The Bass Player’s Fear of the Pollen Count

Just a little rant, followed by a sigh of relief….

It seems we have come to the end of the hay fever season. Thank god for that is all I can say.

I must admit to being one of those people who hates the summer and all it brings. Every year I have a hard time and can’t wait for the cold weather to return.
I don’t function well in hot weather. I like a good crisp and dry winter’s day. I like to go out wearing a jacket and ideally a hat. I find the lack of pockets in the Summer an immense pain in the arse. The man-bag has made another appearance this year to accommodate  all my various bits and bobs that I cart around with me, but in a gigging situation the last thing I need is another bag to lug around. I can’t stand being too hot because there’s literally nothing you can do about it, whereas you can always layer up in colder weather.
Every summer brings with it the usual spate of outdoor gigs which I very rarely enjoy. Wearing a suit in that kind of weather is a surefire recipe for playing discomfort. The run of garden parties and the like never fails to take it’s toll on me upright bass. I’ve just had to spend a considerable amount of money having my bass overhauled due to the effects of the weather. For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, double basses are fixed together with a special glue that melts under heat. This is to facilitate easy repairs. It doesn’t take kindly to direct sunlight though, and every year without fail my bass decides to come unstuck right in the middle of my busiest period in the summer. My instrument plays best in the winter, and so do I.
I also get terrible hay fever. This usually comes on around March and stays with me to varying degrees until early August. Anyone else who suffers with this ailment will understand what an inconvenience this can be when you’re trying to work. It’s like having a cold all through the spring and early summer months, with the addition of itchy and dry eyes to really finish you off.
I went through the rigmarole of going to my local GP for the latest antihistaminic placebo. This proved, as always, a complete waste of money yet again. Every year this happens. Next spring I’m not going to bother, they never work and they’re not cheap. I’ve been taking chewable Vitamin C this year, which has eased some of the symptoms. Not the soar throat and the itchy eyes though…
So as you can see, the summer is not the idillic picture of fun and excitement it is for most people. They announced on pollen count section of the weather forecast that the hay fever season is now officially over. And as I look outside, I’d say the hot weather is over now too.
Great. Looking forward to lots of lovely sensibly indoor shows and the relative comfort of a hat and scarf in the not too distant future.
Is it just me who hates the summer?