Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taking the Heat

They say it is going up into the 80s today and, possibly, up to 90 tomorrow (we’re talking degrees Fahrenheit here;90 Celsius would surely introduce us to new levels of “uncomfortable” unless, of course, it was a dry heat).  This is going to make the flat a bit warm, especially with the mischief I am currently committing.
My wife is off on a ‘girls day out,’ leaving me unsupervised.  As I had little else on my TODO list, I volunteered to do some laundry while she was gone (am I the perfect husband, or what?).  Now, that doesn’t mean I asked how I should go about washing and drying said laundry, I merely stated that I would do some; the complex instructions concerning how and what and why (involving the spare room and a rotation of drying racks) I should do each task came for free, the main thrust being that the dryer should not be used.  This left me with two options: I could make what I had perceived to be a simple task into a complicated one by following the more onerous (though admittedly more eco-friendly) instructions, or I could wait for my wife to leave and do it my way.
As you have no doubt guessed, the washer is churning merrily away on one load while another waits in the queue, and the drying is humming (don’t tell my wife) and heating the kitchen up nicely.
This dryer, you see, is a new model, one that took me some time to puzzle out.  You need to boot it up before you can use it and selecting the drying settings is as complicated as changing the dashboard clock in our car (which is why it is still set to Standard Time).  This dryer also has no exhaust port for diverting steamy air out the window.  Instead, it has a cunning device inside that sucks the moisture out of the air and deposits it into a cistern.  The hot air, however, blows straight into the kitchen.  In the winter, this is a welcome source of auxiliary heat, but in the summer it makes the kitchen unbearable, especially when you are boiling up something on the stove at the same time.  Hence the drying racks.
So I am currently sitting in the slightly cooler living room, waiting for the heat.  It was raining and cool this AM, but now the sky is slowly clearing and the thermometer is rising.  It is coming, oh yes.
The strange thing about heat in Britain is that it doesn’t have to get very hot for them to start moaning about it.  But allow me to quickly interject this before all my British fans start sending the hate mail: it really does feel hotter here, and I cannot explain why.
In the States, I never even thought about going swimming until the temps were solidly in the 80s, and there was nothing better than lolling in the creek in 90 degree weather.  A day in the mid-70s would often see me in a long sleeved shirt or even a light jacket.  Here, I find myself thinking that it is so hot it must be in the 80s, but when I check the thermometer, it is only 74.  Strange business, summertime in Britain; it rarely does get really hot, and when it does, you still can’t go for a swim because the ocean—whatever part of Britain you are in—is freezing.  The best you can do is sit on the sweltering beach and stare longingly at the water, knowing that, if you did jump in, you would immediately go numb and have to crawl back to your beach chair and sit in the sweltering sun again, only now you would be sticky and exuding sand from every orifice in your body.  Maybe that is why the heat seems more extreme here, because you know—aside from standing in the frozen food section in Sainsbury’s—there is no relief.
I just checked the thermometer and we’re climbing closer to the 70s, so I expect the kitchen will be getting uncomfortably hot by now.  Its lunchtime, however, so I guess I’ll go in there and cook up some spaghetti sauce on the stove.
For those of you new to this blog, I draw your attention to the WHAT’S NEW section of the sidebar.  This has been a feature since Postcards From Across the Pond began (nearly ten years ago) and I have continued carrying it forward because it still serves its purpose.  Since my posts are more like articles, news of what I am up to—how my books are coming along, chat about the family and my new grandson, how we’re feeling and doing on a personal level—is reserved for the What’s New section.  There is also, often, a bonus joke.
I make this announcement only because of the recent change of venue and the awareness that people are coming to this blog for the first time.
We now return to our regularly scheduled post.
As I was working on this post, my shipment of book arrived.  How fortuitous!

These are the books I am using for the Pre-Release Sale (or if you simply want a signed copy).  Those of you who have ordered yours, it will soon be on its way, and those of you who have not, well, what are you waiting for?
Otherwise, the paperback release is set for 4 July, but you can buy the eBook for Kindle here:
Amazon UK
Or on Smashwords in a variety of other eBook formats.

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