Hot hot hot

Haven’t posted for a while as I was in Manchester then London for a week and a bit. Lovely to see old friends – now for the complaining bit, from a Scot who moans about cold, dreich winter days yet can’t handle the summer heat.

That’s not strictly true, I can sometimes handle it and very well too. I love holidaying in hot climates and worked on farms in Italy in the middle of summer, on days when the temperature reached 32 degrees. However, at times like these you work with the temperature, you don’t battle against it. In other words, you sightsee/work in the mornings and evenings and, at the hottest part of the day, you STOP. You go indoors, enjoy some food and drink, chill out and maybe have a quick, reviving siesta. Then you’re refreshed and ready for the late afternoon and evening too.

In London I arranged to sightsee and meet friends in the middle of the day, as you do. Almost every tube journey was horrendous, because it was in 30+ degree heat (higher inside I expect) with no air conditioning. I don’t even like travelling by tube and normally get the bus, but my god, they were even worse – I ‘nipped’ on the 56 from where I was staying in Walthamstow , to meet a friend in Islington (not very far in London terms) but it was rush hour and the bus really was like a greenhouse. I was sweating buckets by the time I arrived – you’d have thought I’d hiked there from the Sussex Downs or somewhere.

My last day there, I met friends for a picnic in St James’s Park, and was DELIGHTED to discover the Circle Line had a/c. As I waited for the connecting tube at Moorgate (a City station and very quiet at the weekend), the cool air blowing round the platform, I half-considered spending the rest of the afternoon there. I even had a mobile signal so could’ve been entertained for hours.

I enjoyed all the classic views of London but didn’t record them – I don’t have a decent camera and besides things like sunsets never quite look as good in a photo as they do at the time.

But, these caught my eye: Tiled tube station/sign; Summer is: a picnic on a tartan rug; chewing gum turned into pictures on the Millennium Bridge; sun catching the exterior of Tate Modern (Matisse and Malevich exhibitions both worth a visit); my friend Matthew’s shoes. He bought them on Boxing Day and already they are well-worn (shouldn’t all shoes be well-worn?) – sometimes when he doesn’t fancy public transport he does a two-hour walk from his home in south London to his work near the Barbican. Good on you Matthew!


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