Everything you need to know

28 July 2018, 20:45

sun

Sometimes, a shared adversity can tell you everything you need to know about a country's people.

For the past few months, Britons have been suffering through the longest spell of nice weather since 1976.

They have been the sort of conditions that we board planes to get to. On our holidays, we revel in not having to take out our hat, coat, scarf and gloves on a typical summer's day.

We leave our hotel in our shorts and T-shirts knowing that it will still be pleasantly balmy come nightfall when we return.

Britons spend an enormous amount of money going to places that are guaranteed to give us the sort of temperatures that we have been moaning about constantly since June.

To be fair, on holiday we don't have to get up at seven on the morning and squeeze ourselves onto a hot train or bus and arrive at work drenched with sweat, only some of which will be our own.

Rather than make a scene, some travellers have invested in thermometers to record just how hot was their commute, so as to post it social media.

This tells you everything you need to know about us modern Brits. We're still loathe to make a scene but now we quietly broadcast our stoicism to the world.

On London's Central Line, one clip showed that it was almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which in Celsius is VERY HOT INDEED.

As you would expect in an open-for-business, fast-forward, go-getter place like modern Britain, our state-of-the-art infrastructure coped with the temperature perfectly well.

Just kidding – the entire country swooned and crashed to the floor like a spurned woman in a Victorian novel.

Trains were cancelled during rush hour, somewhat inconveniencing passengers who had to squash themselves into extra-full coaches in order to get out of the sweltering city.

The trains that did run went very slowly so as not to jump the buckling tracks. This allowed the commuters extra time on-board to really savour the experience.

Air-conditioning units on carriages broke down, presumably because they had not been manufactured to work in the heat.

One rail operator cancelled people's tickets so as to give them a better service by not serving them at all.

This tells you everything you need to know about the railways.

Outside of the transport system, other organisations were also caught out by what most of the world would call a run of pleasant weather.

Hospitals cancelled non-urgent operations due to the influx of people who had neglected to apply sunscreen because they thought that their personal toughness would protect them from burning.

But as hospitals routinely cancel non-urgent operations, this was not deemed very newsworthy, which tells you everything you need to know about the state of our health service.

What did get a lot of coverage in the press was that people locked their pets in cars in the blazing sun and then went shopping for hours only to come back to an almost dead dog and a person filming their stupidity for YouTube.

Dog shows were called off because the Dogs Trust were concerned about the effect of exertion in the heat, presumably for the dogs and their panting owners.

Horse trials were cancelled because the ground was so rock-hard that anyone falling off might not get back up again.

The Fire Brigade advised against barbecues in parks and Highways England warned against throwing rubbish out of car windows in case glass started fires on verges.

Apparently, people need specific instructions not to throw stuff that they are finished with out of their windows, like they are medieval.

What do they do when caught short in their living rooms – pee in the corner?

Even the constipated, buttoned up cricket world felt the heat.

The MCC, the custodian of the game's rules and regulations announced that gentlemen would be allowed to move around the pavilion at Lords without their jackets.

Indeed, for the first time in its history, members would be permitted to arrive at the hallowed ground without even bringing a jacket with them.

And if that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about cricket, I don't know what does.

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