OPINION - It’s Tropic-hell Tuesday! But come on, London, can’t we enjoy the sun?

·3-min read
Anna van Praagh (Matt Writtle)
Anna van Praagh (Matt Writtle)

Welcome to Tropic-hell Tuesday. London is sizzling in the big 4-oh, the Met Office has issued its first-ever red weather warning for extreme heat and, what do you know, Londoners from Hackney to Hounslow are acting like the world is going to end. Again.

Our homes will melt into lava, our pets are going to spontaneously combust, and our brains will fry like eggs on a scorching car bonnet if we so much as leave the house — and, of course, as with anything else that ever happens, the only sensible option is to WFH. Obvs!

What has happened to us, London? We used to be a city of strivers, a financial centre of excellence filled with sharp-elbowed, busy-to-the-point-of-exhaustion over-achieving professional ninjas. But since Covid, something strange has come over our great capital — in any given situation, people would much prefer to… stay at home. Since the pandemic, we all seem to have experienced an attack on our psyche where all we want to do is sit indoors doom-scrolling Instagram in our jim-jams and socks.

A bit of sun and everyone’s panicking — it’s scorching! It’s unbearable! Public transport is an inferno! Working in an office is out of the question. Couldn’t possibly get there safely.

And as a city, we now buckle under any pressure whatsoever. A few sunny days and, inevitably, it’s heatwave-ageddon — schools are closing, the Tube is experiencing extreme disruption, with TfL warning people not to travel. There are concerns that roads might melt, bottled water could be rationed and camels will supersede e-scooters as the capital’s most annoying method of transport.

Here’s thing. Maybe we might need to take a few hot days in our stride, put some ice in our drinks, and keep going.

Yes, I’m concerned about global warming and know this weather isn’t natural — heatwaves could last through summer, and mainland Europe is also experiencing freakishly high temperatures. 

But at the same time, isn’t it just a little bit pleasant for us Brits to have some sunshine? I can’t get over how great it is that it’s hot every day in summer. I endure the British winter of bleak, grey, freezing rainy days for eight months a year. We deserve a bit of sun.

If Londoners are so scared of the sun, why do they flock to Egypt, Spain and Turkey for their holidays? I once went on holiday to Sharm-el-Sheikh where it was so hot that we had to cover our heads just to walk from the pool to our room for fear our scalps would melt.

And why does everyone race down to Brighton beach as soon as the sun comes out at the weekend? But go to work? No. Completely impossible.

The temperature in London today will be warmer than Nassau in the Bahamas (32C), Kingston in Jamaica (33C), Malaga in Spain (28C), Athens in Greece (35C).

But don’t worry about me, I’ll be enjoying the air-conditioned office at work then heading to the lido. Good times!

In other news...

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters is under fire for telling a newspaper he is more significant than other modern stars.

After a row over the fact that the reporter interviewing him had opted to cover the Weeknd kicking off his tour rather than Waters’ show, Waters said: “With all due respect to The Weeknd or Drake or any of them, I am far, far more important than any of them ever will be, however many billions of streams they’ve got.”

Fighting words, but, let’s face it, while I love Drake and the Weeknd, the truth is Pink Floyd’s music is far, far better and — controversial opinion alert — far more significant. In terms of the musical canon you can’t even compare Hotline Bling or Starboy (though they are both great) with The Great Gig in the Sky. Having said that, when I played it to my 10-year-old he laughed, and didn’t seem to think it was the work of genius that I do. Perhaps it’s a generational thing.

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