Warm spell on the way! If all this TOWIE talk about a pool party is getting you in the mood for a pool or garden party of your own, you’re in luck!

And the outlook is …

… for a warm spell, coming from southern Europe! From Monday 14th August it looks as though hot winds will be coming up from the South.

30C (yes!) could be possible for a short spell. It will be warm and quite muggy. This is likely to spark some thunderstorms, coming in from the south-west.

And then it gets fresher again, so move fast to enjoy it!

Make the most of the warm spell for a BBQ party

Is your garden BBQ-ready? Here’s our checklist.

  • Flowers, plant pots – keep on watering and deadheading!
  • Table and chairs? The rattan dining sets do look good.
  • Garden lights? It’s so nice to stay in the garden after dark when it’s really warm.
  • Lazy Susan? That’s the revolving stand which helps pass food and condiments round the dining table. It makes all the difference to relaxed eating.
  • Fences looking OK? Give them a quick once over with some paint. (Good advice and I should take it.)
  • BBQ? Obvious, I know, but worth checking you’ve got all the supplies. Read our post about the choice between charcoal and gas BBQs.
Barbecue. Warm spell

Barbecue © Hedwig Storch and licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.

Protect your skin

Australians know a thing or two about barbies. And they also know about looking after their skin in the heat. No-one wants sunburn, a photosensitive rash or prickly heat. Over-doing sun exposure can lead to a range of skin problems, the most serious of which include skin cancer.

Sid the Seagull wears board shorts, t-shirt and hat to sing the sun protection jingle. In brief: slip, slop, slap, seek, slide. You need all of them together to be protected properly. I'll explain.

Slip on a shirt

Wearing clothes is our first line of defence from harmful ultraviolet rays. Clothing can absorb or block much of this radiation. So, the more skin you cover, the better ...

Slop on some sun cream

Two types of ultraviolet light from the sun penetrate the earth's atmosphere and hits our skin: UVA and UVB. We need protection from both and we're helped by the two labels on UK sun creams: the sun protection factor number (that's protecting you from UVB light) and the UVA stars (that's, unsurprisingly, protecting you from UVA light).

Skin doctors say a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and a UVA rating of 4 or 5 stars, in addition to shade and clothing, is a good standard of sun protection. Apply it generously and don't miss bits like the back and sides of your neck, your temples and your ears.

Slap on a hat

Obviously style is important and you don't want to look a complete idiot (I think I'm right in saying that) so choose a cool-looking one. Hats with large brims protect the largest areas of skin; bucket hats have smaller brims for more active wear but less protection. Mesh or other breathable material will make sure the hat cools you down rather than warms you up. It's got to be comfortable, of course, or you won't wear it. Will it work for what you'll be doing? Does it fit properly?

Beach hats at Viking Bay, Broadstairs, Kent. Warm spell.

Beach hats at Viking Bay, Broadstairs, Kent. © Acabashi and licensed for re-use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Seek shade

There's shade and there's shade, and the deeper the better. That's because, even if you're sitting under a parasol or a tree, ultraviolet (UV) light will bounce back from reflective surfaces like dry sand and concrete. In parasols, the larger the better. In trees, the more leaves the better. Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm.

Slide on sunglasses

You choose the tint and lightness/darkness to suit you and your image but choose shades with a CE mark (they are made to an agreed European standard) or the British standard BS EN ISO 12312-1.

Keep hydrated

As we mentioned a while ago, plants are 90% water. And humans are 60% water. It's essential. We use it for most bodily functions including regulating body temperature, lubricating joints and carrying oxygen to the cells. It's easy to see how you can feel tired, dizzy and moody if you’re dehydrated.

In a warm spell it can be surprisingly easy to become dehydrated.

Dehydration test: gently pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold it for a few seconds. If the skin takes a while to return to its normal position when you let go, you may be dehydrated.

Prevention: sip water or diluted fruit juice whenever you feel thirsty. Eat fruit and vegetables, especially watermelon and strawberries, cucumber, lettuce and celery. And if you drink alcohol, alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic ones.

Enjoy!

We all know the British summer can be a fleeting affair. If the sun is out where you are next week, and it turns into a warm spell, enjoy it and have a great time!

Cat on a hot tin bunker. Warm spell

Cat on a hot tin bunker. © Karl and Ali and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence