The change

When I first moved down to London, She Who Was Born To Worry (or my mum, as I generally know her) took the wind out of my fresh faced and eager sails by calling me a shandy-drinking southerner. The implication being that the north of England was rough, the south was posh, and I’d have to start watering my beer down with lemonade because I’d lose all my gritty ruggedness. Clearly the fact that I was always about as rugged as a baby’s bottom had slipped her mind. Not to mention the fact that my home county Cheshire sells more champagne per head of population per year than any other part of the UK. It’s hardly South Central LA, put it like that.

Of course, a move to New York has done nothing to dampen my status as a shandy drinking southerner. That’s despite the fact that a barman in New York is no more likely to know what a shandy is than Nigel at the Union Vaults in Chester would be able to make a decent Long Island Iced Tea.

But now I’m starting to fear that I am fulfilling the prophecy. Maybe I’m becoming a big softie after all.

I’m currently in the UK on business, and having previously checked the weather in London and found it to be in the high 60sF/20C, I merrily packed no jacket. After all the heat and humidity of New York, it’d be nice to get to the relative normality of British weather. But after walking down Kensington High Street yesterday afternoon, I suddenly realised that despite the sun shining, I was rubbing my arms to keep myself warm. All around me people are in summer gear, and yet I find myself wondering whether it would be a fashion faux-pas to wear a balaclava in June.

If that wasn’t bad enough, when I get inside the office or a shop, I’ve started to feel like I’m overheating, and regularly hear myself internally bemoaning the lack of air-conditioning in this country.

I fear that I may have turned into one of those Brazilian footballers who start wearing tights and gloves after their big money move to the Premiership, when they realise that a trip to Blackburn on a wet Tuesday night in January is marginally less appealing than a night at the Maracana.

It’s either that or I’m going through the change. You’ll read about me in the Lancet in years to come, I tell you.

Now, where can I get a shandy?

13 thoughts on “The change

  1. Karen

    Great post. We have acclimatised to the Icelandic weather and so therefore at 13c we are dying for some respite from the heat 😉 Yesterday was Independence Day and was 17c, I thought I was going to die 😉
    I can’t remember how I handled being in the South of France!

  2. Gabrielle

    I’m sorry – but I absolutely CANNOT get used to the total lack of AC here in England. Granted, the US goes overboard so that you’re freezing inside while it’s scorching outside, but isn’t there a happy medium??

  3. Alasdair

    Hey – if England had decent air conditioning, Prince Charles would be much more highly respected !

    Oh … what’s that ? Not that kind of air conditioning ?

    (innocent grin)

  4. Cocktails

    Aha, You’re turning into me!

    Look out for me while you’re here in London – I’ll be the other person wearing layers of clothing on a 20 degree day.

  5. Expat Mum

    Can you imagine trying to retro-fit all those ancient buildings to accommodate the ductwork?
    But god, I could murder a shandy right now!

  6. Brooklyn

    Expat Mum

    There are such things as: window A/C’s,through the wall A/C’s, outside compressor/low profile A/C’s, portable A/C’s (like the DeLonghi Pinguino).

    All of this would address “a total lack” of A/C, no?

  7. G

    Ah! Glad I read this post! I’m on my way to London tomorrow and had figured on it being warmish and rainy. Perhaps I should pack another jumper…

  8. Expatmum

    Saturday night, in on my own with the wee one while Ball & Chain is galavanting around NYC and Boston with the older two and I have just made myself a lager shandy with some Sprite I found in the fridge!! It’ll do!

  9. Dylan Post author

    Cocktails – so sorry…not sure why I can’t prevent you from getting into my spam pile…

    G – hope you’re enjoying London as much as Expat Mum enjoyed her shandy!

  10. emiglia

    Oh how I miss central air when I’m here… everyone in Southwestern France and Spain is always trying to tell me about the importance of creating a cross-breeze with a window opened here and one there… I find myself wanting to stand in front of the opened refrigerator. My father used to keep the central air on so high in the summertime that I had to sleep with a duvet on my bed. I miss it.

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