The temperature finally broke the 37.1˚C barrier earlier today (that's around 100˚F for those of you still working in old money). Given the state of Britain's weather normally, it seems churlish to complain. But this country simply isn't built to handle this sort of temperature. Back in Chapel Hill, it was regularly this hot during the summer months, yet it never seemed this bad; the area's buildings were designed with the extreme temperatures in mind. Here, however, houses are built with an eye for keeping every last degree of heat trapped inside. Bricks, insulation, fairly low ceilings, etc. Great for those winter months, and, to be honest, most of the year. Not so great during once-a-decade heatwave.
Of course, it's not just our homes; the railway network falls apart as soon as the temperature goes past 30˚C (although it also falls apart of its own accord fairly often as well), economists go into a panic; insisting that the good weather is going to cause havoc on the economy (oh no! People won't buy stuff for a day or two!), and lots of people with white skin decide to give themselves fashionable skin cancer. (strangely, we're probably one of the groups that needs sunscreen the most, yet we refuse to wear it).
For the past week, Britain has been quietly going insane. IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE 22˚C AT NIGHT! How can you enjoy a decent cup of tea when it's this hot? IT'S JUST NOT BRITISH!
Ahem. It looks like the thunder and rain period of the heatwave has just begun. I'm going to go and stand in the rain for a little while. Time to cool down!