Why summertime sadness is hitting Londoners hard this year

After what feels like a decade of gloom, balmy sunshine has finally hit London. With a vengeance. We’ve yanked out our bucket hats, the Pimm’s jugs are on standby and Regent’s Park has transformed into a sea of T-shirt tan lines. But if you’re not feeling that summer buzz just yet, you’re far from alone. In fact there are tons of reasons you might be a bit under the (extremely hot) weather right now. Here, let us explain why this summer might not feel quite as good as you were expecting.  

The air is slowly killing us 

The beauty of British summertime can take your breath away – just take a look at the view from Primrose Hill at sunset – but recently London has taken things to the next level and made breathing a lot harder. This week, the city was given a high pollution alert as local emissions, hot weather and billowing winds created an unholy alliance that has us reaching for our inhalers. And while it affects old and vulnerable people most, air pollution isn’t good news for anyone. If you’re asking us, maybe rearrange those alfresco Aperols for next week. 

Sweat and snot is all we’ve got

No, you’re not imagining it: London’s terrible air quality is hitting hayfever sufferers – hard. And for pollen-sensitive nostrils there’s simply no escape, as pollution from our cars and BBQs have joined forces with the city’s greenspaces to create sneezes that could send rockets into space. Oh, and we’ve officially hit pollen-bomb season. So, if you’re susceptible, you might want to consider building a bunker and hunkering down until August.

Meanwhile, for the 8.3 million people in England on antidepressants, the heat can be a serious schlep. Some medications prescribed to treat mental health issues, like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), lead to poor heat regulation, resulting in symptoms like excessive sweating. Not the hot girl summer most of us had in mind. 

Pints and cones are spenny

We all deserve a little treat when the sun’s out. Sadly, the days of Mr Whippy costing a few pennies are long gone. In London, some ice-cream vendors are charging as much as £4.50 a pop. And our pockets are feeling it.

The harder stuff is also leaving a bitter taste in our mouths. The seven pound pint is alive and kicking, and to add to the rolling list of current British scandals, a humble glass of Pimms is being priced at around £8 a glass. Why can’t we have nice things? 

Bugs, bugs everywhere!

Switching from heavy downpours to blistering heat means one thing: the bugs are coming for us. Critters thrive in muggy conditions and we’re happy they’re living their best lives – but it also means music festivals and beer gardens are fast-becoming bite hot spots. Forget your known-you-since-your-sweep-fringe-phase friend, Deet is your new bestie.  

Sardines in a flatshare

Air conditioning? Don’t make your landlord laugh. London’s rental crisis has most of us living in shoeboxes with Spare Room strangers, fighting over the house’s only fan. To make things worse, loads of Londoners are still working from home – shout out to all the lunchtime nappers out there. But in the heat, it’s hard to see the benefits of being away from the office when your bedroom is basically a pressure cooker. Rent freeze now!

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