Simon Kelner: We're simply not made for this bothersome weather

Kelner's view

Share

Why is the automatic assumption in Britain that hot, sunny weather is a good thing?

The newspapers are filled with pictures of people (perhaps, more correctly, I should say young women) frolicking in the sea at Brighton, with triumphal headlines saying it's hotter here than Marbella. Or was it Mars? Glorious day, strangers say, by way of a greeting. And there is a common belief that sunshine puts everyone in a good mood.

Well, I don't mean to be an old curmudgeon, but I really don't like it. I am hot. And I'm bothered by it. Give me a crisp autumn day, or even a cold winter one, rather than the sweat-inducing, stifling heat we are experiencing at the moment. Great news! It's 28 degrees! Well, it's not actually. I'd prefer a temperature in the high teens, which means that I can sleep at night and I can arrive at work without feeling that I have perspired all the water out of my body.

Have you noticed, too, what rubbish it is that this blast of sun has lifted the national mood. People may be a bit gloomy when we have day after day of miserable, grey weather, but at least they're not irascible, bad-tempered and liable to explode into a road rage incident at any moment. Central London felt more like Dar es Salaam yesterday, the streets clogged with traffic, the pavements teeming with humanity and the pollution almost tangible.

We know the capital had a reputation as a melting pot: we just didn't realise it had a literal meaning, too.

The truth is we are a cold weather people: that's what we're designed for, and it's what we know how to dress for. Sure, when we're on holiday, we'll lap it all up, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that this kind of heat is anything other than an inconvenience if you are actually working.

I remember Jeremy Clarkson, in one if those familiar pieces poking fun at the global warming lobby, saying: Wouldn't it be terrible! Britain would have a climate like the South of France. In fact, that might well be pretty terrible, unless we adopted a way of life consistent with endless heat, stopping for a couple of hours for lunch, and then going home for a sleep before returning to work for a few hours in the evening.

I am not sure how that would fit in with the imperatives to increase growth in the eurozone. It's all well and good having southern European weather, but when you've not got a southern European temperament, it just isn't sustainable.

Of course, man-made climate change is not about the gradual transformation of East Grinstead into Aix-en-Provence; its effects are to be seen in extreme weather "events" - hurricanes, floods, droughts, and the like. And I'm not saying that this brief spell of boiling hot weather is further, incontrovertible proof of global warming, but intense heat does seem to be more of a phenomenon in Britain than intense cold these days.

This spell will continue over the weekend, but there is some good news on the horizon: the advance forecast for June says that temperatures are going to be much lower!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Electrical Engineer

£26500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Charles Kennedy and his wife arrives at the 'The British Academy Television Awards' at the Grosvenor House Hotel on April 18, 2004 in London.  

Charles Kennedy: A talented politician and a great friend, with a shared enemy

Alastair Campbell
 

Caitlyn Jenner's first shoot is a victory - but is this really best version of femininity we can aspire to?

Sirena Bergman
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral