Thursday, July 20, 2006


And the living was easy. But now the intense, pulsating heat has abated slightly I miss it already. It's still hot, but not to the extent of the past week or so, where normality skipped out the window. For self employed types like myself, the only sensible option was to take an executive decision to drift languidly towards the shade of a big tree and sit under it, drinking chilled rosé. Note to self: do not use chilled rosé to slake thirst in place of water. Oouf.

We have mostly been wearing anything loose made from thin cotton. It's Liz Taylor: the caftan years, not Elizabeth Taylor: the violet eyed ingenue years. I didn't even mind the blokes with third trimester beer bellies on show. Anyway I was too busy marvelling at how the soles of my sandals were stuck to the melted tarmac on the street. A photo of someone retrieving a melted flip flop from a pool of tarmac made front page news yesterday.

It was hotter than Greece, hotter than Caracas which is apparently in Venezuela. I am not 100% certain of this but I am 93% certain that Bianca Jagger comes from there.

The intense, sultry heat was bearable only because of the sweet, sweet breeze that accompanied it - actually I'm saying all this in the past tense but it still may be incredibly hot and I've just got used to it. I haven't been outside yet today. Lola has been very confused. She doesn't understand the concept of weather (brain the size of a walnut) and she will insist on wearing that huge fur coat - in this heat! She stretches out on what must be a cool spot on the floor and looks up at me as if to say 'I am totally pooped. Please fan me.'

The roof terrace has been a no go area, literally too hot to set foot on until the sun leaves it at about 3pm. And then, the breeze - ahhhh. The terrace became a makeshift living room where sitting outside with friends stretched into the small hours of the morning, and dinner was served at 10.30pm.

I think I liked all this hot hot heat because it removed the need to make decisions and shook up everybody's routine. No need for 'what shall we do?' We'll sit somewhere in the shade and drink cold beverages. I discovered how lovely it is to walk in the woods, almost as refreshing as going for a swim. We were sheltered by the canopy of trees glowing green around us with sunlight filtering down in places. What to wear was based only on what will keep you cool. I even wore shorts. Not fashionable shorts, just shorts. It was like we were all on holiday in our own city. Ah, well. Back to reality. One thing is certain. No one can complain about this particular British summer. We're having a summer! And we fucking love it.


Moi said...

I know exactly how you feel (though it may not be as hot in Cannnes as it is in London). I got to bed around 4 and wake up at noon! It's just TOO HOT to be up and about. The only time you can gather your thoughts is at night when it's slightly cooler.

Bombay Beauty said...

Heat --
Yes, I would not have believe it unless I were experiencing it myself. It's not London, it's Unlond. But having done a minor bit of globetrotting recently (Florence, London, New York) I've discovered that heat comes in many varieties. Florence: sunlight so intense that you feel its viscous flow over your skin. New York: hot and humid, steam bath in short. London: Though it might annoy the locals, I really find it quite charming: warm but dry, and always a good breeze to be had.

What is it that leads us down this path of ruin? Is it a weakness in character? Perhaps the same that accounts for the growing piles of shoes in my closet? No, I think not. Instead, it's a colour weakness. The tongue (and the convenient wine blurb in the store) might tell me to look for a distinctively dry, mineral taste, but I taste pink, and damn does it taste good. Until the next morning, of course. That's when rosé is the colour of regret.



Julia said...

Oh summer. When I win Lotto I will always follow summer around the world. I'm warming my tootsies by the foot heater :-(

I was in London three years ago when it was record breaking hot blah blah blah - every 5mns on the tele there'd be an update, "are we going to break the record today!" and the papers were filled with pictures of people frying eggs on their car bonnets. Brilliant stuff! Less brilliant was that by 11am we were aching to get back to our swanky hotel, but even that didn't have AC, so we'd stand in the shower for 15 minutes to cool off.

lottie said...

Ohhh, it is still sweltery hot in my corner of SE1. House like an oven... perhaps I could add to the Evening Standard's collection of food cooked in strange places photographs (a la eggs on black cabs) by baking some bread in my living room... Tonight's plan involves freezing some bottles of water and placing them in front of the bedroom fan, thus creating air con. I have high hopes.
That said, we are having a summer - a British summer - hoorah!