Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bursting into Flames

I'm not sure exactly what's happened. We've gone from our normal gentle, temperate weather to living inside an Easy Bake Oven. Yesterday was the hottest July day on record for the UK -- 98º F at Heathrow airport. That's just a few degrees short of the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK.

Needless to say, all the ladybird larvae in our garden that had the misfortune to be in direct sun were standing up yesterday! (But the ones in shade were not, which seems to confirm my suspicion that their behavior is somehow related to heat, or maybe light.)

Dave and I do not have air conditioning, which is typical for the UK, so we kept yesterday's activity to a minimum. I went down to St. John's Wood to pick up some scanned negatives, and then we spent the afternoon in the dining room -- the coolest room in the house. I worked on another photo project, and Dave worked on some music for the next school term.

Once the hottest part of the afternoon was past, the heat wasn't unpleasant. We had dinner outside on the patio, and sat in the garden on our rickety bench. If only we had fireflies in England! That would have made our summer evening complete. I miss fireflies.

One thing that makes hot weather interesting -- everyone's windows are open, so you can hear everything going on in all the neighbors' houses. The kid playing Frere Jacques on the flute. The crying baby. The (probably drunk) guys belting out a pop tune in the garden up the street. City life!

(Photo: Kilburn, on June 11.)


John Going Gently said...

Ths reminded me of those hot humid new york days

Ms. Moon said...

Rather unbelievable. How is Olga taking it?

The Bug said...

It's just crazy - in contrast, we were in the upper 70s yesterday. The world is topsy turvy! Hmm - maybe it's because it's the 4th on Saturday & the World is Turned Upside Down ( :)

Sharon said...

I wondered if you had air conditioning. I can't imagine living without it but, then I live in a constant inferno. I miss fireflies too. I haven't seen any in years.

37paddington said...

Despite the heat this sounds like a romantic evening. Dinner on the porch, bench sitting in your garden, eavesdropping on the lives unfolding all around you. It occurs to me how great it must be to be a teacher married to a teacher. Summer vacations together. We have fireflies here in New York. I go outside as night falls just to tell them hello.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore your descriptions! No fireflies?!? How about mosquitoes? I will be happy to send along the one I found yesterday morning in the condo that had a feast on my arm during the night...ugh! Happy 4th of July from this side of the pond! And after your wonderful narrative, I plan on having dinner in the Florida room with all the windows open!

e said...

I could not sit outside if my life depended upon it...Humidity galore...and I've not seen fireflies in a long time, either. Enjoy dinner in the garden!

Elizabeth said...

I'm here up in the Pacific Northwest where I thought I'd get relief from southern California's heat and drought. Ha. It hasn't rained yet, and I've been here a week! It's evidently the hottest and driest June/July so far in history.

Scary stuff, I think.

Steve Reed said...

John: That's what I told Dave! Sitting outside hearing all the noise from the neighbors was VERY summer-day-in-New-York.

Ms Moon: Olga is just lying around panting. She did not sleep in bed with us, which is unheard of -- she stayed on the couch, away from our body heat.

Bug: It IS crazy. And I've never heard that song! Interesting!

Sharon: Yeah, where you are it's pretty much essential, just as it is in Florida. Here we'd only use it a few days a year so most everyone does without.

37P: It WAS romantic! I agree. And yes, I remember fireflies from my days in New York, walking in Central Park on a summer evening.

Helene: Good to hear from you! Yes, believe it or not, I did find a mosquito the other day. It was buzzing around our bedroom at night, and as you probably know, there is no more annoying sound. I had to get up and hunt it down.

E: I think I remember seeing fireflies in Florida as a kid, but I don't see them much there anymore. I wonder if they've grown less common with lawn-care chemicals being in such heavy use? Or maybe I'm misremembering and they weren't common in Florida at all.

Elizabeth: Weird! What is going on out there? It IS scary, though the scientists would tell us our stories, taken by themselves, are just anecdotal. :)