Summer Heat in London

Twenty four or five years ago when I first went to work in London they had a summer heat wave like they had never had before, they said. We spent a summer in the nineties in a country not prepared for that. Our temporary first office was in a building next to St. Paul’s cathedral. Although it was a new building it had no air conditioning. We called that space the newspaper office because we only had one giant room with all our desks pushed up against each other like the Washington Post in the movie “All the president’s men.” The only place to find a cool spot was to go into the cathedral. I sometimes brought my very early version of a lap top, my mac book, and would sit in the pews and work.

I was lucky because my job involved me visiting sites of our client all around the UK. I was sure that escaping London would be better. One of my first trips was to Bristol, England. Bristol is a lovely seaport town, even though the sea is the river Avon that eventually leads out to the River Severn that goes to the Atlantic. All that water had to have a better breeze that London.

I took the Great Western Train out one late afternoon and rolled my little suitcase to a Hilton Hotel. I was certain that a name brand hotel like Hilton would have air conditioning. I was wrong. My tiny room was hotter than my london digs. I called down to the front desk to see if they had any fans. “The weather is not ever like this,” was their excuse for the unbearable room. “Well, it’s like this now, go buy some fans.” I never stayed there again. Thankfully I found the Swallow hotel which was better at climate control.

The next summer the same heat wave came and the Brits were just as unprepared. Thankfully we had moved our office to a new air conditioned building so we spent many hours working just to avoid the heat.

Carter is in London now. She is staying in a lovely student housing building in a South Kensington and for that I cannot feel sorry for her. Except that it has been crazy hot in London, reaching almost 100° today. She has no air conditioning in her apartment, nor in her classroom. She brilliantly bought a fan soon after she arrived from a store with a thirty day money back return policy. She will return the fan just before the thirty days are up. The shop will have no trouble selling it since it is so bloody hot.

The Brits Carter has talked to about the weather say, “This never happens here.” Well, if a Lange is in London it will happen. I spent four summers working there and it was hot for almost all of them. This one has been crazy hot for Carter. When are the air conditioning sales people going to wake London up and make some sales. Global warming has been happening for a while and it is not going away. At least London is not as hot as Paris.



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