I know that the temperatures I am going to refer to in this post may seem laughable to those of you who live in lands where the temperature is much hotter in the summer, but HOT is a relative term – isn’t it?
Please remember that the English are naturally fair weather creatures. We go a bit crazy in extreme temperatures. All life comes to a complete standstill when it snows, making us the laughing stock of Europe and we are very odd when it is hot. It doesn’t usually become overly hot in England. So it’s more likely to be when we are on holiday in Spain or Greece and temperatures soar, that we do the most obvious thing – ignoring all of the advice from the NHS promoted amongst various media agencies, we drape ourselves over a towel and we bake in the burning hot sun making the locals think we are quite mad, well, proving we are quite mad. But I think the world actually knew that Brits are quite bonkers didn’t they. The way we react to the heat should have confirmed that by now!
On Thursday 25th July 2019, we had a record breaking hot day here in England. I was told that the hottest temperature taken that day was in Cambridge, where the mercury hit 38.1C. I was not in Cambridge, I was in London, where we certainly felt the heat that day. I read that at Heathrow, they recorded a temperature of 37.4C.
I will remember Thursday 25th July 2019 for some time. I had to work that day and it was so hot! I wore a floaty knee-length dress and rose gold sandals for work, which is not my usual choice of attire for work. I am glad that work was rather quiet that day, with not many people venturing in to see us. I think a lot of people who live or work in this part of London will remember the tremendous noise the thunder made. I mentioned what happened in another post:
Last week I was at work when there was an enormous crash of thunder, the loudest I have ever heard. Shortly afterwards fire engines arrived and the police shut the main road off. It turned out lightning had struck the bell tower (it is all bent out of shape) and the roof was on fire. There is still debris all over the pavement outside. I offered to top up the water bottles for the police who were blocking off the road, because it was a very hot day – the hottest recorded temperature in England actually.
Previously, the hottest temperature recorded in England was 36.7°C, recorded at Heathrow (London) on 1 July 2015. Now that is a day that will remain etched in my memory forever. Where was I? Well, during the early hours of the morning I was unconscious, lying in thick undergrowth with more branches piled up over me, in a London park. Then a man named Gary found me. I actually remember how hot it was even at that time of the morning. Not long after, I was in an ambulance en route to a nearby hospital.
The day before had been very hot also. When I look back I often wonder whether dehydration contributed to my erratic decision that day. But no doubt the main cause was the intensity of my emotions at that time, that lead me to make that regrettable decision to leave the venue I had been at with my friends, and walk in the direction of the park. And I don’t remember feeling cold at all at any stage. Quite the opposite, even in the dark, I remember the heat. It was draining. I was lethargic. I did not have the physical energy I normally do. I sometimes wonder if being dehydrated may have made it more difficult for me to flee and to fight. The ground underneath me was dry and so hard.
When temperatures soar to around 36C, my mind does cartwheels, so many memories of that night. It’s the heat that seems to be the most powerful trigger of flashbacks. I remembered something when I was in Australia. I didn’t know if it was important, but I remembered he must have had a ring on. I was asleep one night and I felt his hand over my mouth and the ring against my chin. Would it make any difference to the police to know that now? I stopped caring a long time ago. I have just wanted to get on with living.
Nowadays, you don’t catch me leaving the little nest without a water bottle. I hate even the first signs of dehydration. Because I am pretty convinced that I was dehydrated that night just over four years ago. I want to feel energised all the time, always ready to flee when needed. That becomes even more of a concern on these hot hot days when the temperatures soar, my mind goes loopy with flashbacks and the streets are full of mad dogs and Englishmen.
I want to go back to Australia as soon as I can afford it to be with Goldfinch. However, looking ahead, in six months from now (which is probably when I could afford another plane ticket) it will be summer in Australia. I could not cope with their “hot”. Not only would I suffer physically, the heat may push my mind back to the second hottest day recorded in England back in the summer of 2015. Which means I go in a few months (their spring) and eat nothing in between now and then, or I wait for around nine months to pass (their autumn) at which point Goldfinch may have forgotten I exist, he could be married to some gorgeous Australian supermodel by that time. Grrrr! What to do???
Don’t sweat! Stay cool! Keep drinking the water.
With this commercial system hell-bent on profit, scientists tell us there are more hot hot days ahead. But I am sure, those who greedily despoil our beautiful planet will be amongst the first to evapourate (no I don’t necessarily mean that literally – but who knows?), when our Creator expresses the heat of His anger towards those who do not care one jot for his beautiful works. That will be a day to remember, in many ways the hottest day ever! – followed by a very refreshing change – life under the rule of someone who truly cares!!! Until then – the heat is on!
This was my response to the writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore: