that is the August bank holiday, the most prized of the British workers 24 hour passes from the daily drudgery.

As expected I got up this morning to see grey skies and a steady drizzle. To give the weather gods their due it hasn’t drizzled all day. There have been fairly long periods of heavier rain and just after lunch we had what one might call a downpour, but otherwise drizzle pretty much sums it up.

However far from the weather casting a grey shadow over my day I’ve had a really pleasant time. The drizzle, rain and downpours have given me permission - as it were - to hang out, take it easy, to kick back. Don’t get me wrong I’ve not sat on the sofa all day eating crisps and dribbling on to my vest - I'm still too tightly wound to allow myself to do that. I done a few chores, but at my own pace, there’s been no pressure to get something finished by a certain time so that I can immediately move on to the next job on my mental task list.

Just as I was relishing these, post lunch, moments of mental relaxation I realised that, yes, it’s a Monday so I would normally be working but in every other way today is no different from the average Saturday or Sunday. Why did it take a little rain (ok, a lot of rain) for me to give myself permission to relax? Why can’t I occasionally do that on a Sunday, or even god forbid a Saturday. Are we all so wound up with productivity, task lists and targets that we’ve forgotten how to take it easy?

In my idealised version of this post I’d now reel off my three point plan to guarantee a lifetime’s happiness and satisfaction. You’ll be disappointed, but maybe not surprised, to hear that isn’t going to happen - I suppose we all keep striving to reach that higher plane, though I fear that most of us may be moving in the opposite direction.

If you have the answer to eternal satisfaction and are looking for someone to share it with I’d appreciate a call - I’ll be very grateful. Is time for tea yet?

*disclaimer - part of this title may be slightly misleading.