With the weather forecasters saying that we only have a week or so left of this scorching hot weather, I better get my act together and write a rant over how hot I am. In fact this post is inspired by David Mitchell’s latest Guardian column, entitled ‘The British Summer Would Be Far More Tolerable Without Sunshine‘.
For the past 18 years we have been wanting a hot summer, and now that we have had the hottest summer we don’t know how to deal with it. It gets to the point where we have spent all the time out in the park that we can stand, our skin is red raw through sunburn, and we are all in a foul mood as the sticky nights keep us from sleeping.
In fact the thing which is even more certain as to whether we will have decent weather for a British summer, is that the moment the mercury rises, men across the country who do not have the body to strip off, do so making the 99p ice-cream so lovingly purchased for £1.25 hard to stomach. The only solace you can take from this experience is watching those people turn from Milady pink (top left), to Chilli Pepper red (bottom right) through their own stupidity by not applying suncream.
We are a nation that loves to panic buy. When it snows we panic buy salt, bread and milk. In the summer, in an attempt to stay cool people panic buy fans of every shape, size and price – with my local Argos and Asda both selling out of fans ranging from the el cheapo £5.99 to the Dyson bank busting £299.99.
This may just be a Northern thing, after all, the Southerners would say that up North we never get any sun, but on the contrary at least we have manners!
During this heatwave I travelled down to London a couple of times, and whilst the Virgin trains were fantastic and cool thanks to air-conditioning, the same cannot be said about the Tube, or Tube Stations that make up the London Underground. Two examples I can make to backup my statement made, which of course by no means makes all Londoners like this, just a small minority.
Firstly the use of antiperspirant, in a cramped environment such as the London Underground, you can at some point of your journey end up with your nose so close to one of your fellow passengers armpits that you can not only smell the sweat, but make a fairly accurate educated guess as to when they last showered. Now it would be wrong of me to think that the tube should smell of roses and freshly baked bread, but it does make the journey a little more pleasant if you aren’t trying trying to keep your clothes from standing on their ends because someone next to you refused to wash or put on antiperspirant.
Secondly, on the Tube Stations, everyone is in a rush, after all it is London and people often leave little or no time between journeys or to get from point A to point B. With no air conditioning down there, temperatures can easily rise very quickly, and unfortunately cause some people to pass out. Being the well brought up person that I am I stopped to assist one unfortunate lady who had passed out with some water that I had, and ensured that she got some help before I left. This was clearly unnatural behaviour.
Before I assisted, I counted three people step over her to continue their journey! Are people really in such a hurry that they cant assist a fellow man (or in this case woman) when in need? Furthermore, if you are not going to assist, would it not be more polite (if such a thing is possible), to step around them rather than over them? I personally think so!
However it is all not doom and gloom with the British summer, if one good thing comes of it, it is the fact that we can enjoy BBQ’s with our friends and family. Nothing says socialising more than a piece of meat that has been cooked on charcoals like primitive woman did (after primitive man had caught the beast of course) thousands of years ago.
Apart from the taste, its a social event and really allows for the family to be brought together, unlike what is fast becoming the norm of TV dinner meals.
It may have taken us 18 years to get this hot weather, and as I am ever the pessimist it will probably take at least another 18 years before we have it again. Perhaps in that amount of time we can learn how to apply suncream, wear antiperspirant and take care of our fellow man.