Thursday, July 20th, 2006

There’ve been a few disparaging remarks doing the rounds in the past few days about how we Brits can’t seem to cope with a bit of heat. But believe me, 35-36 degrees celsius (about 100 degrees farenheit) is not natural, not for this part of the world.
Of course it’s a myth that Britain is cold and wet – there are parts of the country that get less rain than the Nevada desert, and our summers are almost always very warm thanks to the Gulf Stream that means snow is rare in winter while the parts of Canada directly opposite are besieged by polar bears.

The other day I stepped out of the house at 6.40pm for a 15 minute walk to a pub for a friend’s birthday, and nearly melted on the way. It was like the last scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark, only worse.

I’ve never been so hot. Except for today, of course. The morning started quite cool much to my relief (and the cat’s! I may have to shave her for her own good…) but it soon warmed up. Then I had to go to London this evening for my third years’ show (which was very good). But London was even worse than Brighton, lacking as it does the sea breeze and possessing all those heat-emitting buildings.

The underground was unbearable. I got on one carriage and as the doors opened a blast of heat hit me, along with the stench of several thousand people’s body odour. It wasn’t pleasant.

Coming back, at about 11pm, a chap sat next to me. clearly a tourist in that he started a conversation with me (you don’t do that in London – worse still, I reciprocated, being at heart an affable Yorkshireman through and through). Anyway, turned out he was here on holiday from the hottest part of India. He told me – and this is no lie – that London is hotter than he ever remembers being back home. He found it as unbearable as I did.

So that’s official. It’s hot! Thank god I’m moving to Scotland soon – it’s a bearable 28 degrees there (which is about my upper operational limit normally).

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