everyone you meet in a british heatwave

We wrote this before it got stormy.

by Roisin Lanigan
30 July 2018, 9:09am

The Inbetweeners Movie

In case you haven’t noticed, the UK has been in the grip of a sweltering, sweaty, dry heatwave for over a month now. You can’t miss it. Even if the very obvious weather and the very obviously dehydrated people weren’t a giveaway, the heatwave is all anyone can talk about. And because this is Britain, and because we’re not used to the heat, the heat changes people. We transform from normal humans into heatwave humans -- sweaty, bug-eyed, clad-always-in-breathable-linen humans who can talk only of how hot and overwhelmed we are. You’ve probably bumped into a few of these examples.

Super-sweaty angry commuter
Darren has worked in the City for almost 12 years now. In that time, he’s managed to perfect his commute down to a fine art. He knows exactly when to leave his house in the morning, down to the nanosecond. He knows exactly where to stand on the platform. He knows which carriage he’s most likely to get a seat in. He has a selection of different suits for various times of the year and various days. He knows, door to door, exactly how long it will take him to get to his desk with an allotted detour for a Pret coffee. It’s a masterpiece of organisation. And the heatwave is properly fucking it all up. The tube is hot, hotter than the sun. A vein is twitching in his forehead. Someone next to him is fanning themselves with the Metro but it’s not giving him any satisfaction. THIS IS NOT HOW THE COMMUTE IS SUPPOSED TO GO.

Colleague you only talk to about the heat
Unless you’re some sort of superhuman social butterfly, it’s highly unlikely that you have a sparkling rapport with every single person in your office. There are probably five people max that you talk to on a daily basis, and a further six or seven that you might nod and do a tight-lipped smile to when you both accidentally go to the kitchen at the same time to make a tea. Then there are the people you don’t talk to at all. Except for when the magic of the heatwave binds you together in cultural annoyance.

Your eyes meet across the desk as you enter the sanctuary, the air-conditioned utopia, that is your office. You puff out your cheeks and they roll their eyes. “Oh my god,” one of you says. “This weather is absolutely mad isn’t it?”

Colleague who is literally always on an ice cream run
It’s 4.30pm. Despite the fact that this morning you were desperate to get out of the sun, now you’re gazing out the window with total longing. It seems chronically unfair that you’re not in a park somewhere eating a Magnum, or a Twister, or at least sipping a £6 pint that you queued for 20 minutes to get in the pub next door. Why is life like this? Why is it all so unfair?

Across the office someone has abruptly stood up at their desk and clapped their hands together. “Right, who wants an ice cream?” You thrust a fiver at them and in return you get an orange Calippo 15 minutes later. It’s a 200% markup on a bronze tier ice lolly, but you don’t care. A mid-afternoon Calippo for no reason other than it’s sunny!

Person who is very very concerned about climate change
That friend on Facebook who posts statuses about climate change and our destruction of the planet seems more and more like the person we should have been listening to all along. Surprise! We are literally ruining the planet! :)

Person who is adamant the heatwave is absolutely nothing to do with climate change
Babes, come on.

Wellness fiend
They’ve got one of those filtered water bottles that tells you how much to drink by the hour. They mean well, but they’re annoying AF. On the upside though, they always let you have some of their coconut water out of the fridge. Namaste.

BBQ fiend
This person (no stereotypes here, but likely a man) bought a really expensive BBQ when they moved into their flat -- the first time they had a proper balcony -- three years ago, and until this summer they’ve not had a chance to use it. So they are really taking advantage. Expect lots of Facebook events and Whatsapp groups for a BBQ round theirs, with a heavy dosage of “Making the most of this weather while we’ve still got it!”

Festival fiend
You don’t know how this person has afforded to go to all the “festies” this summer but they’re always covered in glitter and their Instagram looks great. They’re living their best, most basic lives, and I’m jealous.

Pub fiend
The natural inclination of every British person at the first sight of sunshine is to immediately run to the pub. Pints, Pimms, prosecco, gin and tonics and Aperol spritzes become the centre of our lives in the sunshine. This is usually fine, given our periods of good weather and heatwaves are often so fleeting. This summer though, things are different. The heatwave has now gone on for so long that only a few of us are still “making the most of it” down the pub. Their bank balance, and their liver, is taking a helluva beating. Maybe switch to a lime and soda for the next few weeks -- this weather ain’t going anywhere.

Lido fiend
They’re too busy to enjoy! I cannot emphasise this enough! A Lido trip is a false economy!

Person who is somehow still very fashionably dressed in spite of the heat
Most of us now look at our wardrobes and scream into the nothingness every morning, knowing that everything in there is too hot and the rest is “last day of your Costa del Sol holiday” chic, the dregs that you wear home on the plane because you know nobody will be taking pictures. That’s why everyone looks pretty bad in the heatwave.

But there are some people out there who somehow manage to look fashionable and well-dressed in circa 30 degrees. It’s too hot even to be angry at them. You’re too impressed to even be jealous. They are magnificent.

Someone who wears their favourite outfit regardless of how hot they’ll get
This is my outfit. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. Streetwear doesn’t take the summer off.

Very sunburnt pub garden man
Judging by the incandescent redness of this man’s exposed bald head, you estimate that he’s been here, sat in the same spot of this pub garden, wearing wraparound sunglasses and a determined expression since the heatwave officially began on the 22nd June. When the heatwave eventually ends they’ll have to prise him off the bench, like taking a rusty lid off a paint pot.

Keep fighting the good fight, Jamie.

People in parks with acoustic guitars
Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.

White people with diablos and dreads
Guys I know it’s 30 degrees but this is London Fields, not Burning Man.

Couples arguing
It may have been inconceivable to you before that you should be angry at your boyfriend for something he did to you in a dream last night. But now it’s hot all the time and you’re screaming at each other on the top deck of a packed bus. Wonder how many break ups this summer has caused?


Absolute heroes. How do they do it? Amazing.

Deliveroo drivers
At this point your oven is literally just another cupboard. You’ve developed a serious Deliveroo habit. Yes, the idea of a knight in shining armour is admittedly archaic, but if they existed in modern times they would undoubtedly be Deliveroo drivers. Your knight in teal blue armour, saving you from the tyranny of the sweatbox kitchen. You better be tipping them -- heavily.

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it's so bloody hot