Archive for the ‘Summer’ Tag

London Heats Up

So London is sweltering in a heat wave – it’s been 31c for the last four days, and the temperature is forecast to rise ever higher for the rest of the week.

As a nation, it seems we Brits like nothing better than to complain about the weather. It’s too cold, it’s too wet, it’s too dry. Now, of course, everyone is saying it’s too hot.

The problem when it gets hot in Britain is not the heat but the humidity. We’re a small island, surrounded by water, and as it gets hot, it gets cloyingly, unbearably humid, until we have a thunderstorm to clear the air. It was hotter in Tanzania than it is here, but the atmosphere there is extremely dry and easier to deal with.

Personally I don’t mind the heat. I have more a problem with the cold. Of course, I am privileged enough to work in an air conditioned office, so being cool enough to concentrate on work is not really a problem. The underground, though, is not a pleasant place to be when it’s hot. Having your face shoved into someone’s armpit is not nice at the best of times – when that person’s all hot and sweaty, it’s even worse.

However, a hot summer was forecast, and as the last two summers have been dismal, weather-wise, I do think we should make the most of this weather while we can.

Summer Days

The more I travel, the more fascinated I become with the diversity and contrast of this small planet of ours. Our recent trip to Africa highlighted the difference in the number of hours of daylight depending on where you are on the planet.

Tanzania has consistent daylight hours all year round, because it is so close to the equator. The sun rises at 6:30am, and sets at 6:30pm. It also rises and sets very quickly, as we discovered as we rose early to dismantle our tent every morning – we would start in darkness and finish, a few minutes later, in daylight.

It was initially strange to come back to the UK, where we are currently in mid-summer and have long days. The sun sets gradually here, and at the moment it’s still light at 9:30pm. The sun’s up by 5:00am, a good hour before my alarm clock goes off.

I enjoy living so far north of the equator in the summer. We pay the price, of course, for our summer days in mid-winter, when we get about six hours of daylight every day.

For now, though, winter is far away. It’s June and it’s warm, and I am enjoying the seemingly endless days of summer.

Sunshine-1; IT-0

Still no internet access at work today. The computer files are back – or at least some of them are. Most documents that have been created or edited in the last two months, it seems, are still missing. This gives me the chilling feeling that backups have not been done correctly for a while, but what do I know about IT? Maybe there’s some other reason why my correspondence folders for April and May are completely empty. They weren’t empty when I went on holiday.

Tonight we are getting a telephone upgrade. The computer server fell down right after its upgrade a month ago. Call me cynical, but I can’t help feeling that when I get to work tomorrow there’ll be no working telephones either.

Still, I could access enough computer files to be able to start typing up some of the dictation my boss has left for me. I have been on holiday for three weeks – now she is on holiday for three weeks. We have been communicating through the use of copious notes.

But, more mportantly than our IT woes, the sun is shining. Summer has arrived. So it’s all good really.