De minimis non curat lex?

Summer. That wonderful time of year when you can take time out, enjoy the seaside, watch the Tour de France on TV and generally enjoy yourself. The time when exams are over, classes are finished and students don’t keep emailing you with revision questions.

Relaxation…..fantastic! If it wasn’t for that growing terror that any brain cells which may have existed were covertly sucked out by aliens and replaced with cotton wool. Pink, fluffy cotton wool! It happens every year, and every year I panic that it’s not normal and the brain has gone on a permanent holiday! I’ve taken to going out and visiting gardens (and their tearooms), discovered an ability to buy shoes that would put Imelda Marcos to shame and, even more embarrassing, I’ve become hooked on the zen of cleaning. I’m pathetically delighted at the effect of soda crystals on my shower cubicle and kitchen floor, and I’m so excited by the transformation of my ability to clean windows and glass by using white vinegar. Not only does it work, but it’s all so GREEN!

What is happening to me? I had to confide in my dearest law-teaching friend. “Am I turning into a cabbage? Will my interest and enthusiasm in the law and things academic ever come back?” She was most reassuring (as always): “It’s the nesting instinct”, she said, “it will all come back to you at the start of term”. Phew!

If my friend is anything to go by, it seems I am not alone, and other females in this line of work have experienced the sudden fascination of the kitchen floor once the panic of exam time is over. Reassuring as that is, it raises an interesting question… does this, or something similar, happen to the male of the species? Do they turn in their droves from droning on about administrative law or whatever to stripping engines, or becoming eager DIY-ers (didn’t Lord Denning once claim that “men enjoy laying patios” or something similar whilst denying some poor husband a share in the matrimonial home?) You know, I’m not even sure what the male equivalent of a pink and fluffy moment is… but, whatever it is, do male law lecturers give in to it – or do they remain steadfastly devoted to duty, academia and the law?

I’d love to know…

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