In Praise of Shitty Weather

Friday was ridiculously hot. It was Zone 1 London in the summer hot, with that intimation of hosepipe bans and the feel that it could be one of those summers where fans sell out and people start whining about it being TOO HOT.



I don’t like to be a curmudgeon, and while my mind is of a cloudy turn, my body certainly behaves better in the warm, but now that we’ve moved house a fair few things have changed in the daily routine. On the Tottenham Riviera we were on the ground floor, it  was Zone 3, and on a river, and I didn’t have to have Pops on the lead for most of any outing. Here, we are in the microclimate of the centre of town, up four flights, and the parks are often FULL at the first sight of sunshine. Full, that is, of HAZARDS.

By ‘hazards’ I mean children, people eating, people trying to have some alone time lying down quietly, that sort of thing. All things a Bobbins likes to either actually disturb or threaten to disturb, which amounts to the same thing in terms of having to police her.

In the shitty weather we doggy types get the park to ourselves.

On Friday it was extremely hot and Poppet did her new thing of having to have several lie downs all the way home as well as a couple in the stair. And that was for the morning play. By the afternoon it was baking so hard and the park was so populous that there was no chance of play, and even without it she still played ‘old dog’ all the way home.

When I first got her she was estimated by All Dogs Matter as being about a year old, and thought to have been made to mate on her first season, the beginnings of her white muzzle being thought to have been caused by the shock of this too early breeding. By the time we were on the Riviera and we had a vet appointment she was nominally about four, and he said there was no way she was under seven. Usually if people ask her age I tell them I don’t know, that she was adopted, and I give them the parameters, but if I can’t be bothered or if I think they are really not interested (a lot of people ask a dog’s age, it’s a ‘thing’) then I’ve just been saying “seven” for the past couple of years. Despite her greying muzzle, I’ve continued to argue her youth, but now she’s doing the lying down thing I’ve revised it upward. Her age of convenience is now firmly ten.

Anyway, the weather didn’t do as threatened, and we are now back to the shitty weather we also complain about. However, today it didn’t take a moment to get her out and running about, and we had the park pretty much to ourselves and yesterday was the same, even though this is the weekend. I don’t begrudge the sun seekers their pleasures, but I am going to have to figure out a way around them with the dog.

I was going to write this yesterday but we got waylaid by a chap called Roland and his dog Crunchie. I’m shit at remembering names, but Roland is my brother’s name, and Crunchie is an excellent name for a dog. She was crunching on a stick when we met her. We also know a Harry and Barry, but I have no idea which is the man and which the dog, so knowing their names doesn’t help at all.


6 thoughts on “In Praise of Shitty Weather

  1. One of my favorite things to do in the UK is listen to people complain about how hot they are in the summer. I used to live in the deep south in the US and spent a bit of time in the Middle East. You guys do not know the meaning of the word “hot!” 🙂

    I’m sorry. I know you guys aren’t used to it, and your buildings don’t have air conditioning to make it bearable. I shouldn’t make fun of you. My mother in law just arrived and she complained about how cold she is. I come home to see that she had dressed my son in a sweatshirt/jumper.

    1. LOL. your MIL is a classic. Feel cold and wrap up a kid.

      We complain about every kind of weather we get. We also get massive transport snarl ups because of things like ‘leaves on the line’ despite getting autumn EVERY YEAR. See also snow, see also wind…et cetera et cetera et cetera!

      Complaining is a national pastime. Instead of quizzing immigrants on kings and queens and so on we should just measure how entitled and gripey they are.

  2. I quite like Harry and Barry. You could just greet them as ‘hello Harry and Barry’, which would sound so charming that they would never know that you don’t know which is which.

    1. That is almost definitely what will have to happen.

      I get terrible shame about not remembering people’s names. It’s sort of even worse to have a one in two chance of being right. Like with twins.

  3. let me know when the air starts to cool. When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to get out of London in the summer it always seemed hot hot hot.
    Haven’t been down since december last year, as I missed a possible spring visit due to the shoulder surgery (which has been a success). So I’m ready for a visit -I’m thinking september if the air turns autumnal early.

    1. Sounds good! It’s not hot all the time, but even when it isn’t it’s kind of muggy. Rain doesn’t help, and you start really getting a taste of the pollution. Of course, we are on the extended arm of Oxford Street, which has just been in the news for being one of the worst polluted areas for pedestrians from the bus and taxi diesel fumes. Helps being on the top floor, but it’s not as clean as the Rivera was.

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