Ooh the heat the heat

I love that phrase – my Irish mother-in-law always used to say it. Ireland is so rainy but after a few days of sun she would be bothered by the heat and say ‘ooh the heat the heat’. I adore her – probably because she is very like me!

Anyway, back to the heat.

I come from a part of South Africa where it gets pretty hot. High temperatures in summer are regularly about 42°C/107.6°F and the place pictured below which is about 5km out of town has temperatures in the sun which are over 50°C/122°F at midday during the height of summer.


Yes it is hot. But the heat is dry. And near the coast it is much cooler. Also, houses are built with thick walls and high ceilings to keep the heat out. Plus there are often wide verandahs which are cool. In addition, it cools down a lot once then sun sets, which it does at about 6pm.

But this summer in Sweden has been the most hot and uncomfortable I have ever been in my life, despite being metres away from the second biggest lake in Sweden. The heat has been relentless – over 31°C/87°F for weeks on end. That may not appear high but the sun is up almost constantly for months which means that it never cools down. There is no darkness to allow things to cool down a little. The houses/buses/shops/trains are built to keep heat in. And it is humid.

I have been unable to sleep or to concentrate, my cats have spent summer under the bath and my output rate for translations has dropped by half.

A surprising friend to me this summer has been a good old fashion hand fan, for want of a better word. Amazing that something from the 4th Century BC has remained unchanged and still works perfectly today!

This one came from a wonderful friend in Japan and is a common-or-garden easily found one. It has a little pouch and clasp to keep it together in your bag. I cannot tell you how many people (of all ages) have asked me where I bought it!

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Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

6 thoughts

  1. That’s a really nice fan, Janet! We use fans a lot here in France and it is very common. Almost all students at school had one in June as it got suddenly very hot. People in the underground or in buses use one or simply when they walk in the street. Shops sell really cute ones.
    It doesn’t seem to be common in Sweden though. Maybe our proximity to Spain (where fans are highly praised) has made that object part of our habits for many centuries.
    I hope the heat won’t persist too long in Sweden. It is cooling down a lot in France. But usually we get an other heat wave in September. So hopefully it won’t last too long!

  2. I love your fan, have not seen one like this is years. I understand what you mean by hot heat vs humid heat. There is a huge difference. I have been in Arizona when it was 110* and barely noticed because of how my body has acclimated to Missouri temps, long stretches that have been over 100* F/43*C with humidity over 90%. I’m so sorry you are suffering. I’ve heard that decades ago people used to soak sheets in cold water and hang them in front of fans just so they could sleep.

  3. It’s been hot and sticky here in England for about 3 weeks now, maybe a little more. Today we’ve got the storms as ex-hurricane Bertha hits and it’s a lot cooler. The main storm hasn’t quite reached us yet but I hear the wind picking up now…

  4. I feel your pain. Here in the Costa Blanca it is about 36+degC now and for the next few days. My Aircon not working so surrounded by fans and trying not to move too much. Would love some rain too. Roll on October.

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