I hate sunlight. My pale, white skin has no resistance, blistering and bubbling at its slightest touch. So I always sit in the shade. But there's shade and there's shade.
On a wooded hill, far from roads and cars, noise and fumes, sitting behind a beer. Life has few greater pleasures. The canopy sucking the heat from the sun's rays, long before they clatter to earth. Odd spots of ochre paint splashing the ground. A bird chattering wall of trees,weaving webs of green, shifting in every breath of breeze.
A forest is so much better cover than some poxy umbrella. It's not just cooler. It's cooler in the other sense, too. So much more right. More natural. More human.
I've lived in cities since I was 18. I enjoy the shops and trams and pubs and buses, the to and fro and hub and bub. Rarely do I trouble the countryside. Rendering the effect all the greater, the odd time I crawl back into its tender, comforting womb.
There's nothing like a real Franconian Bierkeller. Spread under spreading trees, tables reaching like fingers, tenderly touching the trunks. Rough furniture, still half forest, beckoning in drinkers: "Come and sit with me a while."
Of course, there's beer. Long, cool draughts, clad in grey clay pots. Upright, honest country beer. Beer that looks back without flinching, a faithful friend for life.
I love the city. But my most memorable moments were amongst trees.