Becky says things about … the British people VS a heatwave

Firstly, on behalf of the British people I must say to all my overseas Listeners a most magnificent


because just two weeks ago, I made a desperate plea for summer and asked all you sunny countries to send us a bit of sunshine after our weather people told us we were doomed to be rained on for the next ten years.

And, my sweetest, most generous overseas Listeners, LOOK AT THIS:


Whatever trickery or witchcraft you used to convey your sunshine over to us, KEEP IT COMING!! We are thrilled. Thrilled, bemused, befuddled, a little frightened, rather suspicious, and generally a bit all over the place.

You see, whilst we British spend 100% of our time moaning about the weather and praying for a heatwave, when it eventually turns up it becomes THE ONLY THING HAPPENING IN OUR LIVES RIGHT NOW, and it sets into motion a complex behavioural process.

The first thing we do is get sunburnt. Instantly. Our fragile complexions are so unaccustomed to direct sunlight that the slightest exposure leads us to receive, without fail, strips of burning, peeling, crusty crimson in the following places:


The second thing we do is talk about it. Endlessly. We can’t buy a newspaper without saying ‘Thanks very much. Hot enough for you?’ We can’t peruse a menu without saying ‘Oh, it’s too hot for potatoes’. We can’t greet a chum in the street without asking ‘Off to enjoy the sun, are you?’

Every line of conversation can be related to the weather, no matter how irrelevant or inappropriate.


The third thing we do is read and write about it. When Britain gets hot and sunny for an extended period of time, there is no other news. Distant conflicts, deadly pandemics and impending natural disasters pale in comparison to the weather. We want no part of world news. Why? We want to experience this heatwave in our own way, then read about how other parts of the country experienced it to make sure we didn’t imagine it. A heatwave in England is news.


The fourth thing we do is arrange outdoor activities. We enter a frantic race of Man VS Nature to organise picnics, BBQs, boat trips, afternoons in pub gardens, walks, hikes, festivals, small gatherings on the patio with Pimms and nibbles, before our tremendous good luck ends and the rain returns.


The fifth thing we do is carry out arranged outdoor activities. No bit of pavement, no patch of wasteland, no stretch of motorway is unsuitable in our quest for alfresco pursuits.


The sixth thing we do is become terribly dramatic about it. Within an hour of a heatwave commencing, we Brits are panting, blowing out our cheeks and gasping ‘Phew, it’s a scorcher’, we’re wiping the sweat from our reddened brows, we’re peering deliriously through the haze in search of refreshment, and we’re starting to worry about drought and burning to death. Rail services are cancelled for fear of melting tracks, cars are abandoned, people are fainting all over the place, and the Government have issued a hosepipe ban and declared a national state of emergency.


The seventh thing we do is complain about it. This occurs on approximately the third day of a heatwave. We’ve spent two days frantically attending BBQs and picnics, we’re burnt to buggery, we’ve run out of clothes due to changing outfits at the first sign of sweat during the dramatic stage, our water bill has gone through the roof because we’re showering 12 times a day, none of us have slept since this wretched heatwave began because ‘there’s just no air in my bedroom’, and none of us are enjoying ourselves.


And when the heatwave finally ends, which will be approximately four days sooner than the weather people predicted, and the clouds, wind and rain returns, we all breathe a sigh of relief and get on with our lives.


So thanks very much for sending us some sun, but … just no more, okay?

55 thoughts on “Becky says things about … the British people VS a heatwave

  1. Sorry, your requests need to be more specific next time. As is ‘please send only 3 days of sunshine’. Better yet, 2.5. Leave you wanting….

    1. I agree, specifics next time please. I’ve tried also to send you some of our humidity. Hope that worked out for you!

      1. Yep, next time we’ll be more specific. We don’t want too much of a good thing.
        And the humidity hasn’t turned up… in fact there’s a pleasant breeze and it’s really rather enjoyable… 🙂

  2. I feel like living London has corrupted me in this way – I can’t handle a real summer anymore! Haha, thanks for giving me a way to explain why I hide from the sun now.

  3. HAHA well in Malaysia we practically have summer all year long and 30C is like the average of our temperature. Imagine how many people will be getting heatstrokes when they come over for vacations. HEH well I’d ask you Brits to send us some snow but that wouldn’t be possible.

    1. An average temperature of 30C would melt us. It’s now the fourth day of our heatwave and we’re all going slowly mad. It’s a cross between a constant holiday and a prison sentence. It’s all very bizarre.
      I’ll see what I can do about the snow. You never know what can be achieved these days….
      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  4. I cried laughing reading that post!! As we speak I am sat inside having sunbathed for most of the morning, suffered a bite from a red ant, and have decided it is too warm outside and now I’d like to cool off for a bit. Also having a BBQ later on! We just can’t help ourselves!

    Fabulous post 😀

    1. Haha, my point exactly! I sat in the sun with my sister yesterday and we were sweaty, uncomfortable, bothered, itchy, too hot… neither of us were enjoying ourselves particularly, but we felt we just HAD to get out in the sun!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  5. You have captured the human spirit so perfectly! We’re so like that–no matter what country you’re from and no matter the topic. We want it, we want more, we’re done with it let’s move on please. You spin your phrases well, Becky 🙂 And Stick’s scenarios are awesome, too.

    Though major oversight: Foods For the Heatwave. Maybe another post? Ice cream is a ringer. Also, gin and tonics (or whatever you like drinking). Beer. (even if you don’t like beer, it’s good drinking in a heatwave) Ice water. Vodka tonics. Grilled foods. Berries (on the ice cream or by themselves or in the cocktail). Just a starter list for you, you’re welcome 😉

    Good luck with the rest of your summer weather. My fave is always that stormy day after the heatwave. Nothing like a bunch of rain to cool things down.

    1. Can’t believe I overlooked the food situation. SALAD, SAUSAGES, SALAD, BURGERS, SALAD, SALAD, SAUSAGES. That’s it. That’s all we eat during this weather. And I’m rather happy about it 🙂
      Thanks as always Liz 🙂

  6. I love “Oh, it’s too hot for potatoes!” so much! I am going to start saying it constantly in response to any statement I don’t feel like addressing because I’ve decided that, in addition to being a pertinent statement while eating breakfast on a steamy London day, its also the perfect non-sequiter.

    1. You are absolutely right. Would it work in situations such as ‘I want you to do a three hour presentation in Monday morning.’ ‘Oh it’s too hot for potatoes.’
      Yes, it does work. Perfectly.

  7. The Daily Mail would have ‘tips from Pippa Middleton on how to survive the heatwave’ surely?

    You nailed it Becky, as usual. 🙂

      Good old Daily Mail.
      Thank you 🙂

  8. Hopefully, the good weather will hold up! (I’ll be in England next weekend and what I wouldn’t give for it to be nice while I’m there!)

  9. Forgive me for being amused but hearing someone talk about 26 or 27 as a heatwave does sound quite strange. But I suppose it’s all relative…..

    1. I’ll do my best but I’ve a feeling we’ll hold onto it as long as we can… because once it goes, we may not get it back for a very, very, very, very long time…

      1. No sympathy. It sucks, it’s cold, limited sun, short days, I’m just plin miserable.

        Oh, wait a minute. I’m enlightened, now I know why they call you British…

  10. This is pretty much how it is living in Portland, Oregon, USA. Here is how the year goes:

    Fall: I wish it was summer.
    Winter: I wish it was summer.
    Spring: I wish it was summer.
    Summer: Fuck summer. Where is Fall?

    1. Hahaha, that’s precisely what it’s like here. We spend the whole year yearning for summer, then when it comes it’s either so miserable we think ‘Sod this for a barrel of laughs, we may as well go straight to autumn when it can be legitimately miserable’, or it’s really hot and we think ‘My God I’m going to die, this is too hot – roll on autumn’.
      The grass is always greener.

  11. Miss Becky, I thought you would be happy with this!! Ha ha. I sent the sun your way, it was me. Actually, I know what you mean. We talk about the weather in California, all the time, especially if it rains!! That’s a big deal. We did have a 7-day heat wave in the triple digits, as high as 111. So hot!! So, I feel for you, miss. Back to your umbrella. Whew!

    1. So it was YOU! Thank you so much! To thank you for your generosity, we Brits would like to invite you for tea with the Queen. I’ll give her a call, get some dates off her, and get back to you.
      And I didn’t think Californians talk about the weather… I thought it was so perfect all the time, it would be boring to talk about it! I heard about the crazy heatwave that’s going on over there – 130 degrees or something ridiculous in Death Valley. We would all die.

  12. I first saw this in action when I lived in London and thought it was fucking hilarious. The minute the sun came out, people were immediately stripping down to catch as many rays as they could, until they were all beet red and miserable. And then the minute the sun went back in, everyone was sad and complaining about the cold and rain again. I’d gladly send some of our heat to you (it was 34C today) but I guess you’ve had enough.

    1. That is exactly what happens. We are pitifully ill-equipped to deal with any form of extreme weather condition: grey, mild and drizzly, with a faint chilly breeze, is the weather we deal with best. And as we get that 99.9% of the time, it’s a good thing.
      34C is too much – are you trying to kill us?

  13. Oh Becky, your writing brightens up my day. Awesome stuff!

    P.S. If you apply suntan lotion to stickman in just the right way, I bet you can make him look like a candy cane!

  14. I felt like this a few weeks ago in Germany when it hit 36 for three days straight. My classroom was an oven, we were all melting. We were so happy that winter was finally over November to June without much heat was a nightmare. But when the heat finally came we couldn’t drink enough ice cold beer to survive. Thanks for always making me laugh.

  15. Loving the blog Becky – what I’m missing is a less humid climate like say Methana! Blackheath poet Jane!

  16. This is funny, and true! I’m in England and we are just so used to the cold and wet summers because it’s cold and wet all year round. I used to love the sun and warm weather… but it was more of a fantasy, I think, because now with this heatwave it’s AWFUL! I hate it! It really is too hot – I’m exhausted, I’m sweating, difficult to do anything when it’s like this. I want it to rain, I even caught myself wanting it to snow – can you believe it?? (which reminds me of a Katy Rose song, even though she’s talking about L.A – called “Snowflakes”). Maybe I don’t really want that, BUT if it was even 10 degrees cooler I think we’d be OK. Temperatures in the high 20s and even 30C or over…. that’s just not normal! PLEASE can someone buy me some air con at least? Fans aren’t enough! I know compared to USA and other hot climates this is nothing, but for the UK this is unbearable, and it’s not just been 1 or 2 hot days, this is a prolonged heatwave. I actually cannot remember the last time I felt this hot. OK sun, you’ve had your fun – can you go away please? Actually to be fair us Brits are never happy with the weather are we? In the past I’ve complained about “wet summers” not being summer at all, and when there’s snow it’s far too cold for me. Seriously though, we are just NOT used to extreme (extreme for us…) temperatures. I actually think if it was even something like 15C and sunny with a breeze that would be perfect, even light rain too would be just fine!

    1. I agree with everyone, and so does 100% of the British people. We are NEVER satisfied. EVER. We hate being cold and rained on, but we also hate being sweaty and disgusting. I found myself excitedly staring at the rain today – I NEVER do that.
      Thanks for reading!

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