silly heatwave piece for matt hoffman

If you move to the country you realise soon enough that the weather only really happens in cities. Out here in the wilds of North Essex everyone lives inside huge air-conditioned cars, smearing the occasional lost cyclist or pedestrian against the hedgerows. It is perfectly safe to open the windows, here where even the attempted theft of a car makes the front page of the local paper. No noise drifts through, only a cooling, neutral breeze, that might as well be canned and sprayed.

Only in the city does it smell of summer: the sour, gritty elixir of dust and diesel that's more romantic and more powerful than anything poor Wordsworth or John Clare could dream about. In the city the weather is not an option, but an inescapable feature of every day. The  tube train 100 feet underground is far closer to nature than you could ever get lolling around in the deserted acres of the Swan Meadow car park in Saffron Walden.

If the heat gets really oppressive, one can always turn the Aga off.

But in the city

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