Should you have five pints at lunch? The top heatwave tips you really need

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Heatwave Britain: as you may or may not be aware, it is outrageously warm outside, hot enough to pose a grave danger to the British disposition. Below are some behaviours that readers are urged not to undertake, however hot they may become.

1. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to remember what it was like in 1976

I just tried this on the way to school. “I remember the heatwave of 1976, which we used to call the Great Heatwave.” “Really mummy? What was that like?” “Well, it was quite hot … we didn’t have the internet in those days, of course, so we couldn’t go online to tell each other how hot we were … and … well …” Just face it. Weather is impossible to remember. You can’t even remember what autumn feels like. This line of conversation will fatally undermine your credibility when it comes to other wisdoms you may wish to hand down.

2. Try not to be basically naked

I know, it’s a conundrum. You don’t shop for this kind of weather. But a loosely fitting shirt and maybe some trousers will, far from causing you to overheat, actually offer some protection against the sun as well as preventing nakedness.

3. Don’t have five pints for lunch

One of the things that makes me proudest to be British is the alacrity with which we will turn any event into an excuse to start drinking in the day. Royal wedding, birth of a royal, birth of Jesus – in fact all births, all deaths, all days on which banks are not open, Tube strikes. When the sun is so bright it obliterates the yardarm, that is as good as an invitation to go to the pub. However, it is injurious to health to overdrink in the sun, especially since you will probably be sitting outside, and around pint three you will go loopy and stop believing in sunscreen.

A sunburnt man outside a pub in Covent Garden
‘Around pint three you will go loopy and stop believing in sunscreen.’ Photograph: Graham Turner

4. Don’t plan a major demonstration outside the House of Lords for the hottest day of the year that will mainly attract people who are over 75

For God’s sake! Is this some kind of sick joke? “Here, fans of assisted dying! How about some weather-assisted death?”

5. Don’t try and swim in the sea

It’s filthy. And also surprisingly cold.

6. Don’t take this as an opportunity to do your first aerobic activity in 15 years

There’s a reason you don’t see many marathon runners from hot countries. No, wait, that’s wrong … There’s a reason why marathon runners from hot countries are faster than you … it’s because you are accustomed to the cold. The best adaptive technique is to stay still until it is cold again.

7. Do go back in time and paint your roof white

When sunlight is reflected off a white surface, the solar energy passes back through the atmosphere instead of warming the climate. Apparently. That’s the idea, anyway. Or you could get solar panels, that’d be good too. But don’t install them today (see point 6).

8. Don’t get into an argument about whether this weather is a result of climate change or is within the normal range

There’s a reason they call them “heated”, arguments; they make you hot. There’s very little chance of resolution or mutual respect when you already started off hot.

9. Definitely don’t be pregnant

Oh my sides. Poor you. You really should have thought this through.

10. Do eat holiday foods

Then your brain will file this entire week under “holiday”, which will save you going on holiday. Suggestions: octopus from a tin; ice-cream; er … that’s it. *Helpful face.*

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