Hot And Humid in Summertime France

Ah yes — another installment of our adventures in ex-pat lifestyles.

Each glass of water slides down easily. Adding half of a lemon is rather refreshing, but truthfully, a quick dip in a cold swimming pool wouldn’t go amiss right now.

Don’t believe that little weather widget on the right side column because it is NEVER completely accurate — but it’s the best I can do since Yahoo removed their weather widgets which were actually quite reliable. Even the MSN weather forecast is quite wrong with their humidity index because the air is like suspended water globules right now.

Record-breaking heat is nothing new to my readers in Australia, the USA, and parts of Europe. But I haven’t felt humidity like this in quite a few years and it’s bringing back hot-and-sticky memories of a childhood in the South of the USA and hot-and-sticky memories of living for 18 months in Brisbane, Australia to blend with my hot-and-sticky present in the South of France. Oh my!

No matter how large their big houses might be, no one we know has air conditioning and, with the exception of the larger grocery stores, it seems to be a rarity here. We all cope through a variety of methods that are interestingly ‘retro’ after years of freezing-then-boiling as I came in and out of buildings and cars in Australia.

Keeping the heat out is the first step so I keep both sets of shutters all but closed in the daytime. The heavy old timber shutters block a vast amount of heat and then the roller-blinds that are right outside the double-glazed windows add another layer of heat blockage. I actually brought the shutters up quite a bit for the picture below so that you could clearly see the two layers of shutters.
 

Double shutters help to keep the heat out in the South of France


 
Yes, the rooms stay darkish all day long, but that’s certainly better than the bright and blistering sunlight! And yes, I can cope with that tiny square of light from each window. There is even a roller shutter over the French door to the back garden balcony and I moderate the amount of light on each side of the building as the hours pass.
 

The bedroom stays especially cool with both sets of shutters all but closed.


 
I’ve made it into a bit of a game so I don’t find it overly tedious — trying to see just how cool I can keep it indoors so Mark has a refreshing home to walk into at the end of the day after he’s been out in the heat on whatever building site he’s working on. The fan may not be as ice-cold as an air conditioner, but it is my friend and that’s all I have to say about that.
 

It may not be air conditioning, but it moves the cool air around JUST enough!


 
My pretty new red shopping trolley is thus far getting NO USE whatsoever because it’s too bl%!@y hot to wheel it down the charming streets of St. Girons right now. Ah well — it will be waiting when I need it.
 

Bright red shopping trolley awaiting a cooler day for adventures in St. Girons


 
All in all, sarong-on-body and water-in-hand, I am managing just fine. And thanks for asking!

P.S. Just to add a frisson of ‘How’s that?’ from the heavens, as I was ready to post this, the skies darkened, a rather noisy and fast-moving thunderstorm rolled through, the sun came BACK out, and now the wet streets are steaming below my front window. (groan!)

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6 thoughts on “Hot And Humid in Summertime France

  1. Barbara Weibel

    Well, I’d say that I was commiserating with you, except that I’ve spent the last month in Cambodia and southern Thailand. I suspect I’ve got you beat in the humidity department 🙂

  2. Deborah Harmes Post author

    You are SO right! It’s one of the reasons I did NOT enjoy Brisbane and a trip to the Solomon Islands had a similar effect on me. Humidity just knocks the stuffings out of me!

  3. Chris

    It is currently 15 degrees C and foggy with a light breeze blowing off the Puget Sound. High today will be about 23 and sunny, 15km winds. I won’t even need to fire up the AC. Like that? I converted everything to metric while I gloated! Have a nice day!

  4. Deborah Harmes Post author

    How can my own son be that rotten? (grin!) That’s fine — gloat away. Washington State was the ONE place I ever lived in the USA that had comfortable summertime weather. Enjoy it — seriously!

  5. Deborah Harmes Post author

    You have NO idea how true that is! It might have been cool and rainy all last summer in Normandy, but at least I wasn’t hot, steamy, and grumpy!

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