Digested week: spare me the heat advice – I don’t lead a linen life | Lucy Mangan


Lots of joy today as my first negative LFT in nearly a fortnight finally arrives. After two years of dodging the Covid bullet, it finally got me. My first feeling was relief. The other shoe had fallen off. It felt like lockdown again. For natural pessimists, the pandemic has been like a rubber band snapping too tightly. Finally, the nameless thing that we had known all our lives would come for us was here. He had a name and a form and a form, and we had spent our lives preparing ourselves internally on some level for it. It didn’t disturb our view of the world but confirmed it. There was a great comfort there and I felt very sorry for the optimists who suffered much more psychic shock.

Seeing the two red lines appear on the test was a replay in a minor key. Yes, of course, I got fed up with the restriction of my freedom (although, given the amount of rides in a normal fortnight, it was just a fictional riding) and feeling languid. But deep down, I was glad to no longer live in a state of perilous luck. To anyone who has advised me over the years to turn this attitude into something “healthier”, I say: my mental LFT should be the envy of you all.


It’s too hot. I don’t know what else to say. Mainly because… it’s too hot. I mean. It is so hot. Can you feel how hot it is? It is so hot. Heat is the only thing that exists. Heat and stupid tips on how to deal with the heat. Wear linen! Keep the curtains drawn until evening! Take a nap.

Get out, do it. I don’t have linen clothes, for the same reason I don’t have hats or a vegetable garden. I don’t lead that kind of life. I keep the curtains drawn but that doesn’t stop my brain from melting in my ears. I’m on schedule, always, so I’m afraid siesta will have to wait until I’m Spanish and in Spain and a whole society and history is organized to cope with the disgusting heat.

And the first person who mentioned wild swimming to me is drowning. Let that refresh you.


It took a few days – blame Covid and the heat, obviously – but I realized what’s wrong with the current crop of prime minister candidates. They are all conservative. I wondered what was bothering me.

I will pursue this question further because I feel that in the chaos of 2022, in a world where words no longer have meaning, acts that would once have disqualified you from any position, office or institution in the country are systematically ignored, if not actively applauded, and the intangible concepts, beliefs, and unspoken commonalities that once constituted the warp and weft of democracy lie in a frayed, tangled heap on the toilet floor of civilization , there should be a way around this.

Maybe we just take a leaf from our current prime minister’s playbook and just refuse? Just deny this “reality” and say – no? Drop the Penny, say we’re not ready for Rishi, not ready to be tied up like a turkey, and just ignore anyone who gets set up by a bunch of other people we don’t recognize either. Something both more and less than a revolution. I think there is something not there.

‘A dog-friendly pub? I’m on minimum wage and on a zero hour contract, man, so tell me. Photography: Rover.com


If we can’t, maybe we can manage something similar on a smaller scale? It is said that Boris Johnson’s memoir could earn him a million pounds. I reject that as a result too. I suggest we embrace the “what if we give a war and no one comes?” principle. No one shows interest in the book. Or the man. If it’s released, no one goes to the launch and, of course, no one buys it. No one pays him the slightest attention. Once he left the role he should never have been allowed within a million miles anyway, he left. Don’t want any remorse, clarification or apology from him – that’s not how he’s made. The only thing that gets under the skin of an egocentric or a narcissist is being ignored. Take him out of the story he should never have been a part of.


I told a friend today that I was trying to stop buying so many books. “Why?” He asked. “Are you hurting someone?” »

He often does this to me. It makes me stop and think, slightly recalibrate my view of the world, and realize that maybe I’m a bit of a jerk. Sometimes he goes a little far and ends up being a little “live, laugh, love” and I have to hit him to get him back on track, but generally he’s a useful man to be around.

Now, actually, I can answer his question with – the environment. I harm the environment with every new book I buy. But a) most of the books I buy are used, b) I try to read as much as possible on Kindle even though I hate Kindle (and yes, even though it has an impact on the environment too But I must have something, you know?), and c) the deeper problem is that I go through life constantly thinking that I’m hurting people whenever I’m having fun or doing something that I like. That there must be a cost, to be paid somewhere by someone who doesn’t deserve it.

That…that might not be true. So it follows that I don’t need to feel guilty when I feel happy. Going a little crazy for a while, it may even follow that I don’t need to feel guilty, period. Until I actively do something wrong, of course. But if I’m not? So maybe, just maybe – right?

Helpful man. Helpful man.