Pheww! It’s a scorcher and Londoners are not coping well, says Nick Jones – as demonstrated by ill-tempered exchanges between grumpy Tube travellers, smug Americans and wearers of tight shorts
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It’s mighty hot out there. Last week, Building reported that Heathrow Terminal 5 was among many construction sites that had increased the number of workers’ breaks to allow them to get out of the sun. Even indoors, however, it appears that things weren’t much better. Away from the glare of the sun, the blogging community were pouring sweat over their keyboards, and all in all, it was not a pretty picture. “I am wearing my short shorts and bicycle top today and nothing more. It is supposed to be 96° and I have no air-conditioning,” writes shackhappy.blogharbor.com, perhaps a little too candidly.
In London, the two main topics of heatwave-related debate were a) what do temperatures of 90° tell us about climate change? and b) how hot does the Tube need to get before my skin starts melting? London-underground.blogspot.com, a blog of everything Tube-related, took a somewhat cynical approach to the latter question: “Ahh, the hot weather and once again the Evening Standard gets the opportunity to thank the heat fairies so they can come up with the usual ‘London Fries’ and ‘Tube hotter than hell’ headlines.” www.Londonist.com seemed even hotter under the collar: “London Underground keeps advising us to take a bottle of water on tube journeys – they should be handing them out for free. With Cornettos.”
Apparently it was ever-so-slightly cooler in Ireland, so people were able to remain a little more upbeat about things. A headline on blogorrah.com posted late last week read: “Forecasters predict ‘This would be the greatest country in the world if we had this weather all the time’ to be most-repeated cliche during next five days.”
Back on Londonist, however, the conversation was getting more doom-laden, with blogger jumblejet focusing on the bigger picture: “Ahh, if only air-conditioning systems didn’t also emit greenhouse gases. It’s a tricky business balancing the need to save the planet, but also preventing Barry from Human Resources wearing those shorts again.”
American blogger Jo had the temerity to tell Londonist to stop complaining: “Oh quit whinging. Here in the States we’ve topped that four days in a row,” before adding, gallingly, “On the other hand, we’ve got air-conditioning just about everywhere, even on the subway (underground)!”. What is it about that helpful “translation” that makes me want to tie Jo to a rush-hour Central line train in high summer? Must be the weather.
It was a relief (admittedly tinged with schadenfreude) to find an American suffering from the heat as much as we were. grumpyfrump.blogspot.com (there’s a clue in the name) groans, entirely reasonably: “It’s like Africa hot here.
No, I take that back, because I’m sure there are parts of Africa that are less miserable than the weather here.” Blogger Margus was on hand with some helpful advice: “Get really drunk, strip down and jump in your neighbour’s pool. If they don’t have a pool, fill their bathtub with ice-cubes instead.” Sounds like a plan to me, so I’ll leave you once again in the capable hands of Londonist and the heatwave/climate change debate: “We should have some rain by Wednesday, but as nice as that sounds right now, we kinda need to stop screwing things up if we ever want to put an end to blog posts about how tedious the weather is.”