Advice · Home life · Notes from West London

Soaking up the sun

A wet mid-October day here in West London. The weather has prompted numerous pieces on this Blog in recent months, including observations about the snow in early March and the summer’s heatwave. Here’s another one.

Three weeks ago, in late September, we had a mini-heatwave, with temperatures hitting 27 degrees centigrade (80 Fahrenheit). One weekday afternoon, arriving early by public transport to pick up my son from school, I had 15 minutes to soak up the sun at a nearby park, something I rarely do. On our way home we took a slight detour to a green space nearer home, to sit on a bench that was bathed in sunshine for another 10 minutes. I advised him to enjoy it while he could in case we don’t get temperatures like this for another six months.

As things turned out, we have had a few more opportunities to enjoy the sun since late September. There has been a pattern: unseasonably warm days alternating with colder, wetter days. Last weekend, Saturday was glorious and Sunday was miserable. The previous Saturday was so wet that my wife, son and daughter didn’t leave the house all day. I adjusted my plans to take a stroll down to the High Road and took the car instead. We had planned to resume my son’s BMX sessions at the club not far from Heathrow, but that had to wait for another week. Last Saturday, stood beside the BMX track in mid-morning sunshine I wondered whether to apply a bit of sunscreen. In the afternoon I took a walk (High Road, coffee shop, pinball) and didn’t need an extra layer: a t-shirt was enough. There was even a summer-like haze to the local streets. By contrast Sunday night’s downpours were so severe that roads flooded nearby and traffic on Monday morning was brutal.

Yesterday, possibly for the last time in 2018, temperatures were back in the mid-20s. I made a point of sitting in the sun again at lunch-time. The old phrase is, “Make hay while the sun shines”. You don’t have to go that far, but take a few minutes to soak it up while you can.


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