Britons as a species have a tendency to be somewhat melodramatic about weather. An inch of snow has everyone buying tons of tinned goods before hunkering together for warmth. Anything greater than a stiff breeze and suddenly the ‘wrong sort’ of leaves are blown onto the railway lines. But this time it is actually pretty warm. As warm as most people have ever experienced. Warm enough to set all-time records. Warm, just to clarify, by the standards of places that are actually warm. The weather stations are bleating about temperatures topping 38 degrees (100 Fahrenheit). Cambridge is melting, and Fyse is certainly a little on the hot side.

West of the Cavendish Laboratory and beyond the Vet School is a cluster of smaller buildings, lost in a tangle of tarmac and each constructed in gleaming steel and glass. Amongst these lies a slightly less prepossessing structure, and in an office on the ground floor sits Fyse, nose pressed against a desk fan. Desiccated eyeballs and a facial grill-print are a small price to pay. The seconds tick by and his computer program remains resolutely useless. Using the metaphor of international relations, Russia has important information for China but the two are unable to communicate. Enter Fyse, who knows of a French chap that speaks both languages and is more than willing to help if asked. Fyse doesn’t speak French terribly well, but he’s learning. He writes a quick test program. “What is 4 + 5?” asks the Chinese delegation. The Russians mutter amongst themselves and the Frenchman returns with a reply. “4 + 5 = -22,234.” Fyse decides it’s time to head for home.

They say that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, and this is clearly because everyone else waits till Fyse is trying to cycle through town. Market square is swarming with foreign tour groups, jammed shoulder to shoulder, rucksack to bumbag, camera to ludicrously huge map. After a brief Argos visit Fyse proudly carries his very own fan, and has battled the tourist tide toward Sainsbury’s supermarket. Wandering the isles at a leisurely pace, he takes his time perusing products, unwilling to hasten departure from this air-conditioned piece of paradise. Round the bakery and toward the checkout the cries of over-excited American teenagers ring the air, each of them clutching alcohol in one hand and their passport in the other. Fyse stares vacantly at a shelf of dried fruit, positive that he’s forgotten something vital. “Bing-bong. This is a staff announcement. Would Pope John-Paul please report to frozen goods.” Perhaps the heat has got to him slightly.

Back at home Fyse sweats in the oven that is his room, so hot that his computer wont run. An extension perched atop a block of flats, it is a metal box with south-west facing windows, roasted throughout the day and late into the evening. Fyse leans from his bedroom window with sellotape in one hand, a roll of extra-strong tin foil in the other. Panes of glass become shimmering sheets, casting nacreous reflections from the heavy sun. He retreats into his heat-shielded cocoon, collapsing onto bed and into the blast of his new fan. He sighs. Summer sucks. Roll on winter.