And though summer lifts our spirits, sends our consumption of cucumber filled drinks through the roof, and gives our feet a well-earned break from their usual woolly prisons, there are some aspects of life that are a little trickier during a heatwave.
This doesn’t mean summer is a bad thing – it is, in fact, the best thing since spring – we just need to adjust ourselves to cope with the sudden presence of a burning ball of fire in the sky.
And whilst magazines tell us what we should do in the heat – wear sun cream, buy a hat, consume our five-a-day (one Mars ice cream, two Soleros, and two Mini Milks), they don’t tend to tell us what we shouldn’t do. So I am here to do just that – here are four things I recommend you avoid doing on a hot day:
1. Sit down for any length of time
I’d forgotten how much a human being can sweat from the leg: a lot. And the problem with sitting down – the main activity a person wants to do to avoid passing out from heat exhaustion – is that it gives your legs the opportunity to really get cooking. It’s a well-known fact that there are places on the human body from which one is expected to sweat. I’m not saying I like it; I don’t have a photograph of a damp armpit as my screen saver; it’s just that everybody knows that it happens and generally has the manners to ignore it. But if you stand up to reveal that the backs of your legs have suddenly turned into Niagara Falls, that is going to come as something of a surprise to nearby citizens. So I recommend that you keep moving. Or if you do have to sit down for a long period, you may wish to adopt my extremely attractive tactic of rearranging whichever piece of clothing you’ve chosen to wear that day so that any such perspiration is absorbed by your chair. Form an orderly queue, boys!
2. Attempt physical contact
I tried to hold my husband’s hand last night on the way back from a restaurant. The last time he looked at me like that – like perhaps I didn’t know how life works – was when I managed to hit him on the head with a stone I was attempted to skim, even though he was standing behind me. Of course he didn’t want to hold my hand; it was all he could do to get through the walk home without melting. Advertising would have us believe that summer is such a sexy time of year – I’ll prance about in a bikini before my other half carries me across the beach on his back and then hilariously pretends to hurl me into the sea. This is not reality. What couples actually do in hot weather is go on strike from all physical contact. There is no prancing, more dragging of our hot, swollen feet. There are no piggybacks, just one person walking ahead of the other saying “I JUST WANT TO GET HOME AND INTO THE SHOWER!” and there are no amusing attempts to throw me into open water (though if I try to grab my husband’s hand again, that may change). It’s every man and woman for themselves in this weather. We’ll put our wedding rings back on in the autumn.
3. Straighten your hair
Let me ask you a question – do you feel like doing ironing right now? No? And, how about ironing your hair? Of course not. This is not the time to be subjecting your boiling brain to hot metal plates. And even if you did, and you managed to survive the experience without drowning in a pool of your own salty tears, if your hair is anything like mine, it’ll either just stick to the sides of your head (making me look like Peter Andre in the Mysterious Girl video) or it’ll expand to the size of a small bush. It’s just not worth the effort.
4. Wear make-up
The other day I left the house wearing a full face of make-up. Two hours later I went to the bathroom to discover that said make-up had travelled so far from where I had originally put it that it looked like somebody had taken a damp flannel to my cheeks. And to make it even better, I’d had at least two face to face conversations during that time with people who, unless temporarily blinded by the perspiration shine on my forehead, will definitely have noticed. Thanks for letting me know, guys! So I won’t be doing that again. These cheeks are staying bare until the weather drops a few degrees (that’s my facial cheeks, before you panic. It’ll never be that hot).
*mops brow* So there you have it. If you keep your hands to yourself, your foundation in its bottle, your hair in a ponytail and your legs-a-moving, you’ll survive the heatwave no problem.
Oh and one more thing – if the last two hours has taught me anything it’s that if you must use a laptop on a hot day, make sure you put it on a table. My knees are now so warm that I don’t think even an ice cream could cool me down. Though I will, of course, give it a try.