Visiting Britain for the Olympics? You may not have heard. Temperate Britain isn’t pleasant at the moment. I just discovered the dead Christmas tree in the garden. It had been sitting in a pot since January. The pot had filled with water several times over, a clear case of over-hydration. Just another casualty of the UK’s temperate climate.
The problem is humidity. Wiki “Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air.”
I just came back from Sicily. After a few days away I’d grown used to something far more suited to the human condition. Low humidity. Yes, it’s rained non-stop all year in the UK. Nothing odd about that. We’d already missed a few wet seasons. I know there’s no law of averages, but rain does have to go somewhere, and the UK is always in the drop zone.
Camping in Cornwall last May, and on one wet night, everything inside the usually-waterproof tent was soaked. Weather.com showed that it was a teeth-chattering 3 degrees combined with 100 per cent humidity. The air was literally condensing out inside the tent, showering my laptop with every gust of rain-laden wind.
Today in July, it’s a low 15 degrees and a high 84 per cent humidity. Cold and clammy. Compare this with Sicily where it’s 27 degrees and a staggeringly-low 8 per cent humidity. After a few days away, I can actually feel the water in the air on my skin as though it’s raining. The effect of 84 per cent humidity and low temperature is to slow you down, make you feel heavy-headed and thirsty. Joints ache. Throat is dry. Head thumps. Sinusitis. Bleeding ears.
Okay, I’m exaggerating with that last one, but I am beating a trail to pee more than I drank. It’s the opposite to dehydration. Is there a medical condition called over-hydration. How do you cope with being cold and clammy? A Gortex duvet? A heated brolly? Something needs to be done before the Olympics become another British loo queue marathon. Or maybe they’ll have to bring in the Thames barrier to deal with the influx.
The mental health of BBC Match of the Day Euro 2012 host Colin Murray seemed to deteriorate badly as the European football championships progressed. I gave up watching the Beeb after a spectacular rant by Murray left Lee Dixon open-mouthed. Dixon was talking about Portugal, and then a strange knocking started. I’ve never heard anything like it in a TV studio. The strange knocking was Murray slapping the desk repeatedly. He stopped when Lee Dixon forgot what he was supposed to be saying and just stared, but then, not having made his point, Murray started slapping the desk again.
They even took the camera off both men and settled for a long shot, but the camera did briefly catch the Northern Irishman writhing in his seat like Cruise on Winfrey, his mouth twisted, his eyes popping out of his head. It was an extraordinary display. His problem was Helder Postiga, the nothing-worse-than-average Portuguese striker. Murray didn’t think Portugal should play him. But why the hateful histrionics? Was it an example of Jubilee jitters, Pre-Olympic nerves?
In Murray’s defence I can only think that some kind of youthful producer may have called for fighting talk from Murray, and through some kind of warped effort to reach out to the fighty 16-24 males, Murray decided to behave in a way that he hoped might make that group snap out of their late night drunken slumbers and join Murray’s cries for the execution of Postiga. It didn’t work, and Murray just looked insane.
So it doesn’t looked good for the Olympics if the Beeb, desperate to reach the yoof, start lobbing beer cans at each other. I’m dreading the boring but knowledgeable Brendans and Steve Worthy-Runners being elbowed after two weeks for mouthy comedians a la the BBC’s darkest day and the Queen’s damp squib flotilla. “So it’s over to Fern Cotton track-side where she’s interviewing Gordon Ramsay in a tracksuit”. Please help us someone.
So Murray’s peculiar forced hatred of Postiga. Well it was the embodiment of a laddish reaction to Postiga’s short and unsuccessful spell in the Premiership. He scored two goals, one of those against our beloved Liverpool. Basically, Postiga appeared to be a bit of an expensive-Alice-band-on-glass-ankles foreign import, not suited to the outmoded take-yer-legs-out style of 1950s retribution football that has made English soccer so unsuccessful for half a century.
I switched to ITV’s Euro 2012 coverage with the excellent BBC escapee Adrian Chiles. My enjoyment of the Euros was suddenly quadrupled. My favourite Chiles comment on Spain’s staggering multi-faceted brilliance was “That’s not a diamond. That’s a cube!”
I found a great Chilesism on You Tube, “It’s temporarily rather quiet here now!”
Maybe that siren was an ambulance removing the ranting Murray from the BBC outside broadcast van.