Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Monday, July 17, 2006

Heat Wave

Live updates throghout the day from a Scotsman struggling to cope with the heat wave currently sweeping the country.

7am - Woke up in a pool of sweat. The house is like a bubble of heat and going outside for morning coffee was refreshing, but the endless blue skies above indicate the MET is correct in its heat-wave prediction. Filled the animals water bottles to full before I left, just to be safe.

8.30am - Journey to work most uncomfortable. The occasional draft in the bus window was pleasant on my forehead, but the concentration of the sun through the perspex windows meant the sweat on my head was boiling onto my skin by the time I got to the top of Leith Walk. Now I know how those ants felt in 1981 when I used a hand-held magnifier to burn their asses off in my back garden.

9.30am - 69 deg's outside. The office is like a sauna. Even with the patio doors open there is no breeze and you can actually smell the armpit odours wafting around already. It's like someone is frying onions on the other side of the room.

10am - 72 deg's and all I want to do is pour cold water on my head. It's too humid to concentrate so I just went to the toilet and ran cold water through half a dozen paper towels then placed them on my face. My shirt got soaked but it felt great, and anyway, it had all dried in by the time I left the loo so nobody noticed.

1pm - 78 deg's. I want to strip off and lie down in a bath of ice cubes. I may joke about this, but heat like this while stuck in a smelly dark office is no fun at all. Especially when your wife rings to say she is off to the beach for the day. At least I'm not getting my feet wet in the sea or getting sand up my bum. That would be no fun would it? Right?

2.30pm - 81 deg's. Downed a pint of milk and ate a chicken wrap for lunch. The milk would have done since I have no appetite for anything else. I just want to sleep. The office is so quiet I think most people are struggling to stay awake as well. I'm too lethargic to be bothered turning round to see if anyone is still alive. Roger is - he keeps getting coffee from the machine, which is probably all that's keeping me awake.

3pm - I have a constant layer of sticky sweat on my head and neck. Occasionally I feel it run down my back or down my chest. Sometimes it tickles, like when one drop of sweat hung on my nipple for too long before finally dripping off. I think I laughed out loud and woke a few people up. I might be getting delirious. A pink elephant just floated past the window.

4pm - Still 81 deg's. Wish I could go home. Most people have started drifting away from the office but I have some work to do before I can leave. Been imagining a day on the beach. Sounds great. Dips in the sea. Ice-cream. Sand castles. What have I got? Headed notepaper, telephones, keyboards rattling, the sound of the coffee machine whirring away and no useable air-conditioning. This entire equation can be summed up in one small word. PISH.

4.45pm - Delighted to be leaving the office. I'm glad I never brought a jacket with me, but it means I've had to pack everything into my trouser pockets. I look like I have got pilot slacks on from an old Harold Lloyd movie. In 45 minutes I will be home and getting into my shorts. I hope the rabbits are alright.

5.30pm - Arrived home in a sopping wet shirt and salt stinging my eyes. The bus was early, which was most welcome. I changed into my shorts and vest top and lay out on a shaded area of the lawn next to the Rabbit run. The coolness of the grass, the flatness of the earth, the sight of the sheer blue sky above with occasional wispy cloud floating past. I was soon asleep. Gail crept up on me and I have no idea how long she was looking down at me, lying on the grass, snoozing happily. She spoke. The bottom fell out my arse. Expletives. I am in trouble again.

7pm - 71 deg's. I have sat outside watching the rabbits hump each other's brains out for the last hour or so. I got the hose and tried to calm them down. No luck. They just licked each other dry instead. The sun is falling behind the neighbouring housing bit it is still very warm. It's more pleasant now though and a slight breeze has picked up. I've been drinking sweet tea and it was superb.

9pm - Tried to do some writing but couldn't get my head round it at all. I finished the edits to Stella and although there is still a couple of minor annoyances that I may change in the coming days, it is complete as far as this round goes. Tomorrow I'll send the partials out for this and Hunting Jack.

10.30pm - PC playing up. It crashed and now will not load again quoting something about the API resource. The heat only served to make me more angrier and frustrated about this that I would normally have been. I wanted to hit it, but I refrained. The water temperature in my aquarium is 80 degrees. The fish are frying!

11:45pm - 66 deg's but in the house it still feels like the high 70's. I'm going to bed. I'm taking my flippers and snorkel with me. Tomorrow we are told it is to be slightly cooler before the heat wave peaks on Wednesday. The midweek temperatures have been forecast at almost 90 deg's in Edinburgh and over 100 in London.This is not good. I may be dead before the week is out.

Colin 10:26 am


I'm praying we get back down into the 80s by tonight. We hit 101 yesterday and were told to expect 105 today.

I'm terrified the power will go out while I'm on the train and I'll be stuck in a dark tunnel with no ventilation for hours.
An ice bath, not a bad idea, but have you heard of the Comfort Hat? My husband does landscaping and uses it to stay cool. It's basically a baseball cap with inserts that hold ice cold gel packs (you store the gel packs in the freezer or a cooler). The hat holds six of the gel packs and keeps you really cool (at least your head, anyway). I make my son wear one when he is outside during the heat of the day, which lately is anywhere between 8 am and 6 pm around here. The site is I think it's a great idea

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