Friday, 6 July 2012

Things You Do When It's Very Hot

  1. Have a cold shower
  2. Wonder why, even when you're boiling, some instinct makes getting straight into a cold shower not an entirely pleasant prospect.
  3. Have another cold shower
  4. Decide that perhaps that instinct isn't really all that strong and have a third cold shower
  5. Look up temperatures since 1973 on the Internet to try to work out whether this is global warming.
  6. Feel amazed by how difficult it is to see any pattern in temperatures
  7. Feel envious of those who lived through the summer of 2009 when the temperature never rose above 25
  8. Feel surprised that husband, who over a 30-year marriage has never provided a trace of evidence that he was aware of anything emanating from California in the early seventies, knows the Joni Mitchell song that contains the phrase 'the wind is in from Africa'
  9. Have another cold shower
  10. Put wet washing over fan in hope the air will blow through it, becoming cold via the wetness of the clothing
  11. Discover that that doesn't work
  12. Think the Joni Mitchell song that contains the phrase 'the wind is in from Africa' is a pretty song, but prettier in the original version than the one currently on offer in your apartment
  13. Put wet washing over your head and then sit facing fan - find that that does work as a cooling method but makes reading very hard.
  14. Run a cold bath and in attempting to get into it realise that maybe instinct is stronger than you think after all.
  15. Empty bath and have another cold shower.
  16. Look up long term weather forecast
  17. Begin to wonder if perhaps the Joni Mitchell song that contains the phrase 'the wind is in from Africa' is not actually pretty after all
  18. Try to decide whether the pleasure of being at the pool is worth the effort of going through the hot streets to get to the pool.
  19. Decide it probably isn't, especially as everyone else in the city is almost certainly there already.
  20. Look up trains to Iceland
  21. Look up weather in Iceland.
  22. Start to regret the fact that Joni Mitchell ever wrote the song that contains the phrase 'the wind is in from Africa'
  23. Look up hotels in Iceland. Realise you don't have enough money or time to go there.
  24. Have another cold shower.
  25. Decide that being hot is quite nice really, provided you have access to a cold shower.
  26. Realise that you will scream if you ever hear that Joni Mitchell song that contains the phrase 'the wind is in from Africa' again, especially if sung by your husband.
  27. Scream
  28. Have another cold shower
  29. Decide to write a blog post so that other people will at least feel sorry for you


  1. Trains to Iceland?
    I think I heard your husband singing that Joni Mitchell the other day and I thought he sang it rather well.

    1. You analogue people, none of you really care about sound quality

    2. On the train question, I am ropy on geog at the best of times and was thinking of the boat train I took to Copenhagen once. Good things, boat trains.

  2. Move to England: nowhere colder, wetter or greyer this year.

    1. Interestingly, if you look at my grandfather's diary at, you will see that the summer of 1917 in Western Europe followed a similarly wet and miserable pattern.

  3. I'm taking option 30. Read two Alice Thomas Ellis novels picked up from the library on ZMKC's recommendation and be happy!

    1. Damn, I've read them already. I shall have to make do with Miklos Banffy's wonderfully romantic trilogy of novels.

  4. Run (being careful to choose a shady route) for a time between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. Shower and realize that nothing else in the course of the day will make you feel as hot.

    (Yes, we have a/c, but this worked back in the days when I didn't.)

    1. My husband's taken your advice. I tried running a couple of months ago, but fell over and ripped open my knee, just as I used to in childhood. You feel even sillier when you're an adult and you fall over though.

    2. I should remark that an hour or so after reading your reply, I went for a run, and within half a mile tripped and went sprawling. This was probably less the power of suggestion than residual tightness in my left leg, for a bit farther along I stumbled without falling.

      I don't know that I feel sillier. Sorer, perhaps, since I hit with a couple times the mass of my childhood self.

    3. I think I have probably achieved considerably more than a couple of times the mass of my 9-year-old self, and, now you point it out, I see that of course that is what makes the biggest difference.

  5. (And anyway, wasn't the wind "out of" rather than "in from" Africa? Or am I mistaking Joanie Mitchell for Isak Dinesen?)

    1. You're muddling me with logic now.

  6. The wind is in from Africa
    Last night I couldn't sleep
    Oh, you know it sure is hard to leave here Carey
    But it's really not my home
    My fingernails are filthy, I got beach tar on my feet
    And I miss my clean white linen and my fancy French cologne etc

  7. I laughed 'til I cried. I downloaded the Joni Mitchell song. You crack me up, Z!

    1. Did you know that in 1947 in Budapest they had temperatures over 30 C that began in May and ran right up until late September? The further back you go with these temperature statistic things, the less sense it is possible to make of any of them. What I love about hot weather is the opportunity to be indolent. My husband fights it all the way. I welcome an excuse to do almost nothing except read.

    2. Never fight the urge -- or an excuse -- to read, I say. Is it ever too hot to write one's blog? I considered that seriously yesterday...