Extended periods of respite have existed since the dawn of time; the Romans used to call them Feriae Augusti. Probably because by the time we reach the eighth month of the year, we feel somewhat the worse for wear – and definitely in need of some invisible darning.
One of our most natural desires is to go for a dip in the sea where what’s really fascinating is to see one’s reflection in the water, rather than gaze at the silently glinting fish. Scuba divers use the so-called buddy system to monitor one another and ascend together to the surface whenever they notice that, due to an excess of adrenalin or a lack of oxygen, their buddy diver might be in distress. In other words, buddy diving allows one to receive help without explicitly asking for it, at times without even being aware of it.
That’s exactly what’ll take place down there, in our figurative August “underwater work shed”. Our batteries will be recharged discretely and subtly so that, come Autumn, we’ll be fighting fit and ready to deal thoroughly with all the problems that await us, examine them from head to foot, and turn them inside out like socks.