Turning Up the Heat

With the heatwave taking its toll, Amanda reflects on how we British cope (or more accurately don't cope) in the heat, and the struggle to get into a bikini and be "beach body ready"



Bemoaning the weather

The British love to discuss the weather. It's in our DNA. Mainly we like a good old moan about the drizzle or the cold. And I'm no different.

But what happens when the weather becomes magnificent, with endless blue skies and long sunny days? Well, as it turns out, we still like to moan. Because let's be honest here, it's actually too bloody hot.

It's fine when the sun is baking and you are on holiday. I can lie in the sun and cook very happily when I'm on a beach or by a pool. But when you are working, or trying to negotiate around a city packed with people, that's when it becomes all too much.

There are many people I feel sorry for when the temperature rises. Heavily pregnant mums in particular. I'm so glad I gave birth to my horrors in May.

Also what about those servicemen who have to wear ceremonial uniform (I'm thinking of those poor souls who had to dress up for the Queen's birthday and the Opening of Parliament recently)? The fact that they faint all of the time should really be a sign that they shouldn't have to wear that kit.

Taking the tube

And I feel most sorry for the people on the tube, which includes me (but I don't have to do it every day). That place was not built for heatwaves.

I was up in London for a few days when the temperature was at its hottest, and I honestly thought I was going to melt. Taking the tube was like stepping into an oven.

After the first day, I bought a small can of deodorant, and when I was standing next to someone who was particularly smelly, I would surreptitiously spray them. I'm pretty sure that's ABH, but I think even the police would understand and let me off with a warning. I think Dove or Sure should set up camp in railway and tube stations selling travel size sprays - they'd make a fortune and make a nation happier and sweet smelling.

And can I have a quick moan about the announcements? "We are experiencing unusually hot weather, so please drink lots of water and stay out of the sun". I'm not 5 - I do know what I need to do when it's hot.

Sun's out..

In our house, as soon as it starts to hot up, all 3 boys/men seem to live by the phrase "Sun's out, guns out" with all sorts of strange poses being struck . I often see my husband standing in front of his reflection, trying to bend over like one of those body builders, but then finding he can't straighten up because his back is so arthritic. Bless.

Even my eldest does some stooping posture, which he thinks makes his abs look better, but actually just makes him look as if he has a hunchback. To be honest, I'm astonished at how muscly he has got, and have no idea how or when that happened.

Talking of abs, I was bemoaning (that British trait again) the state of my "beach body unready" and comparing my stomach to my boys. No amount of sit ups makes any difference these days. My eldest very kindly said "In certain lights, Mum, you do have a 6 pack", to which my youngest added "Yes, in very dark light, or no light at all."  I think it's time for me to put on my granny costume and pack away the string bikini.

What is very irksome is that my mother in law, who turned 80 this year, can still rock a bikini. She looks freakishly young and doesn't seem to have any wrinkles (without any help from a needle or a surgeon). She's had 2 tattoos done in the last few years, has a very cool blond bob, and even has a very young male admirer. If I'm honest, I'm incredibly jealous, and it's not helped by comments from my youngest, such as "Mum, if you stand next to grandma, you'd be mistaken for her elder sister."

So whilst this heatwave continues, I shall hide away in my shaded office, covered up from head to toe, and count down the days until Xmas comes round again.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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