We’re having ‘weather’ – what the rest of the world knows of as rather hot. But I shouldn’t be so flippant. It’s actually serious business.
It’s basically fine here in neverneverland. It could reach 32 degrees Celsius/90 Fahrenheit on Monday. London and the middle of England, however, could completely bake. It may get up to 40 degrees C (104 F). This is not a country that does extremes of weather well (when I still lived in London and took the commuter train to work, sometimes a train would be cancelled because of ‘leaves on the line’). I can recall two major snowstorms. I had to drive home from work in the first to pick my son up from nursery. It took three times as long as normal and clearly no one had been taught during driving lessons how to steer into a skid. The second one was incredibly beautiful. It shut everything down for two days and then the temperature rose by 30 degrees and the village flooded.
Why am I writing about this? Well, because we’re going to have to travel Tuesday of this week for my son’s university graduation ceremony. The city where he matriculated will be a bit cooler than London et al (31 C/87 F) but we’re travelling by train and every major newspaper/news site is talking about go-slows on the rail system/buckled tracks, etc. I am deep breathing, being hopeful, crossing my fingers that we arrive within two hours of when we’re meant to.
Anyway. I wanted a cologne to bring along that wasn’t among my current stash and was cheap, like really really cheap – basically because I see us both spraying it on a lot simply to cool down along with all the water intake.
So, I did some googling for ‘best cheap colognes’. The first thing to pop up was an article with a list on UK GQ. I made it three entries in and found what I wanted. Marks & Spencer, a ubiquitous all-arounder shop that’s been around for yonks, offers the cologne noted in the title. Agrumi di Sicilia costs £18 for 100 ml and the notes list is hot-weather-perfect: orange blossom, tangerine, Sicilian bitter orange, jasmine, butterbush (pittosporum/cheesewood) and white musk (a note I tend to ignore after having sampled the Body Shop’s White Musc years ago).
So, sounded perfect and basically it is. I would never have bought this except for our ‘weather’.
It is gentle, sweet and nicely citrus, drying down to orange flower/bitter orange. It has the lasting power of a gnat which works fine because, as I said above, I mean for us both to use it over and over as we move in the heat from the hotel to the city hall (where my son picks up his graduation gown, pops it on, and then he swelters as pictures are taken), then to dinner at an Italian restaurant mid-evening, and then somehow back to the hotel (for long, luke-warm showers). I’m planning for us to have gotten through half of the bottle on Tuesday.
Wednesday, when the two graduation ceremonies take place – AM for his school, late afternoon for whole uni year – should be almost 10 degrees cooler. I might drench myself in the stuff so no one wants to sit next to me in the stadium (I’ll be masked – covid levels rose 30% this past week).
So, how about you? How’s your weather? What do you spray on repeatedly when things get a bit ‘warm’?
(This is my hat. Couldn’t leave home without it.)