88F/32C in London with relentless sunshine...and not enough breeze.
The brightness hurts my eyes. I ought to go out...somewhere. I'm doing laundry because it's been so hot for the past few days, I've run out of serious summer clothing, and this heatwave will stick around for the rest of this week.
Meantime I'm watching Alan Titchmarsh presenting A Natural History of the British Isles.
Thing I have learned:
1) Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the British Isles are already 10 degrees warmer on average than any country at this latitude ought to be. Some believe that, rather than giving us a Mediterranean climate, global warming will plunge us into an Ice Age: the cold water filling the surrounding seas from the melting icecaps will cause glaciers to form, and we will have heavy snows and long winters. (This could take 500 or 5,000 years, who knows?)
Rising water levels will engulf London - it could be another Atlantis.
Britain could look like one thin strip of land surrounded by islets, or a chain of small islands.
2) The Britons called Roman roads "streets" - even Oxford Street started as a Roman road!
The Romans introduced the scythe and haymaking to England.
3) The Normans started us on the way to land conservation. When they arrived a thousand years ago, 80% of England's dense woodland forests had been cut down to make way for the farmland we all think of as "the English countryside". (This is when boar became rare, bears went extinct, etc.).
The Normans loved hunting. They discovered that there were no deer here, so they introduced the fallow deer and allowed them to settle. They set aside hundreds of square miles of protected forest for this purpose, much of which survive today as our national forests.
There were no rabbits in the British Isles either, so they brought those over from France too. At the time, they were a delicacy, and rather delicate creatures too. So to prevent poaching by ignorant peasants, the rabbits were "farmed" on an island off the Welsh coast.
Miss S and I went into Richmond yesterday for the best fish n chips, and a stroll along the River Thames. With ice cream. And a look into the farmers' market, where we sampled chilli sauces and she bought a jalapeno tree.
My feet are finally tanned, with a line across the arch where my shoe strap sat.
But despite drinking from a giant bottle of water, I still came home with a throbbing headache.
Friday, I met Randis, who has occasionally commented here. He's just graduated high school in Colorado and has come over to see a friend who has family over here.
We went for a long walk around town and ate dim sum in Chinatown. It was fun.
He is just like my Canadian cousins! He and Alyssa share the same sort of humour, and he looks like Paul will in a few years.
Went into Tesco the other day, and now I'm afraid to go back. I don't know what happened - whether a memo went round the office to remind all employees to nod and greet Olivia and ask her how she's doing, or whether someone had written something on my forehead.
But there was definitely something going on...it felt like an official state visit...
A linen outfit for a very hot day. This is what I wore in Richmond.
It really is one of my prettiest tank tops and I am happy that I am finally brave enough to wear these things. In fact, I want MORE! (Ahem...50% off sales this week...)
I think it's rather historical. A bit Edwardian in its lace workmanship, Georgian in its eggshell blue colour. And Vanessa gave me that sweet little necklace!