Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Midsummer madness

Spanish folding handheld fan
Fan-tastic for staying cool on the sit!
Hot, hot, hot... This is summer,  someone told me the other day, so let's stop calling it a heatwave! But blazing sunshine, sleepless nights and sunburn - can this really be England? I'm even running out of clothes to wear. My lightweight summer wardrobe is too 'capsule' to cover so many consecutive days of heat. The washing machine is on full pelt while my slacks and summer cardis haven't made it off the hanger.

As ever at this time of year, I'm tearing about in blur of activity. In the last week, there have been sports days, speech days, new-school induction days, end-of-year parties, concerts and play rehearsals... and there's no let-up in sight. We've still got another two weeks until the end of term, plus what I call the Henley season - Regatta and Festival. It's all great fun, but my stamina is lacking... 

Meanwhile, my frazzled brain is begging for downtime - a chance to process everything going on at the moment. Like the occasional temperature warning that comes up on my phone, I'm expecting to see the message: Body needs to cool down before you can use it  flash up in front of my eyes sometime soon.

But fear not! I've been working on a quick guide to survive the super-hot weather and summer excesses. Having spent countless summers in an un-air-conditioned villa in Ibiza, I've done the research.

So take a deep breath and read on:

  • Move slowly and take guilt-free siestas - that's what they do on the Continent and it serves them well
  • During the night (or even the day) dive into the shower for a cold blast - it can help you sleep better 
  • Close the curtains in your bedroom during the day to keep rooms as cool as possible
  • Locate your nearest open-air swimming pool, lido or open water - there's nothing like a cold dip to refresh and re-energise
  • Spray water or apply a cold flannel to the back of the neck in extremis
  • Drink your usual coffee ice-cold - stick an expresso shot in the fridge for half an hour, then serve with ice and cold milk 
  • Carry a water-bottle everywhere and keep sipping to ward off headaches and dehydration
  • Apply suntan lotion to the face, shoulders and décolletage as part of your morning routine
  • Channel your inner señorita and keep a folding fan in your handbag (fan with long, slow waves to stay cool)
  • Smile under your sunnies - it could be raining - so make the most of it!