These weather forecasters generalise all the time.
They are telling everyone to stay indoors, put our socks in the fridge and suck blocks of ice because of the heatwave. Just one question: what flipping heatwave?
The last couple of days have been slightly warm but overcast here in Stornoway, where the temperature shot up to an incredible 16C. George Gawk, a former offshore sparky-turned-gentleman shepherd, even disputed that on Monday because his wagon’s gauge, he insisted, was showing a completely different temperature. It was only showing 15 degrees.
To prove the point, George thumped the temperature dial a couple of times, but it was still steadfastly showing 15 in his trusty Mitsubishi Shogun. And the temperature didn’t suddenly rise either. Nor was the gauge broken – not until he walloped it, anyway.
The temperature controls the gauge, not the other way round. Just saying, George.
Are you suffering from aestophobia?
Meanwhile, it was 38C in London and even 31C in Aboyne in Aberdeenshire. Keep it, you lot.
My concern is that constant warnings make cool Hebrideans suffer from aestophobia. That’s a dreadful fear of hot weather and its consequences.
The media are banging on about something that’s very unlikely to affect us but, if you hear anything long enough, you may just start to believe it. Like the claim God is now concentrating on causing breakdowns on CalMac ferries because they sail on Sundays.
Yes, the dreary Lord Haw-Haws of extremist faction, the Free Church (Continuing), are peddling bilge again to prove they still exist, and some gullible souls will swallow their doom-laden balderdash. Good luck to them all.
Remember the tattie-boiling summer of 1976?
I’m lucky, as I’m young enough to remember 1976 when the world cracked up. Living in Laxdale was like a scene from an apocalyptic movie. Deep cracks opened up everywhere, including roads. You could walk across the crackling where a loch or stream had been.
Top temperatures then were only 35C, but drought and high temperatures went on for two months
Happily, pubs were open to save us all from the real threat of chronic dehydration, and the Continuing church hadn’t been invented.
Top temperatures then were only 35C, but drought and high temperatures went on for two months. Hot water coming out of both taps, potatoes coming out of the ground already baked, and hens laying hard-boiled eggs. Sorry, I’m getting carried away. Forget the last two.
My wee summer job in the Criterion Bar lasted for many months as I waited to be enlisted. Most popular drink was a pint of water with ice and a splash of cordial.
We’re living in the hottest period for 125,000 years
Now we’re living in the hottest period for 125,000 years, according to the UN’s climate science boffins at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Are they old enough to remember?
Bet the IPCC didn’t take readings at the end of the Goat Island causeway where George and I were thumping away at gauges and doing our bit for monitoring climate change.
Yep, 1976 was tough. Bricks put in cisterns and we were told to flush just once a day. Yuck. Wasn’t going to happen in a shared residential caravan.
Human-induced #climatechange is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.
— IPCC (@IPCC_CH) July 18, 2022
Then I joined the RAF. Within weeks, I was camped with 150 others in Sherwood Forest and told that if I needed to go, I’d have to trot outside in the pouring rain and bury any, er, deposits in some composting set-up.
Where is the prime minister when we need him to help with the latest heatwave crisis? A caretaker PM, still only interested in partying and skiving important Cobra meetings. Not worth talking about.
There’s a rumour that someone at the Cobra meeting on the heatwave referred to him as a blister. Heads were scratched. Why’s he like a blister? He explained: “He’ll appear when the hard work is done.”
Warning: you may develop novinophobia
Someone else unafraid of hard work isn’t called Boris, but Maggie Finlayson. Maggie had a lifelong career as a dedicated Highland teacher, latterly at Glenelg Primary School near Kyle. She has loads of anecdotes, including getting a boat to reach a school when she was seven months pregnant.
Maggie also recalls one wee girl in primary one complaining that a wee boy in her class swore at her. Maggie was shocked. She asked the pupil what the brat had said. With great indignation, the little girl harrumphed: “He said: ‘So?'”
So, now that I have written about it, I am worried about aestophobia. Could the fear of the heatwave be something that causes us real problems? The answer, apparently, is drinking as much as you can.
Phobias are awful. They have long names and can afflict anyone. Fear of the heatwave, it has to be said, is also affecting Mrs X. She has now contracted novinophobia.
Not heard of it? Say it slowly. It’s an acute fear of running out of wine.
Iain Maciver is a former broadcaster and news reporter from the Outer Hebrides