I'm on the cusp of whinging about the weather when I remember how fleeting summer always feels in this city. How, bar a week of intense wamrth here oor there, London's summer is generally indistinguishable from the months before and after it. And how many times I've sat shivering in a park the second the sun dips behind the trees, and I've said 'god, why can't we just have a bit of heat?'
And now here I am, baffled by the mere existence of thick jumpers and long sleeved tops in my wardrobe, walking back from a friend's house after 10pm without a safety cardigan, looking down from the top deck of the 149 as it shuffles along Kingsland High Street, seeing tables full of people lapping up wine and Vitamin D every weekday night.
The evening sun also brings a calm layer of drinkers to the pub opposite my flat, and it bounces off Hackney Downs' new straw carpet of grass, bathing the fields in a soft yellow light. The benches and fields and pavements are makeshift gardens, the only respite for a city of people living in flats. The streets feel busier. London is walking instead of getting the bus, London is buoyant with booze, London is meandering home, London is bare-skinned at night, London is more tired than usual, London has stayed up late.
The heat spike has become a rolling wave. The short term squeeze has become a long, lazy summer romance. The city has slowed down, and its residents have relaxed. It's taken four weeks for our pace to drop, for the initial mad rush of summer excitement to settle, for complacency to set in.
In the middle of it all, my housemate and I spend Saturday afternoon indoors. Her dad died a few weeks ago. My mum's dementia is getting worse. We decide to empty the freezer, switch it off, sit in front of it and take turns chipping away at the ice with a wooden chopstick. There's no hurrying it. We read our books and listen to the radio all afternoon, into the evening, taking turns getting up and clearing the melted water until everything has defrosted and the food is replaced.
Outside, the heat wave continues. Inside, we sit in companiable quiet, watching the progress of the ice as it melts, and drips, and drops off in therapeutic, satisfying chunks.
Read more thoughts from London here.