Wednesday, June 14, 2006

how to survive in high temps with no air conditioning

The weather has been brutal this week. Temps have soared into the high 80's and you can really feel it when you live in a house without air conditioning. In the shade, it's really not so bad but our place faces west, so all that lovely direct sunlight that I loved in Winter is now kicking my ass. And remember those two skylights I raved about six months ago? Yeah, hello, I'm an ant under a magnifying glass, ZAP!

The other thing that we've done to screw ourselves over is put both our computers in the "office," or the smallest room in the house. Yeah, two computers, small room, no a/c. Are we rocket scientists or what?

In order to make it as comfortable as possible, I've had to change my routine around a bit. It looks a little something like this:

Please click "Tell me more!" to continue...

MORNING. Go downstairs, open shutters. After obligatory cup of coffee (yes, it's actually cool enough in the morning for coffee!), do whatever you need to do FOR THE DAY. House cleaning, laundry, cooking, do it now! Believe me, you're not going to want to move in the afternoon...

We are very lucky to have a clothes dryer (many people don't) but that thing generates enough heat to bake bread, so one load a day first thing in the morning (which still isn't finished before noon) is all I can take.

Generally speaking, lunch is considered the big meal of the day, but thankfully it is just tolerable enough to cook a decent meal around noon. Later on, it's a different story!

AFTERNOON. Finish up anything on the computer. Go ahead and finish catching up on blogs, play your games, write emails, because right around 2:00 it's going to be too hot to sit in the office. Turn off computer *weep*. This works fine while Steph is working in the afternoons, but when he's home (today, for example) I don't think he's going to be able to tear himself away for that long. We shall see....

Upstairs, close the shutters and the windows, and close the doors. This is my sad attempt to keep direct sunlight from the windows and from the skylight in the hall out of the rooms. I'm not sure it's making a difference.

Go downstairs, where the temperature seems to be staying below 75 degrees. Close the shutters and sit on the couch. Drink a cold drink, read a book, be crafty, but move as little as possible.

EVENING. This forcing ourselves away from our computers has not been easy. Steph and I are content to sit side by side typing away and hardly say a word to each other for hours, happy just to be in each others company. Luckily, we have the World Cup to distract us. There are matches at 6:00 and 9:00, and even Steph takes a break from the heat and watches a match.

Dinner has recently consisted of anything I can think of that I don't have to cook. I made a huge batch of chicken salad the other day, and we've been enjoying sandwiches. I had planned to make a tuna rice salad today but the store was out of cucumber (side note: how can you be freaking out of cucumber??) so I may try to pass off some tuna fish sandwiches instead.

After dinner, we just can't help ourselves and end up in front of the computers again. An ice cream for dessert is a nice little distraction but hardly keeps the heat away for long. I must be insane but by midnight I was sitting here sweating, unable to move because of my internet addiction.

Once the sun goes down (around 10:00 or so), it's safe to open up the windows and let some the cooler air filter in. Unfortunately, this also brings in the entire cast of A Bug's Life. I do believe that the next time I visit a grocery store I'll be spending some time in the Bug Massacre section.

When I'm finally able to pull myself away from the computer for the day, my next stop is the shower, where I take as cold a shower as I can stand. Then it's off to bed; together with Steph if he's not generating enough heat to melt an igloo, or in the spare bed if he his.

So that how to deal with a heat wave in France. I say "heat wave" because these temps are a bit warmer than what we are used to here, and still not nearly as bad as the famous heat wave of 2003 (which I remember well as I was here on a two week vacation) when the temps rose to over 100. We are supposed to see some thunderstorms this evening and for the next few days, which will hopefully drag the temps down to their normal range of the low 70s by the end of the week, because honestly, if this keeps up for a while you might have to come looking for me in the cellar.

No comments: