Normally when I leave the flat, I check for the usual vitals – phone, earphones, wallet, keys, lip-balm… good. During summer, eye-drops join that essential list, and tissues aren’t far behind. I’m currently extremely dosed up on hay fever medications. And still sneezing.

For me hay fever is a horrible combination of a cold and a hangover, with some extremely itchy eyes thrown in for fun. I get told I look tired a lot in summer – a lot of the time I am, it’s true, I really don’t go to bed as early as I should, but it’s also often just that the hay fever is making my eyelids feel heavy and my head sluggish.

I love being outside in the sun and it’s rare enough when you live in Scotland, but there’s also a dread when I know I’ll be spending time outdoors in a grassy area. Like today. In a few hours I’m heading to Tyninghame where my boyfriend’s work are throwing a summer day out – they do it every year and invite partners and families, with a barbecue, cocktails and drinks galore, and a great atmosphere. It’s outside and luckily it’s gorgeous weather today, blue skies, minimal wind – I’ll be taking lots of medication with me.

Anyway, while checking out the pollen count (and feeling sorry for myself) I discovered this infographic created by the Met Office. Apparently 1 in 5 suffer from hay fever, and what I never realised was that alcohol actually makes hay fever worse, because it contains histamine,  which sets off allergy symptoms in your body. Fun facts!

I can’t say I’ll be abstaining from booze this afternoon though…


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