It was the hottest day of the year today in Blighty. 31 degrees Celsius. Doesn’t sound that hot you think, but here – that’s newsworthy!! You’d have thought the Thames was about to disappear in a puff of steam.
The homeward bus had it’s heaters on – (For all that is goodness in the world why??) which turned the bus into a portable sauna/poaching tin.
I was leaking water from every pore of my body. (people who believe the old adage ‘Horses sweat, men perspire and women ‘faint’ have obviously never had to spend 45 minutes opposite a sweaty armpit whilst standing on a crowded bus mid-summer! – And why add the horse??)
Opposite me was an older gentleman who had seemingly wiled away the afternoon in a local tavern nursing a few Brown Ales and was now making his way home to either an empty house, (sad) or a very cross missus (also sad, but of his own making).
Bearing in mind it was this side of hell’s gate in our crowded little piece of perspiration alley, he was dressed as if for a wintery day.
He wore a wool flat cap, pulled right down as far as it could go, an overcoat and very thick woollen gloves. They were the type of gloves you could play snowball fights in and still have fingers left after ten solid minutes of shivery fun – that thick!
He was damp with sweat to the point that under his cap, his forehead had developed a small waterfall, which he kept wiping with the back of alternate gloves.
The gloves (now visibly damp with the repeated swipes to his brow and the moisture from his hands) kept sliding off slightly , but he doggedly pushing his gloves back on again and again as they tried unsuccessfully to escape to drier climes.
As I continued to watch the saga of the slippery gloves, All I kept thinking was ‘At least take the gloves off!!’ But he would not be parted from them.
I wondered at him not keeling over from heatstroke as he meandered his way down the bus to alight at his stop.
He shuffles off the bus – and promptly takes off his hat and gloves and unbuttons his coat.
Some people are just odd.