Men in loud-patterned shorts and flip-flops are everywhere, I have a stack of special offer leaflets from supermarkets urging me to stock up on barbecue ingredients and the weather forecasters can barely contain their excitement.
We are having a spell of warm, sunny weather and I am not best pleased. In fact, I am downright grumpy. Two years ago I enjoyed the warm weather as much as anyone, but one day that all changed as my face morphed into an angry red blur, my limbs went weak and I felt faint with fatigue. Since then Uhthoff’s phenomenon, otherwise known as heat intolerance, has made my life a misery.
A tiny spot of sun will add a youthful, flushed glow to my face. Any more than that and I begin to scare small children. I often wish I was born 100 years ago so I could carry a parasol when outdoors and recline on a chaise-lounge, delicately fluttering a fan and sipping peppermint tea when the heat gets too much. And a bonnet would be ideal for bad hair days.
It’s not just weather that does this – hot radiators in the winter, ‘atmospheric’ log fires in gastropubs and over-heated shops all take their toll. Opening the oven door is a tricky operation. Do it too quickly and I’ve got to lie down for five minutes, pizza sadly forgotten.
I fondly remember giving myself home-made facials by adding lavender to a bowl of boiling water and steaming my face over it. Nowadays that would probably be the best way to make me give up my PIN numbers and passwords.
I am now a semi-vampire, hiding in the house as much as I can and my super-size fan is my new best friend. I have become an expert at judging where any breeze is coming from. I rearrange chairs in cafes when a blast of sun comes through the window.
So this bank holiday weekend, I will mostly be at home. I will not be going to a barbecue – it’s insanity to cook in the heat. I will not be going to the beach. I will not be sitting outside a pub. I will instead smile through gritted teeth when yet another person says, ‘oooh, lovely weather we’re having!’ Isn’t it just…