Word of the Month: Cacoethes

Latin, from the Ancient Greek κακοήθης (kakoḗthḗs) meaning “ill-disposed”. From κακός (kakós) meaning “bad”, and ἦθος (êthos) meaning “disposition” or “nature”

Definition: the urge of compulsion to do something inadvisable.

This lovely word here could be used to describe both the bad things that happened this month, as well as myself all month.

I spent a lot of June wishing June wasn’t happening, and now it’s July I’m wishing I didn’t have to think about it. From a British point of view I couldn’t think of a single likeable aspect of it other than I spent a good week of it by the sea. Otherwise it just felt like May spilled into June and tainted it with bad feelings. At least we could have a BBQ in the garden.

Were I to rank bad decisions of June I would put Theresa May still getting to be prime minister with a minority government as the absolute pinnacle of terrible bad decisions. The second place is everyone who voted Tory. Third place is everyone who refused to vote tactically.

Say what you will about defending her but whoever let her turn up to the Grenfell tower with a little posse around her was not thinking clearly, obviously. Especially when instead of engaging with the public and the victims, she spoke only to police and fire brigade. It definitely gave off ‘how-can-we-cover-this-up’ vibes. Especially when Jeremy Corbyn was out there speaking directly with victims.

It’s the sort of disaster that happens that makes you want to grab people who allowed it to happen and shake them. Fortunately distance and the sheer fact I wouldn’t be allowed to just wander into any government building prevented me from attempting.

On a less serious note, with the British heatwave blasting in many people felt the compulsion to go out and enjoy the sun – only to get pretty bad sunburns moments later. It can definitely be said that as a nation, we wear far too little sunscreen. It’s hardly surprising that cases of skin cancer have increased.

I’m very guilty of not behaving appropriately in the hot weather myself. The intense British compulsion to carry a jacket or umbrella everywhere just in case has left me exhausted and annoyed hours later when I’m heading home with an untouched hoodie or compact hanging off my bagstrap. Once or twice I’ve headed out in long sleeves thinking that it was a fairly cool morning, only to be sweating up a lake by the time afternoon roles in.

What you really need to be carrying around is bottled water. I heavily advise any kind of gym bottle or reuse a plastic bottle and fill that with tap water to save money (and also the environment). Too often I’ve been out and had to shell out cash to buy a drink because I’ve been ridiculously dehydrated while walking around the shops or even just walking to the post office and back. The upside of this is that it at least gets lighter as the day goes on.

July is looking hot so rub on the sun block, stay in the shade and stay hydrated. Look after yourself this summer and lets pray things get better.


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