I am sweltering in the middle of a London heatwave. People are fainting. My sister had to buy a paddling pool. There’s been a run on Calippo’s in milk bars and Andy Murray’s mum reckons it’s too hot to play tennis but the heatwave rolls on. The mercury today is expected to reach… 25 degrees.
The reaction of locals has been startling. One bloke at my niece’s pre school yesterday confided in me; ‘I’m not built for the heat, If I didn’t have to work today, I would’ve stayed in bed all day’.
At Tube stations, announcements are being made over the PA encouraging passengers to ‘carry a cool drink of water with you at all times’ and ‘get off the train at the next station if you feel unwell’. The male commuters have taken matters into their own hands on city lines, unbuttoning their business shirts and riding the tube bare chested. It evoked a personal ghost for me of an ex girlfriend’s Italian dad who, after eating too much at dinner, used to relieve himself by unbuttoning his shirt on the way back to the car. At least he had the decency to wait until he was out of the public eye before disrobing. Unless you’re in the cast of Magic Mike XL, no one wants to see you shirtless on public transport.
Mum and I laughed listening to BBC radio yesterday as they broadcast the time honoured ‘is it hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement?’ story you get every summer in Australia. Two reporters were stationed at Covent Garden with some eggs (which they were at pains to point out were free range). The older of the two had already unsuccessfully attempted this same stunt during London’s last great heatwave, 40 years earlier. It failed then and it failed yesterday. They did describe in great detail how the two eggs sat on the pavement… but they did not fry. It didn’t make for great radio.
So is it hot by Aussie standards in the UK right now? ‘Well…’ (said in high pitched voice) it’s warm. If you were driving down Warrigal road you’d roll down your window down (halfway down actually).
Do the Poms over react when the mercury rises? Leave a comment below…