Breaking up with summer

You might have noticed our little island is going through a little bit of a hot spell.

It’s technically called summer, but we Brits aren’t really familiar with this amount of warm (read: stifling) weather, so we’ve affectionately called it a heat wave.

Mother Nature is having one of her hot flushes, and she’s taking us along for the ride. As I write this, my thighs are sticking together and even the backs of my knees are sweating.

The sun has been shining constantly for a good few weeks; the sky is clear, and BBQs have become part of our staple diet, as have Pimms, ice cream, and cold brew coffee. Everyone’s shoulders are a perpetual shade of pink, and we’ve finally stopped taking a light jacket with us ‘just in case’.

On the one hand, it is glorious.

And on the other very sweaty hand, it is starting to feel a little bit like the Earth is slowly turning into a second sun.

The grass turns from green and lush to brown and crispy, offices become saunas, and beaches reach full capacity before transforming into rubbish tips. Chafing levels reach an all-time high, and you can barely move without a damp film coating every inch of your body. A full face of makeup is a big no-no, a full night’s sleep is a myth, and your fan becomes your best friend.

You even turn down the temperature of your shower, losing that sweet spot for the sake of a few minutes of feeling cool.

I am fully aware of how lucky we are to be having a lovely summer so far; I am also aware I’ll be the first to moan when it’s grey and raining once again. But I would like to hold my hands up now and admit defeat.

I’m done with feeling disgusting, and I’m praying for respite.

I can’t stand the heat.

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It’s not just because of the discomfort.

I’m tired of being made to feel like I’m ungrateful for every single beautiful day just because I’d rather stay in the shade, or a well-aired room – both by other people and by myself.

I feel guilty every time I skip heading to the Common with a book, and instead retreat to read in my flat; every time I would rather head indoors in a cafe instead of the outdoor seating area; each time I camp down in the shade of a leafy tree instead of roasting myself in the open sun.

I’m trying to teach myself that it’s ok to feel this way, and that I’m not the only one.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t hate this weather; I know how lovely it is, and how lucky we are. I love a BBQ and a cider in the sun as much as anyone. I am, as of today, approximately 60% ice cream.

But I am bored with feeling clammy.

So here’s to those of us who find these hot and humid days as difficult as those with torrential rain and near-minus figures. Here’s to those of us who spend the sunny afternoons indoors, who don’t own enough summer clothes to get through one week of sunshine, and who would rather chew off their own foot than go to the beach at peak time on a boiling weekend.

Please, don’t make us feel bad, and please don’t make yourself feel guilty if you feel that way, either; we’re not being miserable, or ungrateful, or antisocial; we’re just not built for this weather.

Now, pass the Factor 50.


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