They used to say that if you wanted to meet the locals, don’t go to Rome in August. Certainly used to be true. Everyone, who could, would head for the cooler climes of the countryside and hills. Those that stayed, adapted to a different way of living, until the heat dropped. A different pace. I don’t remember seeing a single air conditioner. I use the same cooling techniques, I saw then, even now. I love the hot weather, to be honest.
This week has been hot in the UK. Soaring temperatures, especially in London and the South East of the country. I’ve done hot summers in the Capital. They have my sympathy. Over in the South West, we’ve fared better. The temperature has been bearable. I think our highest was just over 33, but I wasn’t checking. Numbers are not important. It is how it feels to you. Living and working in the countryside has its advantages. The ability to adapt and carry on.
Life does go on. Dog walks still have to happen, whatever the weather. We just go earlier. Had a beautiful, butterfly walk with all the family, over the weekend, in a local wood. Plenty of Commas, Gatekeepers and Silver Washed Fritillary butterflies. We took part in the Butterfly count while we were there, taking 15 minutes to count all the butterflies we could see.
We’ve been eating outside and later, which has helped with the heat. Now the children are home from school, and not rushing off to activities, I’m enjoying trying a few new recipes. No worries about overheating as our summer kitchen is almost like cooking outside. Problem is that I get distracted and end up weeding. Timers have gone off unheard.
Our neighbours must be blessing us. By the evening, it’s cool enough to be outside and more energetic. Current favourite is badminton. While I water the garden, the rest of the family battle it out on the back lawn.
My dedicated and targeted watering is working. The greenhouse is over flowing with cucumbers. Luckily I grow half sized ones, although I’m beginning to suspect that this means each plant grows twice as many to make up for it. Cucumber recipes galore. Including beauty remedies. We’ve made a cooling cucumber and rosewater eye mask, this week. I’ve used some of the mixture as a cooling forehead mask, during the day, and it’s done the job. I love how nature naturally supplies the right food, at the right time. Cucumber is naturally cooling and hydrating, and it grows now.
A lovely week of summer dresses and cooling treats too. We’ve made more homemade ice lollies than ever before. There is always a watermelon on the go in the fridge too.
The agapanthus is slowing opening. In the evenings, I treat myself to a few rows of knitting in my quiet hideaway in the garden, where I can see the flowers gradually open a bit more each evening.
First photo shows my progress. I’m knitting the back of my cardigan. It is a little bit tedious, to say the least, as it’s plain knitting (stocking stitch). If the agapanthus and my knitting were in a race, the flower would be winning, and that is saying something. Incidentally, I’m wearing a me-made dress in that photo too, which I made a couple of years ago. Lovely and cool to wear.
Hero has wisely being playing it cool. All our downstairs is tiled and he makes the most of the coolness. Positioning himself so the drafts from the open windows keep him cool. It’s an old cottage with small windows and walls thick enough to build a cathedral, so the temperature stays pretty much the same all year round. Makes it easier for me to work during the heat of the day. He still loves to be close, so no quick chair movements, as he tends to be near the wheels of my office chair.
Joining in with Anne’s Word of the Week linky. Hope everyone has stayed cool this week. My word? Cool.