Let’s Talk About the Weather

Let me be frank with you. I had certain expectations when moving to GB, and 90 degree weather was certainly not amongst them. I’m not being a great big wimp here, because I grew up in Dallas where triple digit temperatures were the norm for months at a time. I could just about handle the heat because I mainly survived the warmer months as an indoor vampire, only voluntarily leaving my house at night when walking outside didn’t feel like being dragged along behind a bus’s exhaust pipe. And we also had air conditioners. Glorious, cold, marvelous air conditioners.

Let me tell you how London handles 90 degree weather: the ‘sun worshipers’ grab lots of beer, sit in a park, and read. If you have kids, you can splash around in a park’s fountain or paddling pool and feel repulsed by the fact that most of the kids aren’t wearing bathing suits, but are either naked or wearing soggy underwear/diapers. (It’s Europe, I get it. But I still think it’s kind of nasty because, ugh, pees and poos.)

Now, if you’re stuck in an office and can’t just lie around in the park drinking beers and ciders, you’re screwed unless you work in a fancy office with a/c. And usually that a/c is too piddly to cope with any real temperatures. And then to get home from the office, you have to ride in the hot, steaming subway or the sticky, sweaty bus, or even the overcrowded, stiflingly hot trains. (Which don’t always get you home – Waterloo Rail Station was a big mess this week when the heat caused the rails to buckle. THE RAILS BUCKLED!?)

In my situation, I do not have to put up with terrible public transport or kiddie pools filled with pee. No, I’m stuck on bed rest in a flat that, normally, is very comfortable to be in because it’s so full of light and relatively free of drafts. Right now, it is prison. We live on the top two floors of a 4 story building. The downstairs is open plan and the whole back wall of the living room is made of glass and south-facing, essentially turning our living space into a great big greenhouse. Upstairs is uninhabitable. I noticed yesterday that my lip balms and pot of coconut oil were completely liquefied and warm to the touch. It’s so hot that we’re sweating again just moments after showering. We certainly can’t sleep up there, so are all camped out downstairs on the sofa bed and couch. After a few nights of this, we are ALL cranky and not functioning too well.

And today, the weatherman said that it’s supposed to get even  hotter. FML.

I know in the back of my mind that this weather will pass and everyone will be complaining about rain and needing to wear a jacket again. But you know what? I’m always the jerk that is excited when it’s time for dreary weather again. I don’t like the idea of lying in the park with booze, and I certainly don’t like the idea of playing in a diluted sewer with my child just to keep cool. I’m coping with this heatwave by fantasizing about cardigans, hot drinks,and clouds. Low lying, rain-filled clouds.

Screw summer.


Since we last talked

After a long absence from the world of blogging, I’m back.

Lots of changes since the last update. One, we no longer live in charming Nunhead. We moved a grueling mile or so west to the heights of Denmark Hill (the nicer part of Camberwell) back in November. The husband can walk from our front door to his office in less than five minutes. R’s new school is literally around the corner, which will be nice when he starts Reception in September (in the UK, kids start at age 4 instead of 5 like they do in the USA). And most useful of the local amenities is King’s College Hospital, which is just across from G’s office. When we moved in, I joked that it would have been useful to have that on our doorstep back when I was pregnant with Rhys. I must have jinxed myself because here I am, pregnant again. At least there won’t be any parking issues this time around – much of the spill over hospital parking is actually on our street. Oh, and I no longer have a car, like I did when Rhys was born. But back to the point: I’m glad it’s within waddling distance from the front door.

Aside from being super close to work/school/hospital, we’ve got a cracking view of the London skyline from our bedroom. Camberwell has an amazing array of restaurants, so one of my favourite hobbies for the past few months has been trying out as many of them as possible. At the end of our street, we can choose from Spanish tapas, Lebanese, Turkish, Vietnamese, Greek, Scandinavian, Chinese, and a place that does pretty spot-on Chipotle-sized burritos at lunchtime for a fiver. Basically, I’m kind of in a perfect spot.