The heatwave has come and gone. Every year in the UK, we get one week of heat and this week was it. Hotter than Tenerife/Jamaica/Sahara/the sun, the weather forecasters inform us. On holiday abroad that is lovely, here not so much.
Popular UK hot weather traditions include:
- People on beaches complaining there are too many people on beaches
- Ice cream vans running out of chocolate flakes
- Endless discussions regarding air conditioning units (that will never be installed)
- Zoo animals with large ice cubes
- Houses being full of insects within 5 minutes of opening a window
Another warm weather favourite is things that are not supposed to melt yet somehow do go on to melt. Tarmac, railway lines, paint on railings, the list goes on. In 2018, I noticed a news story about Scotland’s hottest June day in history which led to the (allegedly) weatherproof roof of the Glasgow Science Centre turning to liquid and dripping down the side of the building. That night I met a couple from Glasgow who hadn’t heard about this event and told them all about it. They were intrigued and both got their phones out to start researching the story. I went back to see them later on.
“Did you find out any more about that roof that melted?” I inquired.
“It is a bit awkward really” the lady answered, “my husband designed it”.
“Oh” I left a pause before asking him “will you be involved in the repairs?”
“I doubt it” he replied before walking off.
Something that has always fascinated me is the phenomenon of frying eggs on outdoor surfaces during a heatwave. The most obvious is on a car but sadly, Google informs me that frying an egg on a car bonnet affects the paintwork which is a shame. Perhaps egg proof paint could be an innovation for the future so my new ambition will have to be somebody frying an egg on a pavement. I would try it myself but I am not that keen on eggs.
Working on the cruise ships, where it was summer wherever we were, I got used to the heat and I have become one of those annoying people who are not too bothered by the warm weather. The hottest temperature I remember being in was when we were sailing through the Panama Canal. One of my colleagues was outside for 9 minutes and got so sunburned he needed time off work, the rest of us were clever enough to shelter under the ceiling fans indoors.
Looking back on this, perhaps I missed an opportunity. Should we have tried to fry an egg on him?