Saturday, 30 June 2018

A heatwave is no holiday

The list of jobs to do before we cross the Irish sea to the wide, white beaches of Eire seems endless. I had, perhaps unwisely, put a mini spring clean on my to-do list - now my back is stronger. Things I couldn’t do when unable to bend or crouch, like cleaning our under-counter kitchen cupboards, have had to wait.
But I hadn’t reckoned on our sun trap of a breakfast room becoming soooo hot in the week before our dash to the glittering emeralds of Ireland. Cleaning in that room is as hot as standing in front of a 200C oven - with the door open.

I still haven’t managed the corrosive activity of cleaning the innards of the oven itself. That will - ahem - have to go on the back burner. And, in 85 F (29C), running down the road to catch up with our awol window cleaner resulted in my coming out in a torrent of sweat but still left me with windows which remain dusty and sand-blasted. Mr Squeaky-Clean has so many corporate cleaning jobs domestic ones aren’t his priority ... this week ...

But, in this who-knew-heat-wave, watering has reached new depths. The depths being the bottom of the water butt. Never have I seen it so empty so quickly. Do we start taking water from the pond? The frogs won’t like that and evaporation alone has caused its water levels to drop by 3 inches (7.6 cm).

I have packed an extra moisture-absorbent mulch around my rows of spinach and am shading them with a patio parasol while we are away. The umbrella is positioned so low over the spinach it’s hard to get a watering can under it... You win some ...

This week we have watered our front and back gardens twice a day but last night I needed watering myself. I must have become dehydrated. I was tired, hot, dizzy and had to go to bed early. I didn’t manage 7000 or 8000 steps and I had to give in. Getting up at 6 a.m. to catch persistent drips from a leaking boiler wotsit thingummy  (apparently a common design fault), hoovering and moving furniture to reach the leak, in scorching sunlight and top temperatures, waiting in for the engineer and drying out a water-damaged Turkish carpet may have had an effect on my energy levels. It’s just possible.

It’s certainly been a week of water. This afternoon I foolishly dropped my ‘Swiss made’ non- plastic water bottle on the bed - I was feeling pleased I’m not using single use plastic ones any more.
To my horror I didn’t put the lid on properly. The contents of the bottle now reside in the duvet cover, the duvet, the bedspread, the bottom sheets and right through to my £1100 mattress. 
It must be time for a holiday ...

Earlier today temperatures struggled to a mere 59F (15C). The lawn is like straw but the wilting plants have revived. After weeks of dry weather peering into the water butt is like looking at the bottom of a deep well. If I drop a coin in, and make a wish, would I hear it splash as it reached the dark waters below? How daft is it to carry full watering cans to refill the water butt given we will be on our holidays in a few days’ time?

Washing and ironing seem to be the next ‘must do’ tasks. We are running out of truly thin cotton trousers and dresses. The washing machine, an expensive one - it needs to be, is working very hard. On top of our cotton apparel it has taken cushion covers, bedspreads, rugs and other heavy-duty items during our extended heat wave. They dry so fast under a searing sky it’s a pity not to take the opportunity for a radical spring clean.

Except my legs are white. I haven’t sunbathed or sat on our patio in days. It’s simply too hot. Or am I just becoming a work horse? Driven to achieve absolute cleanliness like a perfectionist? More a domestic scrubber than goddess. Working myself into a frenzy yesterday was behaviour that was driven. And rather unlike me. Is this the nesting instinct run amok by climate change? 

But I’m not a bird - well not of the feathery species. And I can’t be pregnant, that’s for sure.  

The animal kingdom also changes its behaviour in these teeming temperatures. Our cat, truly heat-affected, ran up to the television last night and pawed the screen. The crows on the nature programme were safe. He couldn’t reach them beyond the glass.

This morning he pulled the bedroom light cord and switched it on. At 5 a.m! And he must have spotted yesterday’s Sainsbury delivery van. Today he won’t eat Whiskas (other cat food is available) and is staring us out until we open his cupboard to reveal expensive kitty treats. We are knackered. 

Perhaps, today, I should just chill...Ought I to get into the holiday spirit, cover myself with factor 30, lie on the sun lounger and leave the stains on the dining room chairs until we come back home? Bugger the beans. Take remedial action on our return ...

Or simply leave it all...
Let it be...

Take a break...

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