It's hot today.
It is 95°F (35°C). It is often hotter than this in the Pacific Northwest and much hotter in Eastern Washington where I spent a lot of my childhood, but the humidity was never this high which made it bearable. It's days like this that I miss home - swimming in lakes, hiking through the forests, and having picnics on secluded pebbly beaches with friends and family.
The weather forecasters are predicting that it may get up to 100°F in Britain this summer, which will apparently be the hottest temperature ever recorded in British history. The problem is that Britain doesn't have the infrastructure to deal with such heat. Already today several train tracks have buckled in the heat and the trains, tubes, and buses themselves are all sweltering because none of them have air conditioning (their current "solution" is handing out bottled water to passengers), nor do most offices. People often pass out on them in summer and I don't envy Max having to deal with them every workday, he's taken to walking the distance between Waterloo and Carnaby St. lately.
The tube and train stations in red are all the ones that are having troubles today:
I'm going to meet Max for drinks at our local pub in 30 mins, then we're going to throw together a quick meal of of Tunisian briks now that we have warka dough.
Yes, although I'd expect it if I chose to live in California or the SW.. it's slightly unexpected in Old Blighty.
hm I just wondered where the term "Old Blighty" came from and came across this:
“Thank you for a fabulous site! I stumbled on it while looking for the derivation of Old Dart, since I am a Brit living in Australia and had no idea why the locals referred to England so. However, since finding that, I’ve been asked by an Ocker where the term Old Blighty comes from, and was appalled to realise I had no idea. Can you help please?”
It’s a relic of British India. It comes from a Hindi word bilayati, foreign, which is related to the Arabic wilayat, a kingdom or province. Sir Henry Yule and Arthur C Burnell explained in their Anglo-Indian dictionary, Hobson-Jobson, published in 1886, that the word was used in the names of several kinds of exotic foreign things, especially those that the British had brought into the country, such as the tomato (bilayati baingan) and especially to soda-water, which was commonly called bilayati pani, or foreign water.
Blighty was the inevitable British soldier’s corruption of it. But it only came into common use as a term for Britain at the beginning of the First World War in France about 1915. It turns up in popular songs There’s a ship that’s bound for Blighty, We wish we were in Blighty, and Take me back to dear old Blighty, put me on the train for London town, and in Wilfred Owen’s poems, as well as many other places.
In modern Australian usage, Old has been added, as in Old Country and Old Dart, as a sentimental reference to Britain.
- That probably wasn't interesting to you, but I wanted to post it in my journal for future reference. ;)
Linguistics is always interesting. At it's most literal interpretation, "Blighty" seems to be an old description that Brits had used for many centuries to refer to Britain. And with the affectation "Old" it gives the impression that this was a familiar dear word to those soldiers which they had grown up with. Didn't know it's probably the newest term for Britain in the history of the English language and based on two foreign non-European words to boot.
It was interesting to me. And reminded me of a similar linguistic discovery I made recently (which... hmmm... I have a strange feeling I may have already posted on your LJ, though I have no idea why I would). The word "bint", which is used as a term of abuse towards women as in "daft bint", is Arabic for sister. The male equivalent is "bin" as in "Osama bin Laden"
nah, i live in south east london but work in slough, so it's a hefty commute at the best of times. yesterday was particularly horrendous, given the speed restrictions and lack of air conditioning on the trains. i almost passed out on the tube, too. not looking forward to the repeat performance this evening :/
the only thing saving my sanity at the moment is the fact that the building i work in is air conditioned.
good luck getting to brighton! ...i expect there'll be vast numbers of people heading down there...
that is quite the commute! I don't understand why the trains don't at least have more opening windows? I know they weren't designed for this extremely hot weather, but even during cooler summers the trains still become uncomfortably hot.
We cancelled the Brighton plans.. sounded wayy too much like a pain in the ass. We've opted for a picnic in Richmond Park instead - much easier. :)
ugh. that sucks.
Summer is definitely my least favorite season in London. We had a heat wave at the end of spring and we meant to buy a fan, then a cool spell tricked us into a false sense of security. Now we need a fan more than ever, but there's a huge run on them in all the stores.
True.. it's interesting in that article how they mentioned some mobs have been cancelled due to the danger of being outnumbered by police and media. At least the media will probably lose interest eventually, but hopefully the police don't start making a nuisance of themselves. :)
I'm so glad I was in Wales, near the coast, for the hot period. The few times I've been in London recently the heat/humidity has been pretty unbearable (although the fact that I'm not beholden to rush-hour travel and am, for the most part, "just enjoying myself", makes life a little easier).
I was just listening to Stupid White Men on the car stereo the other day - it's the US version, and quite different (certainly the introduction) from the international version which I started reading a while ago. One of the things mentioned is an incident in, I think, Boston, where the temperature hits 70F at what ought to be one of the coldest time in the year. People are on the streets everywhere saying how wonderful it is, wouldn't it be great to have more weather like this, etc. And Michael More asks would they would be saying that if the sun came up at midnight? "Isn't this great, more daylight". Not bloody likely, more like "oh my god, what the hell's causing this to happen?" I have to say that the increasing increase in weird weather is starting to worry me a lot.
When we went to Egypt I was very worried about the hot weather there, because it was in the middle of a similarly sticky English summer when I'd found it increasingly hard to cope. Actually, I had no problems (I think that being on holiday always helps in this respect, although the lack of humidity was probably the biggest factor). Even though it hit 50C (which I think is about 120F) on day, we just chilled out in the shade and it was no problem (in fact we cycled 15 miles through the desert that day - to the Valleys of the Kings/Queens - but we did set off at 6am and leave a break of around 3 hours either side of midday).
You are lucky that you were in Wales. I would have liked to be as far away from London as possible, but at least with parts of Richmond Park being fairly high up there was a nice breeze.
I have the US version of Stupid White Men, I didn't realize the versions were different in any way.
I know what you mean, there's that same attitude in the UK too unfortunately. People in London have said, "Isn't this great? England is turning like the mediterranean, I won't have to go to Spain on holiday anymore!" and so on. It drives me crazy but it also makes me feel really sad and helpless against such ignorance.
It worries me too. I wonder about how far it will go. More and more scientists are panicking (albeit in a calm and orderly manner), but no one seems to be taking any notice.
Also, those people enjoying mediterranean weather in the UK could be in for a big surprise - one thread of scientific opinion is that global warming could re-route the gulf stream, which is what give the UK its unique climate. If it moves away from our shores, our weather could change to something more similar to scandinavia, which is after all at the same latitude as the UK.
Mind you, I'm not complaining right now - on holiday again (in Cornwall) and making the most of sunny days and beautiful beaches (except that right now I'm tuck in an Internet Laundrette... and about to go to the local sports pub to watch racing car.... brrrrm brrrrm!!!)
I've heard about that, an informative article on that topic is here on the Oceanographic Institution site if you haven't seen it yet. Also an interesting website is here.
I wish we could get away to the beaches, but all of our holiday time is tied up for our visit to the states in a few weeks. It feels like summer is nearly over here now, but at least it's still warm there and I'll hopefully get in some swimming and hiking.