Cool as a cucumber

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.

Raisie Bay


12 thoughts on “Cool as a cucumber

  • Friday 26 July, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    glad you feel you are adapting to the heat, it does help the kids are on holiday. We have not really eaten a proper meal all week, a lot of sandwiches snacking and cold potatoes have been the norm for us.
    The dog has missed her long walks this week but hubby does not rise early to take her and she wont go with just me willingly.
    I am not a lover of plain knitting, much prefer patterns and colours

    • Friday 26 July, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      I think that is it. Everyone finds their own way to cope with the temperature. We’ve had cold meals mostly during the day too. It’s a shame to miss her walks, but at the same time you have to keep them cool. Totally with you on the patterns and colours. Much more interesting.

  • Friday 26 July, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    I love the heat too, it makes me laugh when people moan about it, its hilarious in the salon as all everyone is doing is moaning about the heat. Love that you have so many cucumbers, I do love a good raita! Toby is constantly trying to find cool places however he also has a cool collar with has been a great help. I love that dress the fabric is so beautiful, I would love a dress in that, I so want to learn to make dresses x

    • Saturday 3 August, 2019 at 8:30 am

      The temperature gives us something to talk about, at least, other than politics. Easier now it’s cooler. I’ve heard of cool collars. Must check it out. It’s setting time aside for sewing. I need to make time to finish my latest dress. So close to finishing it.

  • Friday 26 July, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    I love a cucumber on hot days, so refreshing I can just sit and nibble the whole thing. Our house is rubbish in the’s great at keeping out the cold, but I’ve always complained that we don’t have enough windows. I keep hearing people say, shut your windows and curtains to keep the heat out, but it honestly leaves us cooking, even with fans on. I live in a very built up area and I have to admit, I really don’t like it. I’d love to somewhere more quiet and open. I’d really love a sea view…one day maybe! I’m glad you are managing to keep cool and thanks for linking up to #wotw

    • Saturday 3 August, 2019 at 8:32 am

      I give the children a whole cucumber and they just nibble away at it. Refreshing and good for them. I’d love a sea view. Changes every day.

  • Friday 26 July, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    It has been a scorcher of a week!
    There is a ton of butterflies where I live. We had one actually fly in the back door, do 3 laps of the living room and then out of the front window! hehehe They’re way smarter than flies who spend hours headbutting the windows.
    The cucumbers sound fab! Well done with the growing. x

    • Saturday 3 August, 2019 at 8:34 am

      We have lots of butterflies. Keep on hearing people say that there are less butterflies this year, but I’m not noticing it.

  • Saturday 27 July, 2019 at 12:50 am

    The butterfly count sounds like a lot of fun. Great photo of the butterfly on the flower! It’s been hot around home for me – over 100 degrees with very high humidity. I guess this is the new normal.

    That cucumber mask sounds wonderful. I think I will have to give it a try. I love cucumbers in salads too. I don’t have a vegetable garden any longer, but we live in an area with a lot of farms, so vegetables are very inexpensive in the summertime.

    • Saturday 3 August, 2019 at 8:37 am

      I love the summer abundance. We don’t have growers, around here, on quite the same scale. I miss picking up crates of fresh fruit in the same way. Except strawberries. I do buy crates of strawberries.

  • Thursday 1 August, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    I love your photo of the butterfly – what a beautiful one it is. It has certainly been very hot – over 35’C where we were so we headed for the woods and enjoyed a picnic in the shade. Hero has the right idea with heading for the cool tiled floor and draughts. I’m glad this week has been a cooler one 🙂 #WotW

    • Saturday 3 August, 2019 at 8:49 am

      Picnic in the cool sounds perfect.

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