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?
- Heatwave to hit 30C heights this weekend as summer BBQ safety warning issued (metro.co.uk)
- Heatwave London! Top 5 things not to miss during this weekend’s great weather (metro.co.uk)
- UK weather: Two-week heatwave on the way with temperatures reaching 33C (mirror.co.uk)
- London weather: Better later than never … heatwave to hit the capital (standard.co.uk)