It’s been so hot here in the UK. People ask us if we miss the heat. No, we bloody dont!
I have told the story here about how my respected author and lecturer mother used to don her antique bathing costume and sit in the shade of her orange tree under the hosepipe to get cool on a hot African day.
Did I warn you that dogs ‘catching’ water from the hose as they play about on a hot day can drown? People don’t know that. Vets do.
But I don’t think I told you the story of how we once had a real traditional English Christmas under a hosepipe.
English people, then, did English things in Africa. Like wearing serge gym tunics with neck ties for girls and shirts, ties and long trousers for boys at school, in the heat. I once taught at a very posh school where the headmistress tannoyed the girls that they would be allowed to unbutton the top shirt button and loosten their ties because the day was hot.
Christmas was very British for us. Roast turkey, and roast potatoes, all the sauces and trimmings, and, of course Brussel sprouts and a glazed Ham. The final flourish was a blazing pudding.
All this in the middle of an African summer.
One particularly hot summer, when we lived in the only single story house we ever had, we trained hosepipes over the roof and the front walls on Christmas day.
We celebrated Christmas under hosepipes until we could afford airconditioning.