It’s canicule time in central France – i.e. there’s a heatwave. However, not officially yet in Creuse, although Allier and Puy de Dôme, just to the east of us, are marked as such areas with a pending ‘vigilance orange’. To become a canicule area, there needs to be three days of heat above 30 degrees C without rain. We’ve had that here, so it’s a little peculiar that we’re being ignored!
Canicules are serious. Heat stroke and exhaustion are no laughing matter, and in the States kill anything from between a few hundred and a thousand people a year. The elderly and the very young are most at risk. The France météo site gives advice on how to cope. Try not to go outside during the hottest part of the day, which during a canicule is between 11 am and 9 pm. That’s a little hard to adhere to, but the rest of the advice is more user-friendly – spend 2 or 3 hours in a cool place, drink plenty and eat normally, wear cool, light clothes and plenty of sunscreen. You should shut windows and doors during the day but open them at night.
The hot weather brought a power cut in its wake yesterday, for six or seven hours. Benj and Caiti were reduced to staying in touch with the modern world via their Smartphones, being suddenly bereft of the Internet on their computers, poor things! Ruadhri sulked for a short while, but then went back outside to play. I sat out and knitted socks for a while as it was too gloomy and too hot inside the house to do anything. And then came along a dramatic electrical storm. We had to disobey météo.fr and close all the doors and windows as gale force gusts suddenly whipped up. The heavy wooden bench was overturned and our garden plastic chairs scattered everywhere. That was quite a wind to do that. Chris went out to shut various stable doors that we’d left open to keep the sheep cool.
The animals aren’t doing anything during the day, apart from feeling hot. I’m constantly filling water buckets and checking that none of the llamas or alpacas look distressed. They don’t tolerate humid heat well. They much prefer a foot of snow!
And thank goodness we have our pool. I was in five times yesterday and it’ll be the same today. It’s up to 29 degrees C, matching last year’s record. It’s wonderful. I never fail to feel like a footballer’s wife when I wander out for a swim in our own pool. Pas mal!
The hot weather is forecast to continue for a few more days, followed by warm rainy days. But I’m not going to complain too much. It won’t be that long before the long Creuse winter starts …