Walking home along Hammersmith Road last night the heat was really on. The sun, 5 hours past the zenith, was still intense and the air so warm, even in the shade, that to be out in the direct sunlight was painful. When I'm on holiday I don't go out in temperatures like that, so to have to do so at the end of a normal day's work is most uncalled-for. At least it is possible to find a seat on the Tube now that the holiday season is well underway. But before sinking gratefully into one, there is the need to draw a deep breath of relatively fresh air first, because the atmosphere in a train that has just emerged from the tunnels on a hot day is not one to savour. I know there are technical, not to mention financial, problems with air-conditioning Underground trains but if something could be done to blow fresh air through them as they come out of a tunnel, that would be much appreciated by all.
I'm glad I remembered to fill my water bottle last night before leaving the office. I used to carry a little plastic fan as well but it was a fiddly thing and the only way to switch it off was to unscrew the top which meant the battery fell out. It was worth it to see the look on the faces of my sweating fellow-travellers as they thought "What is that buzzing thing? Cor, that's clever."
The big question is when to switch to shorts? I have to wear socks and I understand that socks and shorts are strictly verboten by the fashion police. Do I risk some very snooty looks or simply dig out my very lightest trousers and have done? At the moment the anti-shorts feeling is on top and I am giving my ultralight American travelling trousers an airing, the first since I wore them in Rome earlier this year when it was about as warm as it is in London right now. Got them in a factory outlet in New England last year and so far they have been an excellent investment.