122: hot enough for you?

Hot, isn’t it.

Properly, officially hot.

Hot enough for the gritters to be out sanding the roads in case they melt, for TfL to be emailing me and telling me not to get on trains, and for the denizens of the internet to be complaining not about the heat but about the latest version of the weather map. It’s far too scary, apparently.

Michael Fish, not being scary.

In the ‘olden days’ (ie when the likes of Michael Fish and Wincey Willis were slapping velcro-backed sunshine and clouds onto the map and suggesting we took a cardigan) weather was a happy thing and it was called ‘summer’. Now – with clever computer graphics which show temperatures and snow and things without the need for double-sided sticky tape, weather maps are designed to bring FEAR and TERROR and QUITE POSSIBLY parties of irritating Hobbits chucking bling into what’s being referred to as ‘the A1 corridor’.

Mordor. Sorry, the weather map for this week.

You can almost predict what’s coming next: mutterings about 1976 and how that was a heatwave, Britain did proper heatwaves back then, droughts, reservoirs drying up, plagues of ladybirds, shortage of Mivvis, that sort of thing. It’s like a badly scripted sitcom, with lines spoken by a hanky-headed, string-vest wearing pensioner in a deckchair. Well yes, it was indeed all those things, though I may have made up the Mivvi shortage – for two whole months – but crucially the maximum temperature reached was 35.9 degrees. This is a good four degrees lower than the potential highs this week which are likely to be record breaking. The first red warning for heat has been issued – they did only invent them last year, to be fair – with a risk to life for even healthy people. Significant changes to daily routines are being advised, with damage to infrastructure possible (railway tracks in London were on fire last week, for a start). Schools are considering closing.

So SHUT UP about 1976: since then we’ve developed a bloody great hole in the ozone layer, the ice shelves are melting, the sea is rising and global temperature has risen about 1.1 degree since 1880 with the majority of the warming occurring since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15 to 0.20°C per decade. Nine of the ten hottest years on record have been in the the last decade, and 1976 doesn’t even feature in the list. Get used to the scary weather maps and maybe have a think about what you, as a citizen of the planet, could do to help: every little helps, as a famous supermarket would have it.

Things making me happy this week:

  • The pool and the lake
  • Watching Thing 3’s end of year performance
  • The portable air cooler thingy in the bedroom
  • The chilled section in Tesco…
  • Thing 1’s 16th birthday – Now, 2006, that was a hot summer…Sorry.

Kirsty x

What I’ve been reading:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay– Michael Chabon

Tales from the City – Armistead Maupin

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