22/07/2013 13:52 BST | Updated 21/09/2013 06:12 BST

Tips for the Heat


I am not coping well with the heat. I am dewy, swollen and weak. As I can, I am recording my thoughts. I don't know how long I have left, so whilst I can lift my fingers to the keypad, I will continue to communicate. The battery in my hand-held fan is waning. As it loses power, so do I.

Whilst I still have some strength however, here are my recommendations for life in the drought.

1 Purchase at least six disposable BBQs from Sainsbury's. Otherwise you risk being that person who valiantly says they will 'have the second burger', the one slow-cooked over a tepid coal. This person will, approximately one hour later, smile a brave smile as they remove their floppy purple burger from the now stone cold wire and bite into raw mince.

2 If near a stone beach, as in Brighton, take something to sit on - unless you want to go home with a trapped nerve. Also, pack ahead. Don't, as I often have, look like someone who just accidentally passed out fully clothed on the pebbles. Take a sandwich. Treat yourself. Maybe something to wear that's not knee-high boots.

3 With temperatures soaring, it's easy to lose all sense of self and location - don't. My presence on an English beach-volleyball court? Not welcome. I will leave that to the topless gay men.

4 If you're going to be continental, do it right. For example, sleeping under just a sheet on holiday? Sure! Why not. Do it in England, too - fine. Just not, as I did last night, underneath one with elasticated corners. The grip they secure upon a mattress is just as powerful on the knees and face.

5 If there is a rubbish strike, as there was here, know your enemy. The gulls and the urban fox must be feared; they will come for your home. One fox that persistently devoured our rubbish bin still frequently and violently stools on the front step.

6 Don't walk into an establishment, say, an ice cream shop, and talk to staff about the sunshine. They will spit in your eye.

7 Similarly, don't assign yourself the role of regularly making exclamatory reminders of how HOT it is. We know. We have a beaded brow. Our feet are bursting the frail stitching of our sandals.

8 Which takes me to shoes. As someone whose body reacts to any warmth above room temperature with explosive inflammation, choose wisely. Fellow sufferers will know that the feet are a rebellious organ in high altitude and summer months, and you must coax them into remaining good natured. This means minimal walking/being upright - with particular avoidance of any standstill. The mere sight of a queue for the bar and my ankles will have angrily burst free. Really you should just lie down for as long as high temperatures persist.

9 When you pack a picnic, think about what you're doing. Some foods sweat. In a hot train carriage where odours carry, no one likes the person that introduces an egg mayonnaise to the party.

11 Don't get involved in games with other peoples' children. Like when you throw that first ill-judged ball for a dog, your day/life will be ruined. No matter how close they stray or how persistent they are, ignore. One began to throw rocks at me last week - ignore.

12 Lastly, just for me, don't Instagram everything you do. I mean yeah, it's nice to get a sunset beach shot. Or maybe even an ice cream if you can make out its silhouette through the red haze of Toaster. But I'm getting very bored of people's greasy thighs.

Long live the sun. I must go now however to apply a damp towel to my brow.