Finally we've got our normal weather back
PUBLISHED: 15:20 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:20 09 August 2018
The first raindrops on Tuesday evening brought an end to a temporary spell of national craziness.
The 30-degree sizzle of my patio– 30 degrees at 7pm - was cooled by the drench of 9pm rain, so welcome I stayed out, in the dark, until my shorts and vest were soaked through and, for the first time in months, I felt somewhere near a bearable temperature.
Normality had been restored at last. Brought to our senses before we all went bananas because it was too darned hot.
The summer of 2018 will be remembered for sending us all slightly peculiar. The long hot summer we’d yearned for years finally came, but we had completely no idea what to do with it.
The British are simply not made to function effectively in continental temperatures. We just don’t know what to do with ourselves.
It plays with our systems, and not in a good way. In grey days we yearn for a heat wave; when temperatures turn sweltering, it’s totally wasted on us.
We just don’t know how to handle it or what to do in it.
Stifling sleepless nights made us grouchy, sticky workplaces with no air made us worse. Children were irritable, restless and snippy, dogs could find no relief.
Cars were like furnaces, turning drivers into lunatics. I swear I’ve seen more craziness on the roads in the last six weeks than six years. Heat brings senselessness.
Concentration was left back in June, productivity plummeted and dehydrated became our normal setting.
“We want our weather back,” we shouted, franticly fanning ourselves with whatever came to hand, longing for the 19-degree average August temperature and a breeze cool enough for a cardigan.
A British summer isn’t summer without needing to remember to take a cardi with you for when it turns fresh. It never turned fresh. Sleeves of any kind have been left redundant for two months or more. So long we’d forgotten what fresh was like.
Men can put their shirts back on now, thankfully – why do men think it’s acceptable to walk around town topless? I witnessed a raging row between a couple because the man was refusing to put a t-shirt on to go into a shop
Weeks of unnatural heat sent the entire nation a little spare. It was too hot to exercise causing pent-up energy, like coiled springs, with no outlet. People veered from lethargic to fiery. There was no relief. Tempers flared, relaxation was impossible and nighttime comfort was sought under wet towels.
Shops sold out of electric fans and energy companies rubbed their hands with glee for a summer surge in nighttime use.
What to wear, we asked each other? For once, women held the trump card in offices with sleeveless, bare legs and wafty options. Poor men were forced to suffer perhaps the only disadvantage in their working lives in shoes, shirts and trousers.
Trains, timetables saved from heat-buckled tracks by white paint, were unbearable. Over-heated over-wrought passengers felt like battery animals in transit.
Gardens were scorched as prices got set to soar for broccoli, carrots and potatoes because crops were so badly affected.
So long freak weather, we adored your bright sunshine but struggled with your searing heat. It wouldn’t be a real British summer without a spell of coolness and soggy gloom – then we’ll soon be longing for what we once had but wanted to end.
Like childbirth, we forget the pain once it’s gone.
It’s this contrariness that makes us British.