On Monday 18th July I received a warning e-mail from St Aquilin Mairie – pre-alerte jaune canicule – which had been initiated by the Prefecture de la Dordogne. The colour indicates the importance of the warning – rouge is the highest..
Proudly I mentioned this to my daughter as we were with baby boy in the pool. It was hot. She swiftly brought me down to earth. ‘You got that because you are old. Old people don’t drink enough when it is hot, water I mean.’ Baby splashed. ‘ Chickens don’t either,’ she continued,’which is why battery chicken farms have such a high mortality in extreme hot weather.’
The following Tuesday the temperature peaked at 38 C.
|wet sheet hanging limply from shutters - dry in 3 hours|
It takes Northern peoples some time to get round to the idea that when it is hot all doors, windows, shutters and any other apertures, should be closed. Some shutters at La Chaise will not shut because of the window boxes. These I close as far as possible and hang an old sheet over the gap. This time I first made the sheet wet.
I even hung a wet sheet over the doors to the conservatory but this year could not reach it with the hose to soak the cane protection on the roof.
Inside one has as few lights on as possible – lights give off heat plus the impression of heat. Everywhere we had fans going, tall fans on stands and table top ones. Although all that they do is to move hot air around, it feels like a breeze and anyone who is perspiring will feel immediately cooler.
I even thought of wetting the terracotta roof tiles of the chicken house. But our chickens are sensible: they hide under bushes.