Not, I should make clear, the heating. That hasn’t been on for months – I am either very green or cheap, take your pick!
No, South Cambs (and much of the rest of the UK) has been basking in what I think we used to call a “summer”. This is a season I vaguely remember from my distant youth, but haven’t seem much of in recent years. So long has it been, that I have had to dig out long forgotten clothing, from the places I had squirrelled it away, appropriate for temperatures touching the eighties (Fahrenheit).
I must admit that I’m not terribly keen on hot weather – and hot, sunny weather even less. I’m fine up to around 70°F, but much above that I grow rapidly less keen – though with very low humidity it can be acceptable in a holiday destination. As a result, beach holidays do not appeal – I can spend about 5 minutes on a beach before I’m bored, you can’t even comfortably read a book because of the glare, and what something else to do.
I realise this is not a common view in the current era, where we are all assumed to want hot, sunny weather. I have no particular aesthetic objection to acquiring a modest tan – though recognise this view is very much of my time, a few years back I’d no doubt have been coating myself in white lead to appear as pallid as possible. Whilst exposure to sunshine is probably less deadly than lead-based cosmetics, it still isn’t terribly good for one – even ignoring the potential cellular and DNA-damage, it is terribly ageing and I’m looking quite aged enough already thank you very much. As a result, I feel I have to coat myself in foul, titanium dioxide based gunk to protect my alabaster limbs and face from the sun’s ultry violet rays (I know, I’m not a proper Englishmen – must be my Welsh roots showing, we of the Principality are much better in rain than sun). As this blog may have mentioned before, I hate getting my hands dirty (literally, I’m fine with figurative filth) and suntan lotion makes me feel dirty. Roll on MAA-based lotions – well, it works for coral and seem much less objectionable (well, at least according to the late lamented Material World).
Cycling in hot, sunny weather is also a terribly sweaty experience – one is relatively fine while moving as a result of the natural, forced-air conditioning. However, as soon as you stop at a junction, one is instantly rendered rather wet (and not in a nice way). This is not the ideal state of arrival at a concert or theatre – few of which provide showering facilities for their patrons (or probably their performers in some cases!). As the government seems to have money (ours) to burn on infrastructure projects, can I suggest public showers in our major towns and cities?
So, all-in-all, if we are going to be changing this climate (and we seem very keen to do so) could I put in a request that we cap the temperatures for the southern half of the UK at around room temperature with light winds and easily forecasted rain. Otherwise, I may have to defect to Alex Salmond’s new kingdom.