The great imponderables

Wednesday June 7, 2006

Day by day the temperature rises about 1°C, and I’ve seen forecasters predict it’ll reach 30°C [89°F] by the coming weekend. They measure the temperature in the shade, of course, so it can be a lot higher in the sun. I’ll panic when and if I hear them speak about 35°C; that’s my officially declared total wilt level.

Fortunately, there’s a cooling breeze much of the time here by the sea but even so, sitting in an uninsulated tin box with plain glass windows is not the most comfortable way to live through a heatwave.

Dolly, sensible cat, spends much of her day flat on her back on the bed, feet firmly in the air, and stretched out to her maximum length to make the most of the draught from the fan in the bedroom. She actually seems to enjoy it, and smiles all the way through.

I’m not doing too badly on the smiling through it stakes, either. When I have to go out in it I go at my slowest pace, wear my hat with the widest brim, and think how nice it all is, really. Airconditioning in the car helps enormously of course, and I am so glad I made the extra investment.

Of the three of us, Graham seems to be suffering most. It’s a quiet week at the holiday club, with the return of the schoolkids on their outdoor event holidays, and that’s a blessing. Even so, I’ve seen him wilting during the hot part of the evening as the sun sinks, shining horizontally through the large picture windows that go to justify the Sundowner name for the bar.

“How long do you think this’ll last?” he asked, fanning himself with a laminated menu.

“They’re forecasting thunderstorms on Sunday, so it could break then. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though. There’s a standing high over much of the country and that’s when you have to expect prolonged heatwaves.”

“Oh, what a joy.”

“Know what you mean. However, the season proper starts on the 24th and you always say that’s when it gets cold and wet.”

“I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”

It’s a useful thing, is weather, when you’re committed to writing a daily journal. On a day like this when, even in the middle of a house purchase, absolutely nothing happens, you can always write about the weather. It’s a dangerous subject, though, especially when it comes to writing about extremes. No matter how hot it may seem here, or how cold, it’s always hotter or colder somewhere else. I smile quietly when I’m reminded of this, and reflect on the fact that I’m writing daily observations and reactions, not carrying out a comparative weather study.

I’d hoped to get the list of utility suppliers’ details today so that I am ready to arrange continuation of supply the moment we’ve exchanged and got a firm date for completion. Didn’t turn up, though, so I’ll just have to be patient.

Being patient seems to be the best advice for me just now. It’s not all that hot but it’s far too much so to run around like spit on a griddle.

So, all in all, it’s my time for sitting quietly in the shade, thinking about the great imponderables. Like how it tends to get hot when the sun shines and cool when it doesn’t. And how it’s almost always the case that it’ll be dark come nightfall.



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