The Long Hot Summer

Wearing that damn coat even in the blistering heat1976 was the hottest summer on record in England and Wales since records began in 1727. I was five at the time and wearing my duffle coat. Apparently I had been wearing this coat throughout the previous summer, which according to the Met Office was also long and hot.

There was a hosepipe ban and some places had their water cut off. Pictures of people having to fetch water from standpipes were on the news. I don’t remember having to fetch water but I remember the cracks in the dirt and tarmac melting on the road. Soft tar under your feet is a very odd feeling when you’re five years old.

The BBC compiled a load of memories when they thought that 2006 might surpass 1976. It didn’t. No matter how much we complain about the heat these days, there still hasn’t been another 1976. Though I heard today that the first ten days of May have been the hottest in 200 years. So we’ll see. Eventually it started raining around my sixth birthday. And I was still wearing that damn duffle coat.

I’m going to write a lot more on this in time, but today it’s too hot for me to bother.


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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