Do you remember summer? It was that first week of August for us in London. The days were very hot, the nights were unbelievably humid. Cycling to work was difficult in the heat as you suffered dehydration. Sleep was difficult as the bedroom was too humid and warm, even with no duvet on and the windows open and fans on.
(For those in the USA/ Canada reading this, then note we don’t have air conditioning in homes here in impoverished England)
Well, anyway, what has this got to do with anything? Well Friday was my last day at work before a week’s holiday. I left work at around 17:00 to cycle home. Now our office is air conditioned and has tinted glass, so I wasn’t aware of the weather outside. As I cycled out of the basement garage, it was rather dark. In fact so dark that I had on not only my “summer lights but my full mid winter lights as well. It was drizzling so I put on my shower jacket as well.
The rain started to increase as I rode the 12 miles home. In fact when I say rain, I mean thunder, lightening and rain. I have never ever cycled in such heavy rain, not even on the penultimate day of my LEJOG in 2009. At one point the gap between the flash of lightening and the clap of thunder was only 2 seconds. I was obviously soaked right through, but well its only water.
The rain was so heavy that at times I could not see the road and in places I couldn’t see the kerb a the edge of the road. No worries about this. I have ridden in rain before. What did cause me a problem was that the rain was so heavy it was getting into my eyes and affecting the contact lenses I was wearing. I had to stop on several occasions to dry my eyes so the contact lenses would stay in my eyes. I have worn contact lenses for around 27 years now. The only time I have ever had this problem before was back in 1999 at the infamous Newcastle v Sunderland match which was Gullitt’s last as Newcastle manager.
Of course after I got home, the rain stopped and the night was rather pleasant weather wise and company wise.Sod’s law at play!
Today, Michelle, Josh and I went out in lovely sunny weather for a bike ride down to Romford, Collier Row and back via Hog Hill. As we got around a mile from home, we stopped at a set of traffic lights and said it looked like it was going to rain, at which point the heavens opened. I sprinted for home from there, leaving the others to make their own way home. Why? Well not because I’m selfish, but because I was trying to get home to get the washing off the line. Yes domesticated me!
The weather then cleared up again, only after all the washing was off the line and hung inside on the clothes airer. So we set off in the car for that sophisticated sea side resort – Southend on Sea.
On sea? Not sure why it is “on sea” as it is on the River Thames, not the sea. After a paddle in the new fountain, which was Drew’s handiwork, we sat on the beach wall had a drink and enjoyed the sun. We then went for the obligatory fish and chips inside a cafe. Just as we ordered our food, the heavens opened again. Not that it seemed to affect the English Defence League hordes who were in town.
The EDL mob seemed to consist of tattooed skinheads and that was just the women.Tonight revealed they were in Southend as C4 were filming the EDL leader at a meeting. The EDL were apparently hoping to show they were not a bunch of skinhead yobs. Well on today’s turnout, they failed. This is not to be taken as a also tonight, I comment by me on their politics, merely the appearance of the people I saw.
Tonight, for the first time in months, I have had to turn the heating on.
Summer? Just a distant memory it seems. I suppose its my fault for getting my car’s air conditioning fixed this week.