I was looking forward to attending a party this week. Until the weather changed for the better. I'd been looking forward to an indoor party. But with the change in the weather it changed to a garden party. Except that it was so hot and sunny most wanted to remain indoors in the shade.
Shade there was a plenty but it was hotter in than out. The huge conservatory heated the already scorching air and shepherded it in thorugh the french doors into the lounge. It was like sitting next to a huge glass Aga. The wine didn't help. It just enhanced the rosey glow on everyone's cheeks. The ice melted before it had chance to chill the drinks clasped in our hot little hands. Sandwiches and cakes began to wilt.
A few of the hardier guests [who took holidays in exotic locations] with skin like crisp brown leather, sat outdoors on the sunbaked south facing patio under the scant protection of one sun shade.
Late in the afternoon as the sun slowly sank those of us timid pale skinned folk who had already survived skin cancer or malignant melanoma ventured out to partake of the slightly cooler air. A lovely fresh 80+* F rather than 100+*F indoors. The house bricks emitting all the days stored radiation as if from a baker's oven.
By this time even the hardy brownites wanted to keep in the shade. We all huddled together at the end of the patio - squeezing up close in a friendly manner to share the measly amount of precious shade. Like penguins on an ever decreasing ice flow. Someone suggested the sun shade could be tilted to provide a bit more shade but as soon as it was tilted it caught the slightest breeze and swung like a gib to the east. Hauled back to the west someone kindly sat there with his arm up to hold it in place. Then with the next breeze it billowed like a spinnaker and slowly toppled dragging the patio table and wine glasses with it. Jim the host leapt to attention from his sun drowsed slumber and made an athletic lunge. Anchoring the table down before it hit the deck. So there we sat us ladies, with Jim clutching the table and Mark holding on to the sunshade.
The breeze dropped and the heat stored in the house walls began to leach into our small shady spot. We all started to glow. I suggested we all move the table, chairs and ourselves a few feet across the patio into the shade cast by the house as the sun continued on its westerly dip. Nobody picked me up on the idea. I repeated it in a louder voice. Still no response. I shut up. maybe it was too close to that giant Aga of a glasshouse.
I thought that if only I had been a traveller and visited South Africa or Ayers Rock then I wouldn't be so affected by a hot English summer evening. But no, Jim later confessed that it had been far too hot for him too and he'd lived for many years in Australia.