Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It's official - we are suffering (and I mean suffering) from a proper canicule - a heat wave. There are health warnings going out on the TV etc, and frankly, I'm just glad that people recognise that this heat is seriously horrible! Sarah was commenting yesterday on how tidy the house must be with us hiding indoors from the heat, but sadly, temps in the 30s all day and night mean that you can do any amount of 'faffing' but things like the hoovering remain undone! Last night I 'faffed' by mending this pretty piano-stool cover, and today I stapled it on the piano stool - big improvement. But tidying the heap of junk upstairs? No way - no energy!Here's a sort of timetable of our canicule days - made up of a couple of days' worth of events and photos.

7 am Wake up because sun is already uncomforably hot on our bed - we sleep with bedroom doors and windows wide open to get a bit of a breeze.

8am Breakfast on the terrace if it's not too sunny already.

8.30 am Quick! Get the washing up done before it's too hot to go near warm water!

8.40am Quick! Get the washing on the line before the sun begins to burn fair skin!

9am Quick! Pick beans while they're still in the shade of the hedge.

9.30 am Make soup (own recipe - Green Veg that Needs Eating Up Soup - includes the beans) before it gets too hot to be in kitchen.
10am Blend soup - I love our Billy Blender!
10.30am Too hot - get out of kitchen! Staple piano stool cover on to grotty black piano stool - big improvement.
11am Accept Son 2's invitation into the pool - what a good idea! Very refreshing while it lasts...
11.30am - 5pm Too hot to do anything! Blog. Watch nature documentaries. Get ratty with each other.

5pm Back into the pool - phew!

5.30pm Walk dog and collect blackberries with boys. Only pick berries in shady places. Remember water bottles. Dog is disappointed because the stream has dried up.

6.30pm Pool - phew!

7pm - 8pm Might be cool enough to eat something, at least for the boys.

9-10pm Might be cool enough, with fan and ice blocks, for the boys to get to bed.
10pm It's getting nice now, in the high 20s perhaps. Still hot, but bearable. New fit of enthusiasm - help Ben to jar some peaches, or make blackberry jelly.
11pm Time to relax and eat some of the lovely salmon and chive cake (French cake is usually savoury) made by our friend Matthew. Can't watch TV because all doors are open to catch a breeze in the stuffy bedrooms.
Well, I don't want to over-dramatise things because I realise some of you live in hotter countries than we do! But for the poor, fair British, this is quite hot and we are looking forward to the end of the canicule...
Look! Sharon of Clover Cottage gave me an award! Thanks so much Sharon - so is your blog! Maybe when it's not so hot, I'll pass it on!


Melanie said...

Send some of the heat our way Floss, lol! Our summer has been a complete wash out (again).
Thank you so much for your comments and emails, I really appriciate them, thank you. xxxx

Florence and Mary said...

It's really hot in London today! I just popped outside and it was like that feeling you get when you walk off the plane in a hot country!

Victoria x

Hen said...

You have my sympathy, we were in Morocco a few weeks back and the heat was overwhelming. It's also extremely hot here today, high 20s I expect and I ate my lunch outdoors under the parasol and watered the wilting plants but am otherwise hiding indoors in the back of the house now the sun has gone over to the front. I love the Summer and good weather though, so I am not complaining and apparently, heavy rain is on its way tomorrow. Good old Blighty, hey?!
Hope it cools down for you soon.

Hen xxx

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Floss,
Many thanks indeed for all of your lovely comments on my blog recently...

Hope you are having fun blogging over there in France, in the heat! You are very lucky to have the pool. We were in France a couple of weeks ago and the pool was very tempting indeed...I even had a short swim myself...which is rare!

High twenties here today, so I sympathise...look after your fair English skin!
PS: the cake looks yummy!

Elizabethd said...

We were in the south in 2003, the previous canicule year, when 10,000 people died in France. Lots of bedroom fans made it possible to sleep.
Take care Floss.

Della said...

Yuck! Sorry. :) It's been in the late 90's in Virginia- not cool! Milking almost kills me....

Michela said...

Hi Floss, here temps are in high 30s since last Saturday, air conditioning is on everywhere, at home, at office, in the you have all my sympathy, as I'm sweating too!
Congratulations on you well deserved award!

Shabby Chick said...

I couldn't cope with that :( Though the pool looks lovely!

Mel xxx

Rose Charles said...

Hi Floss,

It's pretty warm in sunny Essex right now - I am sheltering indoors!

I can't imagine how you are all coping with the heatwave there! Although I suspect the dip in the pool helped!

Rose XXX

bad penny said...

Your soup looks good enough to eat ! It was so hot for me when we lived in Spain I used to spend the whole of August at my Mum's home on Anglesey. The heat makes me irritable. The pool looks cool. xx

Lucy Pursglove said...

Urgh I'm no good in the heat at all, you poor things. Sounds like you've been having fun regardless though and that piano stool cover looks great :)

Ashley said...

Sometimes the pool is just the best thing in the world!

Sarah said...

Well thank goodness for your pool! I hate being that hot. I hate being in the kitchen even more than usual when it's that hot! Poor you. It is nice to have the excuse to do absolutely nothing though isn't it? Luckily you are still on holiday over there. I can't believe your husband is cooking fruit in this heat!! What a man!

jeannette stgermain said...

Poor you! Guess no air conditioning, huh? Coming from Holl. I think I've never been in a residential air-conditioned house there! And because the heat is so humid, it feels even hotter - just take it easy!
Bytheway, when the heat wave is over, I would be delighted if you would send me the recipe for that delicious salmon cake! Or maybe you could make it a blog post...keep cool!

sharie said...

I don't know whether to congratulate you or commiserate! I wish our summer had been a little better but I really don't like it when it gets too hot.
20 degrees is fine with me, any hotter and I start to boil.
Looks like you hare having a nice time though.

Bella Dreams said...

I don't think that you can over-dramatise the heat! It gets very hot here, I certainly couldn't stand it without air conditioning. Your cake look delicious though!

juanitatortilla said...

Well, the temperature (high 20s) is optimal for the tropical-blooded me, but I could really do with a less intense blaze from the sun and its UV rays! But such weather is excellent for drying the wash -- I've been strangely motivated (an opposite to 'faffed') to wash the drapes and curtains!

A salmon and chive savoury "cake"... What an interesting thought. I'm trying to imagine the taste on my palette.

Mami said...

i didnt know the meaning of 'canicule'. dog days? I was comfusing.Yeah now i understand.
i got one ward today.
it's absolutely hot summer here in japan.However some regions got flood and landslip by heavy rains. Something strange natural phenomena.It is very seriouly about global warm.
take care on heat!!

KarenSue said...

Hi Floss-I wanted to pop over and say hello and then go back and spend time looking over your blog. I found you from Sarah at A Beach Cottage. I'm liken what I see.

Karens Hopes said...

Hello,just popped in to say hello,
Your salmon cake looks very interesting.
I'm new to blogging come and say hello.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

It has been a strange Summer here. We have had the usual very hot and humid days which is normal for here. But we have had some cooler than normal temps also. Fortunately I have air conditioning, so when it gets to hot I just avoid going out unless I have to. Hope you get some relief soon.

Olga said...

The summer is almost over here now... the nights are quite cold already and it is chilly in the morning if we leave the window open for the night. I really wish it was hotter, I love when it's hot I think I could live in some place real warm like Spain or Italy...

California Shelley said...

Here on the West Coast, our entire state seems to be on fire! We, too, are having some extremely HOT days - around 105 degrees. Not normal for here. The poor firefighters! Thought it was cute Floss was canning peaches late at night when it was cool. I, too, chose to make peach jam and found the BEST recipe ever...maybe that's why it is called "Grand Champion"! The difference in this recipe vs others was the addition of the following spices: 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground cloves, ground allspice and a 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Finally, you add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped crystallized ginger. Don't get me started on how good this tastes over vanilla ice cream!