Hottest summer in Australia, but coldest winter in UK – just my luck!

Gone are the days when I used to spend lazy afternoons sunning myself on the beach

Yesterday was not a good day to be an Australian living in London. I discovered that while the UK was facing its coldest winter in 30 years, Perth, Western Australia – where I’m from – was experiencing its driest and hottest summer since 1977. Perfect.

Perth has had an average maximum of nearly 32 degrees since summer began. London, meanwhile, has had what feels like a -10 degrees average since the beginning of December. (Slight exaggeration, but it has felt like it!)

I won’t deny it, the weather is starting to get me down. It doesn’t help when every time I log onto Facebook all I see is photos of my mates in Australia sunning themselves on the beach.

Here’s an interesting fact though – although Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer diagnosis in the world each year, with around 30 people per 100,000 being diagnosed with the disease – the UK has more than 18 people per 100,000 who are diagnosed. I don’t think that statistic is so far off Australia’s, especially for a country that almost never sees the sun.

I think I know why this statistic is so prominent though… so many women over here go to solariums. I see them everywhere I go, the browned women who look as though they just came back from a holiday in the Med, even though it’s mid-winter.

I never used to understand the theory of going to a solarium and when my British friend told me that she goes once a month, I was shocked. However, after living in a miserable climate for more than a year, I’m beginning to see the (solarium) light. But if the skin cancer from such a machine didn’t kill me, my mother probably would murder me first for using it.

So while my friend flaunts her tan and talks to me about how that extra vitamin D leaves her feeling merry, I will stay a pale, almost translucent, shade of white and count down the days till spring begins. Which, by the way, is meant to be on Monday. But it’s still 2 degrees outside!


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