Be careful what you wish for…

It seems as if the weather gods have been reading my blog, and have decided to listen to my complaints, after all this time.

After what seemed like years of daily rain, followed by cold winds and miserable, grey days, we suddenly got a summer. And we got it with a vengeance. The last week has seen temperatures steadily climbing here, with a peak yesterday of 33 degrees C. (91.4 F) It was still hot when I woke up this morning, and the heat is building once more.

This was dry heat, unusual in this country, with high levels of U/V light, and the sun literally beating down on the ground. I could only walk with Ollie for just over an hour, before it became too much for both of us. Even with two large fans operating inside the house, there was no escaping the stifling conditions. Little point sitting outside in the garden either, as once the sun had gone in, clouds of biting insects arrived to enjoy the evening air.

But I am being positive, in 2017. It wasn’t raining, and anything is better than that.

I did have time to think though. Unable to relax after dinner in the uncomfortable heat, and sleep hard to come by, with overnight temperatures in excess of 21 C (70 F). In this country, we are geared up for bad weather. Our houses have deep insulation, to retain the heat, and smallish windows, for the same reason. Our own house has wool carpeting in most rooms, and extra loft insulation to get us through the colder months.

If we are going to get summers like this again, (we had one once, in 1976) then we are going to have to re-think the design of our housing, and look to warmer countries in other parts of the world for inspiration. Shutters, thicker walls, cool stone flooring, even air conditioning in some rooms. Whatever you think of the Climate Change debate, we have seen evidence of extremes lately, and as far as these temperatures go, it is at least four years since we have had anything close to this heat.

At my age, it is something I am unlikely to see developed. But if future generations are going to be able to enjoy ever-hotter summers, then they need to sort out how we actually live, and the conditions we live in.
Let me know what you think.

Staying positive, in the hot summer of 2017. (Can’t last, of course…)

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68 thoughts on “Be careful what you wish for…

    1. That’s very true, Abbi. It never seems to be considered to be an issue by those in power. But then they have cars and drivers, and probably air-conditioning too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  1. Today was 122 degrees F where I live. The A/C went out on the car.. of course.

    By the way, Pete… got the results in from my Ancestry.com spit analysis (DNA). It seems I am 62% Brit… 15% Irish… and the rest mostly Scandinavian. No wonder I like fish & chips.
    But I’m glad to be of Brit origin. The first thing my GF asked me was if I am related to McCartney. I told her we probably share Viking ancestors who buddied up to rape and pillage. Ah, the good old days… when men were men and the sheep were afraid.

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    1. My A/C failed in the car two years ago. They wanted £700 to fix it, so I told them I would open the windows instead…Mind you, if it ever got to 122 F over here, I doubt I would go out anyway.
      Ancestry is quite interesting. I would guess that most of us here have some Viking in us somewhere. They controlled over half the country for centuries, after all. Then there were the Saxons, who gave us our ‘Anglo-Saxon’ name. Germans, of course…Always those Germans…Like our Royal Family…
      Best wishes, Pete. 🙂

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  2. Nothing lasts forever. Climate changes have been happening since…forever. It’s hard when you / we are right in the middle. Fans and a hose to keep cool are your best friends.

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    1. I know what you mean, Jennie. In the 17th Century, they used to hold fairs on a frozen River Thames, in London. In the 1950s, I got badly sunburned as a child, in an extremely hot summer. It has been going in cycles forever.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We have a window air conditioner in our bedroom which only has to run while we sleep, so it’s not too expensive. As for noise, it’s quieter than my husband snoring! The dramatic changes in weather are new and hard to get used to.

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  4. 🙂 If not for air conditioning Florida would be a vast tropical wasteland of gators and orange trees!

    Buy an a/c for the bedroom.. I had room a/c even when I lived in Rhode Island. The pleasantwhirring sound will put you to sleep!

    best.

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  5. Growing up in the old days, which many of us remember. The buildings and houses were larger. Today they call that wasted space. In the long ago years, the ceilings were 10+ feet tall. Large windows, fans in the window or the attic to draw the air through. It was at least bearable on the hottest days. Now we construct tiny houses that amount to sitting a box out in the sunshine. Then we try to cool them by stopping all fresh air, keeping the ceilings down on us (where the warmer air is). I remember school being hot on some days, but we were able to handle it, the buildings had high cielings and large hallways for air flow.

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    1. You make a good point, Ron. This house is on one level, and essentially a collection of brick-built boxes. The ceilings are low, and only the side windows open. All geared up to combat the cold, in a country where this heat is a rarity.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  6. We only get a few days a year of unbearably hot weather so most houses don’t have AC. Still those few days a year seem to be increasing here too and so we put a small unit in our bedroom which helps. The rest of our house stays pretty cool because of all the trees nearby I think. And we’re pretty lucky with a maritime climate (if you can handle the rain.) Some places in this country are under excessive heat warnings this week with temps of 110 to 120! All kinds of records being broken this year!

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  7. Great points Pete. Here in California, a decade-long drought was ended with a winter of massive rainstorms – and now in LA, back to summer – every day in the 80’s…agree that future housing has to adapt to the changes in climate – it’s not a political issue, it’s one of survival in the future….

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    1. I envisage a future where houses are built on platforms, to avoid flooding. With A/C centrally built-in, and large windows that have shutters to keep out the direct sun on very hot days. Something like a very modern version of an Alpine chalet!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Very few people in the UK have air conditioning, John. (I don’t know anyone who has it) Outside of some luxury apartment blocks, and multi-millionaire’s houses, it is just not considered essential, as we so rarely get such hot weather. Most of the time, we are trying to stay warm!
      But if this continues, I can see us changing our attitude about A/C.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  8. I was having this conversation with somebody yesterday. I’m in Barcelona at the moment and it’s terrible here, but at least according to Google it hasn’t been that hot where I live. I’ll be back there soon… Yes, houses there are not set up for the hot weather, although I don’t have carpets, other than on the stairs. Let’s hope for a milder weather… Thanks, Pete.

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    1. I saw temperatures of 45 degrees in Spain on the weather news. That’s really too much for me, even with shutters! I think it’s about 26 in Yorkshire today, and cooler by the weekend, so it will seem nice and fresh for you when you come back.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. That might have been the unusually high U/V levels, FR. Apparently, they have been at near-record figures. I once passed out in Egypt, in similar conditions. The only time I have ever done so, and I felt really embarrassed!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  9. Careful we use to say that about here…we all waited for winter a cool even cold temps….in the last decade we have had about 30 days of below ) 0c…..Rightly so be careful what you wish for…LOL chuq

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  10. When we decided to move to FL I pushed the question of ‘what about the heat’ right out of my mind. We made the move for economic reasons, plus my son was living here, so it was a no brainer. What I have found is that you really do adjust to the heat a bit. Maybe a lot. I’m blessed with shade in the back yard. I can let the dogs out on the hottest day and the shade and the breeze feels great. As long as I just stand there and enjoy it. Pull a weed and you’ll be soaking wet, LOL. Small price to pay for the glorious winter weather. Thank goodness for AC…

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    1. I’m sure that you do get used to it. When I visited Singapore and Malaysia, it was a constant 33 C, with very high humidity. After a few days, it became ‘normal’. The trouble here is that we get this so rarely, we never get time to get used to it before it changes again! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  11. Crikey Pete, that’s hot, rather you than me. Still 22 degrees here but forecast to be cooler from tomorrow. I heartily recommend buying a portable air con unit. I lived near the English south coast for a while and wouldn’t have survived without it. If I still had it, it would be on now 😄! 65F is warm enough for me, enough to go without a coat outside, any more than that and I don’t enjoy it. Scandinavia looks very attractive to me 😄.

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    1. I am certainly considering that portable A/C, at least for the bedroom. The lack of sleep wears you down after a couple of nights.
      Trouble with Scandinavia is the six months of almost total darkness. I would probably get S.A.D. if I lived there! 🙂 x

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