I never thought that my first summer in London would be so warm. After stories of the previous year being so terribly short and wet, we (my hubby and I) did not have high expectations before arriving in the UK. In fact, I think we were actually looking forward to the cool change and being able to sleep through the night.
However, we returned from two glorious sunny weeks in Spain to the hottest weather London had faced in seven years. There was a week of consecutive days where the temperature exceeded 30 degrees Celsius and the heatwave warning was officially raised to “level three”. Owch.
Level three is a health watch criteria for the very old or the chronically sick. For everyone else it simply means the temperature has exceeded the day max of 32C. Apparently it is one stage short of a national emergency. An Aussie has to laugh.
Londoners need not have panicked. In such oppressive circumstances, helpful articles, blogs and social media posts popped up all over the Internet with tips and suggestions on how to keep cool during the day and sleep at night.
My favourites included “get a hammock” and “sleep on a wet towel”. Thankfully there are also some more sensible suggestions such as “buy an electric fan” or “where to find the best Lidos in London” – which, for those new to London, simply means a public pool.
Why is London seemingly never prepared for a hot summer? Perhaps it is because London media spends months telling us of how we have all just “survived” the coldest winter since whenever B.C.?
I think what amazes me the most about London ‘heatwaves’ is how journalists are compelled to complain in dry and lengthy spells about the sunshine and excessive heat. But it is a British tradition to complain about the weather – either too hot or too cold.
Forget about Brexit, Wimbledon, and even the football World Cup; instead for the next three months it will be all about the heatwaves.
It will just about make you look forward to winter’s chilly return.
Read more of Jacquie’s experiences as an expat:
Also visit her website www.neverendinghoneymoon.net