Monday, 28 July 2008

Is there an Echo in here?

It's too hot to blog.

Like all big cities, London's heat is cumulative. A day or so of high temperatures are fine; we all revel in it, exalting in the balmy evenings, the chance to walk around after work with only a skimpy dress and no cardigan on, secure in the knowledge that this is a fleeting thing and that we are, after all, in London. It can't possibly last, we know that. One of the best jokes - or at least, one of the cleanest - that I ever heard about the British is related to this; in Britian, apparantly, we like 2 days of the year. Christmas, and Summer. Boom boom!

But just occasionally we get more than a couple of days of hot weather, and despite our protestations that we love it, and isn't it marvellous to be able to bbq every day, and who needs to go the Med for cafe society, London and it's inhabitants wilt like spring flowers in August.

The sun beats mercilessly down for 3 days or in this case, a week, and the heat builds up in the tarmac and pavements. By the late afternoon what would, elsewhere in the country, be a pleasant 25 deg C becomes an oppressive 29 deg. And that's discounting what it rises to on the tube. Being lucky enough not to need to use it on a daily - or even weekly - basis these days, I've managed to avoid it, but you can't miss those who haven't. They tumble out of the station at Gloucester Road, dazed, confused, and hunting desperately for the nearest air-conditioned shop to cool down in.

Boy #2 particularly seems to be finding the heat difficult to handle. At 2 years old, he has decided he would rather play inside than venture out into the furnace, and I can't say I blame him. Tempting though it is however to retreat into a hermit-like existence over the summer holidays, I find myself unable to do that. It's probably something to do with the fact that with Husband away in Mother Russia for a large part of the week, if we don't keep to our pre-arranged schedule of play-dates, summer school and haircuts, the only things I will find myself saying for 3 - 4 days a week will be:

Oh my god - is that another mouse? (because yes, they're back, probably sheltering from the heat outside like the rest of us. In fact, I think it's here in our tiny office with me right now, since every now and again I'm hearing unexplained movements. What, look? Are you crazy?)
Don't touch it - it's dirty!
No, we cannot keep it as a pet...
Don't touch that - it's poison! (we're using child-proof bait boxes but you never know. I am waiting for the boys to go on their grannie visits when trays of the hard stuff will be left in out for the little rodents to sample in relative safety.)
That's true, mice don't like poison.
Yes, they taste it, then decide they don't like it, and leave... That's exactly what happens.
Have you done a poo, Boy #2? (As I am overwhelmed by the olfactory evidence)
Are you sure you haven't?
Are you absolutely sure?
Yes, it is a big one, isn't it?
Maybe sometime soon you can start using the potty...
Why not?
Off you go...
Boys! No-one is allowed to play with the bicycles indoors!
I know it's yours, Boy #1, but it's not to be used inside... Boy #2, have you done another poo?

And so on.

Oh, the glamourous lives we South Kensington Mummies lead. I'm going off now to melt in front of the tv and think nostalgically back to the days when warm evenings meant sitting on the roof with my girlfriends knocking back a glass or two of white wine. Check out the link below to the Echo Falls ad if, like me, you've forgotten that somewhat more carefree existence...


  1. I keep telling you PM - those words keep coming out of The Man's mouth - but with my name attached to them!!

    (and you think I'm joking)

  2. I'm holding you entirely responsible Potty Mummy! THE SUN HAS GONE IN. I was ill this weekend so actually missed our summer as the children went out on playdates with water slides and BBQs and the like and now I'm better again the sun has gone in and I'm back at work with an umberella in my bag.
    Do not talk about the sun again - you must be jinxed!

  3. Haha, PM, this all sounds so familiar. I too have those daily conversations about size of poo (and numbers of poos produced at each sitting) with Littleboy 1....

    As for the rodents, it is a neverending battle in this house. We abandoned poison a while back in favour of traps, which worked for a time, but they have now wised up to those too. Now we just keep all the food in tupperware boxes, and try to pretend we haven't seen one scuttling across the living room floor occasionally.

  4. oh potty m, don't envy you in grimy londres...

    still got the mice? disaster. Isn't it time to call in the experts?

    it's cooled down here now, but set to rise again. summer hols really are a challenge aren't they? bonne chance.

  5. Aims, I did think you were joking, but you keep saying it, so who knows?

    Tara, I'm sorry sorry sorry. Though I'm reliably informed (by BBC weather) it's due to be warm again tomorrow, so hopefully this time you'll get to enjoy it? But I promise - no more sun stories... (probably because I won't get the opportunity!)

    VG, you, me and most of London, it seems. I just can't bear the idea that I may step on one in the middle of night. To the extent that I couldn't sleep yesterday - which of course increased the likelihood of that happening as I was then up an investigating every creak of the floorboards.

    Pig, I don't know, is it time to call in the experts? I was all set to, but was then assured by fellow rodent-sufferers that they will simply do exactly the same things we are doing but charge a fortune... If you tell me it makes a difference though, I will gladly pay up!

  6. You most definitely need to move to the countryside and have a big old garden surrounded by fields and trees. You deserve something like that and your kids need it. Are there any chances that something like this may happen? I hate to see you locked up inside London with the heat and the traffic and the confined spaces and the mice indoors.

  7. Maybe one day Irene. But for now, I have to confess that despite the heat and the mice, I love it here!

  8. There's certainly something about heat in London which makes it seem so much worse. We were out in the countryside over the weekend, it was stinking hot, but we didn't mind - I think it's the grass and the trees and the general quiet. In the noise and dirt of London, the heat just seems a million times worse.

    (PS Reluctant Memsahib diverted me your way!)

  9. Hi NC (apologies for the abbrev, hope it's OK with you!), thanks for the visit, and I agree with you on the heat thing. And apparantly it's due to be 29 degC tomorrow. Happy days... I feel another session in Thomas paddling pool coming on...


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