Matthew Munson: 8 types of ‘Summer people’

A Summer water lover Photo Malcolm Kirkaldie

I avoid talking about the weather as much as possible, which is usually treasonous for anyone even vaguely British. The reason I avoid this much-loved topic is because it’s a topic everyone discusses on a minute-by-minute basis, and there’s not really very much I can offer aside from more of the same – and so I keep my mouth well and truly shut.

I’m going to temporarily suspend that rule of mine for the purposes of this column, however, as the sun is now starting to emerge, and a further, extended bout of weather-related discussions and debate is now underway (IT’S TOO HOT! IT’S NOT HOT ENOUGH!). This bout of warm weather, which seems to have caught a number of us by surprise, has attracted a number of summer types that we will encounter a lot of around Thanet for as long as it lasts (A week? Here’s hoping for longer), and I wanted to consider the different types that will be festooning our fair isle throughout the next few months.

  1. The Lobster. These poor souls will have spent as much as 20 minutes outside three days ago and are still red and blistered as a result. They are also responsible for at least three-quarters of suntan lotion sales every year.
  2. The One Who Never Seems to Sleep. I don’t sleep very much, but this group of people leave me in the dust. They seem determined to make the most of every second of warm weather around the clock; 3am visits to the beach are entirely normal to them.
  3. The Beach Bum. Permanently wedded to the shoreline, every beach bum will have their favourite bit of sand and protect it religiously from defamation of character – i.e. those people who prefer a different beach for some inexplicable reason. At least you know where they are, I suppose.
  4. The Social Media Sharer. Inventive hash-taggers and constant updaters of their every movement in the sunshine. It’s rather exhausting, seeing all these various movements and activities, and I always wonder how they fit everything in around their jobs.
  5. The Water Lover. Similar to The Beach Bum, but constantly on a lilo, kayak, or some kind of submersible.
  6. The Party Animal. There are summer balls, barbecues, functions, and so on to attend, and some people attend them all. I’d be far too exhausted with that level of social engagement, but some people thrive on it – imagine that!
  7. Married to Their Bed. Other people are at a different extreme; they seem to need their bed and sleep the summer almost entirely away. They wake up in September looking so pale that they practically shine in the Autumn sunlight.
  8. Those Who Never Leave The House. Often Lobsters who know not to leave the house in the first place, these guys are content with social events inside, or playing computer games, or learning a musical instrument perhaps; whatever it is, they find a hobby (or multiple hobbies) and stick with it to avoid being stung by the huge orange ball in the sky.

Are you generally accepting of the sunshine, or are you one of the eight types above?


  1. There are a lot of creative and arty types in Thanet. Surely there is someone who could throw together something more interesting than this “article”.

    • Hey Teresa – I’m most certainly not an article writer, merely an opinion columnist. Anything you’d like me to write about in my column? I’m happy to take suggestions!

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