I almost feel like I shouldn’t be saying this considering where I grew up (Florida) and where I lived for seven years before moving here (Los Angeles), but summer has arrived in the UK, and apparently it’s a doozy this year.
I think that might be my fault.
Not only do I have a penchant for dragging heat wherever I go (seriously, if you want a random heat wave in December, invite me over for Christmas dinner), but I also spent the better part of this year wishing and hoping and praying to whoever would listen that my wedding day would be dry and not too cold. I was warned about the randomness of Welsh weather from the moment I said I wanted to have the ceremony outside, so I created two back-up plans for two different levels of rain, but inside I kept imagining how pretty my dress would look in the sunshine.
Well, I got my wish. My wedding day was hot and dry with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.
Gorgeous, right? I even got a mild sunburn while taking all the photos. Everyone was happy, my dress didn’t get muddy, the Americans went home raving about the beauty of Wales, and everyone who lives here figured it would start raining as soon as they left.
I mean, there have been a few cloudy, drizzly days since then, and there were some extreme thunderstorms over parts of the UK a week or so ago, but you know what caused all that crazy lightning and thunder? The heat!! It was like being in Florida in the middle of August. These storms were not the typical British weather patterns; they were almost, dare I say it, sub-tropical.
Now, this is not going to turn into an essay on climate change; if you have half a brain, you are aware of it and are putting your time and money and voting power towards doing something about it. This rant is entirely about my luck with weather. Yes, I am making it all about me. It is my blog; it is my right.
I have lived in the heat my entire life. Wet, humid heat in Florida that makes you struggle for breath while your clothes stick to your body, and dry, arid heat in California that makes you feel like you are living in an oven. When people here in the UK ask me why I didn’t make Paul move to either Florida or California to be with me, I try to explain to them that, in addition to all the other factors, I wanted to live somewhere that wasn’t freaking hot 95% of the freaking time!!
They don’t get it. And the only good thing that would come out of this heatwave if it continues on any further is that they might start to understand. Sure, their version of a heatwave is 80 degrees (F), which makes both Floridians and Californians laugh and want to pat their innocent, British heads, but bear this in mind, my fellow Americans. You have two things that they don’t have here: air-conditioning and screens on your windows.
The first makes sense. Why install and pay for AC units for the one month out of the year where you might need them? I am fine with that. Put all your finances towards radiators and fireplaces instead. But the second I am having a hard time figuring out. Even in the height of this heatwave, there is still a breeze, something Floridians would kill for during the summer. Opening the windows would drastically reduce the heat inside of a house, right? Right?!
Sure, if you want to live with flies, bees, hornets, moths and the occasional curious squirrel.
Before we moved into our new house, all of the windows were replaced with water-tight, energy-saving frames that easily open and easily lock up. You know what they don’t have? Anything to keep unwanted creatures from getting inside. And it’s not just our house! I have yet to find a single screen in any home or office or store that I have visited so far in this entire country. If you want a screen, you have to go out and buy/install one yourself. So until we figure out a way to do that, we will continue to hold out hope that our cheap, oscillating fan that runs 24 hours a day doesn’t give out before fall, or be held hostage in our own home by the flies that surround us, thanks to the sheep field that borders our backyard. (To date, I have killed about 25…I pretty much have fly assassination down to an art.)
They say this is the strangest weather they’ve had in ten years, but that it will break eventually and we will be back to parkas and gloves and thick socks, but it’s really hard to believe that now, especially since my first winter in the UK was one of the warmest on record. Everyone screams “climate change!” I scream, “Dammit!! I just want something different!!”