I forgot how hot, sticky, sweaty and suffocating the summer can be in London.
I’m the kind of person who craves the warmth of the sun on their skin. As a vegetable grower, the giant-life-giving-burning star in our sky is terribly important to me. When its gloomy and grey, with the standard drizzle of rain, I am the person you will hear moaning about the British weather and wishing for the sun to hurry through the seasons.
I really do love Britain in the summer. Usually it means ice cream cones, parks, sunglasses and a cool drink at hand. Unfortunately, these are not “usual” times. Although the thermometer may not be reading off an intimidating number in comparison to the more tropical lands of the world, anything above 25 degrees Celsius in London puts us at risk of a heatwave.
For my non-British readers 25 degrees Celsius is equal to 77 Fahrenheit – yes, that may not seem much to you – but it has serious consequences for us over here in London.
When the sun puts some effort into shining, London does indeed become a concrete jungle. The humidity soars and sticks to each person like superglue. The once barely tolerable commutes become absolutely impossible as chronic dehydration leaves us even more frustrated than before. The only real advantages of a heatwave in London is that it gives you the perfect reason to whip out all your cute summer gear from the dark corner of your wardrobe. Men in shorts and T-shirts – poor souls, they don’t really have many options, do they? Women go all out with their summer dresses, full of colour and eye-catching patterns. But there’s one thing that you do no matter what gender category you belong to – you throw away those imprisoning socks. The summer is all about feet in flip-flops, sandals and pumps. Needless to say, I had my flip-flops ready at hand months ago, just waiting for the sun’s arrival.
The British are efficient people. A single ray of UV light is enough to provoke a mass migration to the parks in the most revealing outfits – because people must work on their tans! Unfortunately for me, I was bestowed with the skin type that never tans. My holiday picture timeline goes from pasty white to tomato red and then back to pasty white once I’ve shed my skin like a lizard. Although I can’t bear to be under the sun for the tremendous time required in order to become a shade of golden brown, I did try once, but I came back home in blisters!
Yes, I’m the person that comes out in their summer clothes and looks like a vampire through the entire season. But there’s something even more frustrating than that – my feet tan. The only parts of my body which turns a decent brown-ish colour are my feet. Oh and of course, I get a super awesome tan line from the flip-flops I had been wearing – you know, just to really prove the point. It’s so annoying that the healthy glow of sun-kissed skin can only be found on my feet! Darn those genetics.