Riding on the tube this morning, I overheard a school girl telling her friend that she was going on holiday in July, to Memphis and Nashville, TN. While I thought it a little odd that a London schoolgirl would travel with her "Mum, dad and Nan" to the American South for her annual holiday, I was a bit jealous. I liked how she described her destinations. "Memphis is not sunny, but very warm, and then when you get to Nashville, it is both sunny and warm", she said. Hot and sticky to the Nashville locals is essentially sunny and warm to the sun-and-warmth-deprived Brit...and to say the least, I am feeling a little more British than American after this long dreary never-ending Spring.
In Nashville, the warmth of the early summer really begins in late April...hence all of the sun dresses that get worn there...which is why there are so many cute Nashville women running around...because that is what sun dresses do, they make the wearer look cute. In my home town of San Francisco, women - similar to London women- never get the chance to look cute in sun dresses. We are actually usually wearing fleece to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July.
When talking to Brian in Washington DC this week, he tells me so-and-so's event got cancelled due to the 93 degree heat, at that point I really can't help but start to daydream a little. All I can think about is me sitting in a plastic sun chair on the roof of our apartment building, in the middle of the concrete city, in a tank top (or vest, as they call it here) and shorts, just soaking up the heat and sun. Sunny and warm.
At the bus stop last night I waited for the bus for thirty long, cold, blustery minutes, resorting to pacing up and down the sidewalk with my spring scarf wrapped around my head. I was the only person dumb enough to be out, instead of relaxing warm at home or in a pub... until minute 27, when a Brazilian girl (about my age) showed up and needed help finding her way on the bus map. She told me how she was in Milan yesterday and it was 30C degrees (86F). "I want to go back now. It is summer!" ,she yelled into the cold wind. Then we both jumped up and down when the bus rounded the corner. Partially because we were just so happy that we would be able to get out of the cold, and partially just because we were cold.
Perhaps my stint in the South made me a little too wimpy, whereas in San Francisco, we are tough. We just plan to wear sweaters in summer, and we realize that some warmth will usually show up in October, but only then occasionally, if we are lucky enough. And we cherish any of the very few evenings during the year when we can sit outside and eat a slow dinner, sipping on the last drops of wine, late into the night, knowing that for this one night the fog is not rolling in.
All in all, we should realize that London may turn up some Summer after all. We do still have two and a half proper Summer months left, right? An elderly woman that I met this weekend while on a walk along the Thames offered some insight: "Sometimes the weather in London is a bit funny, but we just let it be. Sometimes the Summer will arrive in September and the Winter stays until June. Sometimes the Spring and Autumn never show up..and one winter you would have thought that you lived in Moscow."
Ok, not Moscow please. I will very happily take my blustery June