We get a lot of weather here in the UK, which is probably why it's brought up in almost every conversation the length and breadth of the country.
It's always...too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too windy, too foggy, too icy, too muggy...... sometimes all in the one day.
Not for us the monotony of day after day of similar weather, stretching for weeks and months throughout the seasons. We have more of a 'lucky bag' approach where you never know what you're going to get from one hour to the next.
So it always comes as a shock to the system when we get the weather we're supposed to. You know, like really hot, sunny weather in August for example.
Living on the coast, we can usually rely on cooling breezes from the sea to leaven the heat, but any breezes we've had for the past week have felt as though someone just opened a huge oven door. Temperatures have been in the mid-30s Celcius day after day, with night time temperatures remaining resolutely over 20 degrees.
It's been brutal. MS and extreme heat are unhappy bedfellows at the best of times, but my workroom faces south and it's been unbearably hot in there. I tried opening the window furthest away from me, but any slight breeze immediately managed to find its way straight to my desk to whisk up silk ribbons and feathers into mini cyclones. For the same reason, relocating my bedside fan into the workroom just creates instant chaos.
So I've been working in short bursts, with the blinds closed and a small hand held fan to hand. In between times, I've wandered out into the garden to sprawl in the shade, guzzling iced water and gasping like a landed guppy.
As if the heat and humidity weren't bad enough, the insect population has gone into overdrive. Swarms of flying ants, armies of land-based ants, gazillions of wasps and my own personal nemesis.... mosquitoes.
Long years of painful experience have taught me to be extremely careful to avoid mosquito bites. Apparently I am entirely delicious and in any given group of people,the others will be avoided as the bitey little buggers make a beeline for me. Bites invariably swell into large blisters, filled with straw-coloured fluid, which burst and leave crusty, yellow trails as they drain, only to fill up again and repeat. A collection of multiple bites in one area results in hard, hot, painful swellings, and it's not uncommon for a bite to become infected, necessitating medical treatment to avoid developing cellulitis. Despite covering up in the evenings, and liberal applications of mosquito repellent, usually at least one of the most persistent mosquitoes will find an unprotected speck of skin.
Thankfully, yesterday evening, the extended heatwave came to a temporary halt as the heavens opened and it rained for several hours. Sadly it will take more than a few hours of rain to restore the area of garden we laughingly call our 'lawn'. It currently has the colour and texture of Ryvita and even the weeds are struggling.
Early this morning, when everything was freshly washed, the air definitely felt cooler, although the temperature has been climbing again as the sun breaks through the clouds. However, the breeze is breezier and somewhat fresher, and I have been able to work without constantly having to refresh cold cloths to wrap around my neck.
I'll take that as a win.....