Getting out of the kitchen

It’s hot. Too hot. That’s only been one week of ‘summer’ temperatures, and already, things like slush and frost have taken on a nostalgia value right up there with Frank Sinatra. Coming, as I do, from the far North of Scotland, I think that my hatred of the sun is possibly genetic in some way. Though, to be strictly accurate, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. I’m pretty sure it was warmer last weekend in Hamburg (don’t worry, full report will follow later, when the photos return — I’m damned if I’m going to get less than two weeks’ worth of editorials out of that trip!), but it was a dry heat, and so was not too unbearable. London, however, seems to specialise in the sort of heat where you can feel the moisture condensing on the insides of your lungs.

Of course, other factors did come into account. The fact that we were never more than fifty yards from a pub probably helped, as did wandering round in the lightest T-shirt I could find, as opposed to the nightmare which is a suit in a London summer. This is especially true when you have to get on a crowded train, with people for whom the concept of personal hygiene is apparently a bit tricky. But at least that does go above ground, rather than descending into the bowels of the Earth for a brief glimpse of what life after death will be like, if you’re not good.

This, so far, is but a mere precursor — after all, it’s only mid-May, and things will get a LOT worse before they get better, I can confidently state. Still to come, we have those hot summer nights, where you lie there on the bed, with the blankets thrown off, and the windows wide open, praying alternately for unconsciousness and a breath of air, but being disappointed on both counts. These are the sort of days where the slightest movement leaves you sweating like a bad dose of flu, ruling out any activity more energetic than getting another cold drink. [I would just like to record that during the creation of the above paragraph, I disposed of a pint of lemon Tango, and a chocolate and cream trifle. It’s 23:30, and it is still FAR TOO WARM]

Part of the problem is that air-conditioning is still often viewed as an optional extra, because it’s something that will only be of use for two or three months in the summer. If you go somewhere like, oh, Arizona, then you’ll find that everywhere has it as a matter of course. Instead, about the best option here is to chuck all the food out of the fridge, clamber in yourself and pull the door shut. Though I imagine the imbecilic chief executive who abolished our dress-down days at work, is no doubt comfortable in his carefully climate-controlled office, rather than having to endure a mutual agreement between thirty co-workers with differing metabolisms — the end result being a sort of tepid compromise which pleases no-one.

But no matter how bitterly we complain, it ain’t gonna make any difference. The weather will probably keep getting hotter — blame El Nino, or global warming, the Earth falling into the Sun, or the Sun falling into the Earth, or whatever. And so, when a pretty girl, in summer-inspired minimal clothing, walks past lasciviously sucking on an ice-lolly, it is a fact of life that I just can’t help drooling — but it’s a sad reflection on what this weather does, that I’m probably thinking about the lolly…