You have to laugh at the Londoners around you when the temperature soars. All bouncy in the morning, singing ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’ as they jump on their bicycles or walk briskly to the underground. Poor fools, just give it a few hours. Evening time and our tiny balconies are littered with corpses, finally having succumbed to the wilting of the day.
Am sitting here in my underwear writing this article. It is not a pretty sight. Forget about women ‘glowing’, this is a combustible situation and I am on the verge of doing just that. It is not hot; it is Hades rising to mock us mortals who prayed for that English summer to arrive. This is payback time.
Yet I say not one word. I will take this ‘Hotazel’ climate and walk around near naked in my flat , but say one word? Utter one complaint? Not I – for fear of jinxing all and we are plunged back into dark days far too early. Clearly my offspring do not agree — they look at me in this form of undress and they swallow hard, pull up their noses and avoid all eye contact — mothers are not supposed to show flesh as I was informed by my son on the beach. There is a time, and then there is a time… and this is not the time he wants to see his mother uncovered.
But you have to laugh at the Londoners around you when the temperature soars. All bouncy in the morning, singing ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’ as they jump on their bicycles or walk briskly to the underground. Poor fools, just give it a few hours. Those unfortunates in suits are already pulling at their collars. Soon women begin blowing down the fronts of their dresses and fanning the skirts to encourage some cool breeze up their legs. Everyone sweats. By lunchtime the brave still disrobe in the city parks for a quick tan, more like a mini sunstroke to last into the autumn. Others take refuge in smoothies and frappachinos: which I have now learnt is the equivalent to 31 cookies. Damn! Who the hell wants coffee at this critical time of meltdown and now I cannot even indulge in the satanic frap.
Take a moment and think of those ‘bobbies’ who have to wear helmets and anti-detonating jackets as planes catch fire at Heathrow ( I like to think it was the heat.) Those poor tour guides attempting to ignite the imagination of French school children who would rather overdose at the M & M store than stand in the sun and learn about Shakespeare. We simply are not zoned for heat without air-conditioning, swimming pools and beaches. Want a sauna — take the tube.
Evening time and our tiny balconies are littered with corpses, finally having succumbed to the wilting of the day. There is no energy left for dinner, the ice cubes melt before the first sip and the wine stays warm. We wave meekly at each other, nodding in silent resignation, unable to muster a few words. Most of us are semi-naked but nothing exciting about it.
But complain? Never! We of this island know what waits for us. Black. Cold. Wishing for summer. So every morning, there we are bopping away, Ibiza style. This is the ‘other’ English summer. This is the test.
Shhh — do not say a word. Pretend it’s perfect.
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