Yes, it has been hot recently , with temperatures in London moving above 30 degrees celsius for the first time this year.
People here generally take this in their stride and many positively welcome the heat, which makes a change in a country where the norm is often cool rainy days.
We use various words in English to describe hot weather, one of which is ‘heatwave’, which seems particularly evocative.
In French one can speak of ‘la canicule’. This particular term has different connotations especially since 2003 and this year with temperatures rising above 40 degrees in large parts of the country.
‘La canicule’ evokes heat that is so intense as to be actually dangerous, particularly for more vulnerable people. The French authorities both national and local have put in place a great network of help for older people in particular to keep them safe from the effects of the current high temperatures.
A strange word, it comes from the latin ‘canicula’ little dog (female), a nickname given to the star Sirius, which rises at the same time as the Sun between the 24 July and 24th August and whose influence was thought in Antiquity to be behind the frequent hot spells, not to say heatwaves, often experienced around this time.
In English it can be translated by the expression ‘dog days’ corresponding to the summer rising and setting of Sirius.