When it’s as hot as hell…

I sometimes wonder what it must be like to live in a place where it snows. In my mind, it would be a pretty experience, like walking around in a postcard. It would be fun, cool to walk around in, and I love the idea of wearing winter clothes for months on end (because I have some awesome fake furs in my vintage wardrobe). I never think about melting puddles, getting the washing dry or where you would get fresh vegetables.

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And I suppose, people think that way about being in a hot climate. Endless summer evenings eating outside under shady trees, trips to the beach and not a care in the world. Well, today it’s been super hot in Adelaide, South Australia. As in 41C which is 106F, so I thought I’d share a bit about what it’s like.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 13: Beachgoers cool off during a heat wave at Glenelg beach on January 13, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. Temperatures are expected to be over 40 degrees celsius all week with health authorities warning the young and elderly to remain indoors.  (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 13: Beachgoers cool off during a heat wave at Glenelg beach on January 13, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. Temperatures are expected to be over 40 degrees celsius all week with health authorities warning the young and elderly to remain indoors. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Firstly, you can’t go to the beach. Mainly because you would die of heat stroke, and also because getting to the beach involves driving in  your car. If you can’t find a park in the shade, your car ends up being around 150F if you leave it in the sun.

The evenings are too hot to eat outside and there are heaps of flies. Your makeup can’t stay on, and all your clothes get sweaty and disgusting.

Even turning on the cold water tap can be dangerous. The water can come out super hot and burn you if it’s been sitting in the pipes in the sun.

Leaving your washing out all day can wreck fabrics, but on the other hand, everything dries in about 15 minutes.

And you can’t sleep at night. Lying in a pool of sweat is gross and everyone gets tired and grumpy.

On the plus side, you can stay inside and watch lots of TV. It’s almost impossible to use an oven, as it heats up the house too much, so you can slink around the corner to the local pub and not have to cook. Everyone talks about nothing but the weather, so you have a mutual ground to talk about.

I find myself counting down the days till autumn, wishing I lived in a cold climate. So to everyone around the globe experiencing extremes of weather, good luck. Do your best to keep sane, and know that this season too will pass…

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Turning up the heat

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It’s autumn here in Adelaide, but you wouldn’t know it. We’ve had a hideous heatwave, complete with muggy, humid days and nights, which frankly, none of us are used to because we live on the edge of a dry, dusty desert. As I stood in a car park the other day, with my windows, doors and hatch open trying to cool down my car, I was transfixed by the heat shimmering off the car roof. I could have cooked not only an egg on that roof, but quite possibly an entire BBQ. Which led me to wonder why my body hadn’t simply imploded in the heat. Probably because the amount of sweat we’ve all been producing has pickled us in our own juices.

Anyway, I recently decided to volunteer as a competition judge with our romance writers organisation in Australia. I said on my application form that I was happy to read any genre, and any heat level. Well, lucky old me got down to judging the entries over the weekend, and let me tell you, the heat level of those stories matched the heat from my car roof and then some! I got all the erotic, exotic extracts in my quota of entries. I sat there, mesmerised by what I was reading. It was fun. Smutty, naughty fun, but fun nonetheless. It kind of reminded me of being a teenager again. Or, going on a date with some gorgeous guy when you are in your twenties and your body is toned, tanned and your jeans fit you. Ahhh, the stories were great. It got me thinking how important it is to focus on smut, I mean fun things, whatever that may mean to you. The world is so filled with fear and sadness at the moment, but for a few hours I was grinning and sniggering to myself, and enjoying every moment.

Then I thought how amazing it is that people write stories, enter competitions, make craft and put stuff out into the world. And, you never know who is going to be touched by the thing you create. Even if it’s one person, sitting up in bed with a grin from ear to ear (I’ve seen that in the hospital more than once, when a patient has a Mills & Boon in her grasp), then your creation has made the world a better place. So, pick up your knitting needles, get those fingers on the keyboard or paint that picture. Really, your creation might be the one thing that makes the day of someone you have never, and will never meet. What a magnificent thought!

Summer in the City

photo-90 A big truck rolled up outside my house today. I was inside, doing housework on a 43 degree day (110F). At first, I thought ‘oh my Lord, my muse has got me a smart car for Valentine’s Day!!’ In fact, it was a new neighbour moving in next door and this was the truck with all his stuff in it.

photo-89Things got a bit hairy when I realised they were trying to back down the lane beside my house. Please note, that’s my car they are just about squashing!! I went out into the street, dressed in a completely inappropriate outfit (pole dancing shorts with not enough fake tan on my legs to go anywhere in this getup), only to find out that my new neighbour is a really nice guy, who works as a nurse too (although I’m not sure if he is a writer as well). I think they put a big scratch on my car, but I can’t prove it…

‘What’s the point of this post Jane?’ I hear you saying. Well, there isn’t any point to the above story. However, here are my top five fabulous features of a heatwave! Cos I can’t listen to anymore whinging about the heat, including my own voice banging on in my head. Here’s a photo of me wearing a jumper, which makes me nostalgic… Although one of my ferrets caught their nail in this said cardi, and it ended up in the rubbish bin.

photo-87I’m trying to return to my zen zone, instead of ‘my body is about to spontaneously combust and I’m ready to kill you’ zone.

TOP FIVE FAB THINGS ABOUT A HEATWAVE!

1) You can wash ANYTHING in this heat, and it will dry. I could drag my king sized mattress out onto a plastic mat on the back lawn, spray the whole thing with water, drench it in sheep dip, and leave it to dry. It would be done in an hour.

2) You can ditch the diet. During a heatwave, no one has the strength for discipline. Lemonade, chilled beer, red wine, chips and anything else your body fancies are allowed. After all, losing all that sweat is bound to create some sort of electrolyte imbalance. The same excuse can be used to ditch your exercise routine.

3) If you get grumpy, you can blame it on the heat. I like to stand over the hot stove, with a face like a beetroot, yelling things at the TV, that normally I couldn’t get away with. My muse knows to leave well alone.

4) You are stuck inside all day. Even going out to the washing line for five minutes can result in heatstroke (but the washing is dry in 20 minutes), so there is no excuse not to get on with all those creative projects you would normally do in winter.

5) You can throw all your dishes into the cupboard dripping with water, because they will dry themselves in about 30 seconds. In fact, you can stand under the shower fully dressed and soak all your clothes, then go for a stroll up the road to the shops. You will be dry by the time you get there!

So there we have it. Time for bed, and if I wake up baked in my own sweat at 2am, at least I have the Winter Olympics to cool me down!

The Heat Is On

photo 2-2 And I’m not talking about Sandra Bullock’s movie being on TV at the moment. No, I’m indulging in one of my favourite pastimes, whinging about the weather. In fact, it’s a bit of a national pastime so I don’t feel bad, especially as it is Australia Day today! Yeah, so let’s whinge.

Okay, when it’s winter I whinge about it being too cold and promise I will NEVER complain about the summer again. Our winters are cold, dreary, but generally we never have anything too scary to deal with (like a polar vortex for example). But when summer hits, we invariably have hideous heatwaves that turn everyone into cranky, red-faced maniacs who can’t drive straight anymore, and you end up ditching the diet because you drink your entire body weight in beer.

Our last heatwave earned my city the endearing title of being the hottest city on the planet that day! And that was the day of ‘the big drama’ in our house. Wow, what happened Jane, I hear you say. Well, my beloved muse managed to get locked in our loo. We have a little cubbyhole of a toilet, and it gets damn hot in there because it is so small. It was probably 115F on this particular day. The door handle broke, and my poor baby was banging on the door, asking me to help him escape. If I hadn’t been home, he would have been stuck in there for hours, which would have meant him having to drink the loo water. As some of you know, I have a bit of a loo phobia, and that might have signaled the need for some serious therapy sessions…

Anyway, I found a screwdriver, and expertly dismantled the door handle, saving my muse from the heat, and the need to drink out of the loo. He was suitably impressed with my efforts, and I spent the rest of the night reminding him how I had saved him from frying in the toilet.

We now have a toilet door that can’t be closed (which is not very romantic or elegant).

We are heading into another heatwave tomorrow, so later in the week, as I lurk inside, I will post a fabulous Chinese chicken recipe which can be made in the slow cooker, so your kitchen doesn’t turn into a mini extension of hell.

It’s Chinese New Year too next week. Stay tuned…