May the Heatwave Continue…

Posted on July 18, 2013

We Brits are a funny old bunch when it comes to the weather. After five successive summer wash-outs that have wrecked fetes, barbecues and sporting events, the last few weeks have offered a long awaited prolonged spell of decent weather and as a result, the first murmurings of dissent are upon us.

When you go to the weather websites, they are littered with grave hay fever and heat wave warnings. It seems as if though all this heat is becoming something of a nuisance and I must admit that the last few day have seen me acting more irritable than usual with the obligatory teenage backchat from my kids piercing my central nervous system with apparent ease. In fact, the sarcasm emanating from my eldest son has had me simmering on the edge of violence.


Sunny days and soaring temperatures have given Brits a first real taste of summer for several years

In the early to mid-noughties, we had a period of summers where temperatures in the low thirties were quite common, in fact in 2003 it was in the mid-thirties for several weeks. However, since 2007 we have been used to damp and cool summers and I can clearly remember sitting on Swanage beach this time last year and noticing the temperature was nudging up to a paltry 20c. An ordinary statistic was cause for mild celebration.

Without knowing it, in recent years we have become unaccustomed to the heat and how to deal with it. Last weekend I played (played is a loose term really) cricket as the temperature nudged up 30c and as much as I enjoyed it, during the evening I have never felt so tired. I repeated the process on Sunday and on Monday I felt like I had jet lag. I suppose it is worth acknowledging that the last time it was this hot I was in my late thirties but even so, it really does sap your energy.

What has dawned on me during this spell of weather is that I now know for certain that I just wouldn’t suit perpetual hot weather in the way I always imagined I would. Here in the south of England we love it because it is rare, a bit like the way we like the odd bit of snow in January for a week or so before we just want it to bugger off and stop bothering us. We Hampshire types are not really geared up for extremities, we like them in small doses.

I don’t want the hot weather to go, I hope it lasts until the end of September, but the chances are it won’t, especially as the school holidays are coming to curse it. However, if it all ends next week, at least we will be able to look back and say we have at last had a summer of sorts, where cricket matches have gone ahead and Wimbledon crowned a British champion under bright sunshine and azure blue skies.

It won’t be long before we meander into autumn and the rain, wind and first frosts of the winter arrive and though this thought that used to depress me, I have started to enjoy the seasons more and more in recent years. A muddy riverside walk with the dog whilst wrapped up in warm clothing, followed by a fireside pint, is not the end of world really is it?

However, despite the odd blast of hay fever, a burnt bald head and a fuse that is sometimes a bit shorter than usual, I am going to enjoy the heat while it lasts and spend as much time as possible in it, either with my roof down on my mid-life crisis car, in a pub garden, by the sea, playing cricket, or just sitting in the garden with a cold beer.

Because as you know folks, in Britain, you just know when the opportunity will arise again.

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