OK, I realise I’m on the wrong side of a losing battle here, but hear me out…
To begin, some context. I live in the UK, so when I say ‘hot weather’ I am referring to a prolonged period of summer heat that is above average for our climate – so lets say 26ºC and over. I realise that readers from warmer climes will be laughing their asses off right now, wondering how their average nighttime temperature could ever be considered ‘hot’, but it’s my blog so shut up!
The fact is the UK enjoys/suffers/tolerates (delete as appropriate) a temperate climate: it changes with the seasons but in a fairly restrained way. Sure it gets warmer and sunnier in the summer and colder and frostier in the winter, but this country doesn’t tend to get extremes of weather. This is why a protracted dump of snow or more than a week of very hot weather makes the news. I don’t mind the former; I bloody hate the latter. Let’s examine the myriad reasons why this is not an entirely unreasonable position to take.
Firstly, during hot weather, the sun becomes a burning ball of radioactive death that wants to kill you.
My skin doesn’t have melanin-enhanced attributes or resemble the tough leathery hide of someone like my father-in-law, and so those sinister warnings the weathermen issue about the sun searing your flesh after only 15 minutes of exposure during the hottest part of the day are unwavering accurate for me.
I both admire and pity those that seek out direct sunlight between 12:00 and 3:00, forsaking anything approaching shade so that they can enjoy being bombarded with ultraviolet rays. Admiration at a tolerance for heat and glare that simply eludes my thermosensitive capacity, and pity at the fact that I will probably outlive them due to their inevitable bout of skin cancer.
Then there is the inescapable pervasiveness of the heat made worse if combined with suffocating humidity. In a country where hot weather is newsworthy, air conditioning is understandably a rarely utilised technology – not every office has it, and it’s almost unheard of in homes. As the heat builds throughout the day it becomes unbearable for those forced to work or live in anything more confined than an open air stadium. And don’t even get me started on public transport…
When it’s cold it’s easy to warm up: put on a sweater, make a hot drink, turn up the heating, wrap yourself up in a blanket and sit by the fire (or plasma TV – they give off about the same heat). What the hell can you do when you’re overheating? I’m already sat here in my underwear with a portable fan in one hand and a Jack on the rocks in the other AND I’M STILL FUCKING SWEATING!!
And I dread that moment every evening when there are no more delaying tactics to employ and I am forced to finally retire to the furnace – or ‘bedroom’ as it used to be called. The airless fug is about as conducive to drifting off to sleep as infrequently-pulsing testicular electrodes. And opening the window cools the room down by about 1% while increasing the noise by 1547% (approximately); it’s not a great trade-off. You go in tired and wake up more tired. Compared to wrapping yourself tightly in a winter duvet during a cold snap, struggling with a sweaty sheet during an humid night is another strike against overly clement weather.
And let’s not forget that within approximately 2 seconds of the commencement of a heat wave, overweight tradesmen across the country whip off their tops to show off their pasty white (soon to be lobster red) curves, subjecting the rest of us to their grotesque burlesque every time their power tools kick into action and jiggle their flesh. When the sun comes out everybody in the UK suddenly wants to show you their bits, whether their bits are aesthetically pleasing or not. My eyes can only tolerate so much unfettered flab.
Look, hot weather is fine – enjoyable even – when you’re on holiday. Or when you’re by a pool, or a stone’s throw from a beach, or prancing through the lawn sprinkler in your garden (you’re never too old to do that, by the way). In these rarefied circumstances hot weather is more than tolerable. But the rest of the time? Which also happens to be most of the time? Not so much…
I really haven’t convinced you, have I? No matter; I know the truth: the best weather for human beings is a clear blue sky, light cool breeze, and a non-humid temperature of no more than about 22 degrees. Followed by a cool evening and a cold night. Who’s with me? WHO’S WITH ME??!!
Fine. I’ll be over there on my own. In the shade.