The day starts with a check of the weather. How hot is it going to reach today? Mid-thirties? Not too bad, although I see it’s going to creep closer to forty soon. Anything over thirty-five in June is considered a heat wave.
Like in winter, the temperature here changes in summer without warning. One day you could be out enjoying lunch accompanied by a cool breeze, the next you find yourself confining yourself to your apartment for the entire afternoon.
Mid thirties is fine. Mid thirties you can still head out, provided you’ve put on factor fifty. Mornings are spent being as productive as possible. The dog needs walking before eleven, as every hour that follows the temperature increases by up to five degrees an hour.
You have to feel for the dog, and we as humans find it hard to empathise. Would you like to go to the Algarve in August and wear a fur coat to the beach? No, of course not.
And yet, I see owners take their dogs out in high afternoon. For the love of God at least walk in the shade! Another owner was out running with theirs, while a young lad felt it wise to feed his some crisps and penny sweets (known as ‘chuches’ here). Jesus wept.
I was told forty-plus in June was rare. A friend of Siobhan’s said he hadn’t experienced heat like this in June for over a decade. Heat waves in Seville are hardly pleasant. Seville is known as ‘El Horno’ (the oven), and you only have to experience forty-plus temperatures to understand why. You know that feeling when you open the oven door to check on the roast? It’s like that when you open the window.
Fans become your best friend. They are energy efficient, and thus not too taxing on the leccy bill like their air conditioning brother. But there are times when you simply have to bite the bullet and switch the air con on, particularly when struggling to sleep with work the next day.
Imagine our frustration when our bedroom air con broke down. We had only been using it a few days on and off for about a fortnight. How on earth could something so recently serviced break down? Our landlord was just as puzzled. Turns out the heat outside destroyed two parts in the unit on the roof. The technician warned us that due to the unit being so exposed on the roof to expect a similar problem in about two years. Spiffing.
I couldn’t believe the difference five degrees made once the heat wave had ended. It almost made thirty-five degrees feel normal. Morning walks felt fresher, commuting via bike also felt significantly less demanding, and you didn’t feel the heat radiating off the street and buildings after sunset as much.
At the time of writing, the weather will remain in the low thirties for the week, although with July approaching it’s expected to rise once again, just in time for my trip to the countryside to help out in my school’s summer camp.
At least my washing will dry quickly out there.