I must redefine bad weather. I must. After a summer holiday in France, I finally know what bad weather really is.
It is days of 35 degrees Celcius in the shade. A merciless sun, high in a cloudless blue sky. 7 days in a row and temperatures of 25 degrees at night. That is very bad weather!
The morning hours are still OK, temperatures are at a manageable 23 degrees at 7 o’clock but rapidly increasing as the morning progresses. But after 12.00, I can hardly move without sweating profusely. The heat saps away all my energy and creativity, I can’t breathe, I get headaches and don’t want to do anything but lie in a cool lavoir or a cave. The days are awfully long because the sun is out in the early morning and the heat lingers on until late in the evening. So, sleeping in 30 degrees is damn near impossible. I think it is called heat stress. That is what I feel, I’m stressed out. A holiday is meant to bring relaxation, not exhaustion!
With all this hot weather there is a second downside. All God’s creations of the flying and stinging kind are very active and rapidly multiplying. And God created some awfully big flying insects to fly around in France! They have this lower buzzing sound, the smaller they are the higher the buzz. Killing one flying/stingy insect with Alexander’s greek slipper only encourages the others to annoy me in larger numbers. The most horrible of all is the wasp. It comes out whenever there is food around. Yesterday we were surrounded by 20 of those horrible beasties when trying to eat. We had to put all the insect-netting up in our car and eat inside, otherwise, we would not stand a chance of eating anything. I’ve been stung three times now and getting frantic when surrounded by too many wasps.
On the upside, the heat robs me of all my appetite. I just might lose a few pounds. But I can’t tell because my body is retaining a lot of water. Although I don’t feel like eating, the lack of food leaves me feeling weak and hangy all day.
I don’t know why people want to go to hot countries for their holiday. Why does anybody in their right mind want to pay money to go to a country with this kind of heat and be unable to do anything? That is not a holiday, that’s corporal punishment by heat!
Perhaps it’s exactly that, the total impossibility to move a mussel and just lie in a pool or on a towel near a pool.
As I check the app ‘Windfinder’ to check out how long this damned heat will go on, I spot the temperature in Scottish Wick. It’s a lovely cool and sunny 14 degrees there. Next year we will go to glorious cool Scotland again. I think it is fair to say that I’m a climate refugee for 5 weeks in the year. While Europe suffers a heatwave of 35 to 42 degrees Celcius and hitting all kinds of new records, I am enjoying a temperature range of 12 to 23 degrees. The sun is out and there is a pleasant breeze over the water. It is just very relaxing to cook breakfast in a leisurely way and eat it while staring over the sea. Putting the wetsuits in the sun to dry. Pack the boats slowly. Slip into the water without a big surf on the beach. Paddle on the sea wearing no jacket, look around on the sea, watch some sailing boats. Do a bit of fishing. Having lunch on a nice sandy beach. Paddle a bit more. Finding the beach, pitching the tent. Cook dinner. Look out for midges when the sun gets down. That is true heaven to me, being able to breathe freely, move without being sweaty all the time, and to sleep in a cool tent, that is for me a holiday.
When the weather turns cooler I can put on an extra layer of clothes. When it gets wet, I can put on my raingear. But when it gets hot, I can only dress down to my bare skin and still be too hot.
I think I’m a Nordic girl. I can safely promise I will never ever go to France or any country south of the Netherlands again in summer.