Thursday, January 29

keeping cool

well the house thermometer blew its stack by half 8 yesterday morning with a record inside reading of 27C. i blew a stack by half 8 last night when the temperature outside was still 43C. Its just incredible. I cannot remember a day when the mercury hit 46C (114.8F), maybe thats because yesterday was the hottest day on record for 70 years!

Im not looking forward to a week of 40C plus (104F). The creek is bone dry and the leaves are starting to curl and crackle. Im up early to water the vegetable garden and we have been dragging drip hose around the garden to water the citrus and other fruiting trees.

Our house is built on passive solar principles and the architect (yup, Simon)determined to have no air conditioner, instead relying on the siting of the house in a valley which catches the breeze, the rendered cut rock face and earth which forms the wall and foundation of the lower length of the house, venturi air flow effects from the upper level windows and doors and downstairs air temperatures and the deciduous trees surrounding the house (and the odd wet towel or two). But natural methods are only good for so long....We are all pretty mutch wandering around in our knickers tossing soggy cloths at each other. Dinner was definitely a no cook affair of vegetarian burritos with guacamole. Going to work has never looked so good! The split system air conditioner i was thinking about for the studio, to run off the pv solar, the reason d'etre for the building of the very non passive solar designed studio; to act as a location site for the cells, is looking better by the minute! This is nuts.
How are you keeping cool?


Rixa said...

Wow, it's hard to imagine heat like that right now. We just got a huge dump of snow, about 8". I shoveled the driveway and sidewalks for an hour and made pitiable progress. Then along came a man on a tractor with a snowplow attachment and, in 5 minutes, had cleared our entire driveway (including a large area in front of our 3 car garage). He drove away before I could say thanks, or ask him what his name to keep cool, I just step outside. I've been giving Zari big cups full of snow to eat, and she thinks it's the best treat ever.

But during the summer, it does get hot here. And very, very humid, which makes it even more miserable. That said, our house stays remarkably cool (can't say the same thing about staying warm in the winter, though). It's over 100 years old and built of solid brick and is all on the ground floor except for one bedroom & bath upstairs. The ceilings are also quite high (10', over 3 meters) and so I only turned on the air conditioner once or twice since we moved in to cut the worst of the heat. When it reaches a certain point, though, it is hard to deal with the heat when you have no place to go to cool off.

Lots of cold showers--that's what we'd do during the hot spells in France, where air conditioning doesn't really exist except in some larger stores.

innercitygarden said...

Curtains shut, dvds, fans, off to the pool around 5.30pm. Milkshakes, star-shaped ice blocks, and sleeping in the afternoon.

Checking the Country Fire Authority website for danger on a regular basis...

Kerrie said...

Have been wondering how you were all faring...??? Agreed with the natural methods of air con working for only so long...when it's that hot you need to bring on the refrigerated unit...!!!

I often used to go shopping in large airconditioned malls on stinking hot days, or to the was cool there.

Stay cool mate, am thinking of you. How are you situated for fire danger..??

Rest is not idleness said...

Our thermometer is stuffed I reckon, it says 25C which is obviously wrong, it is more like 37
anyway who cares, it is hot, hot. I read about wetting a sarong, (I guess you wring it out as well) then stick it in the freezer to chill down, and then put it on. I do that with damp cloths and put them on my face and neck. Trying to resist putting the aircon on and just going with the fans and not doing too much. Definitely no cooking.
take care and keep cool

Veggie Gnome said...

Rixa, your snow sounds delicious! I'd love to roll in it right NOW. :)

Kel, same here. We have ceiling fans (no air-con) which we normally only use 2-3 times a year, if at all. The house doesn't get hotter than 24C but last night it hit 31C!! This morning (with all doors and windows open during the night) it only went down to 29C inside.

All curtains shut, shutters up, doors and windows closed. Smoothies, lots and I mean LOTS of water, tons of fruit, salads. No cooking. Not much physical activity apart from early morning watering and checking on animals and plants.

Barbara said...

We just took out our ancient
reverse cycle air conditioner
to put in a more efficient gas
heater - maybe it was a mistake
(but we use heat a lot more
than cooling normally). Our
house is 100 years old with
really high ceilings so it stays
pretty cool at first but once it
heats up, that's it. Now it's
just a matter of enduring the
heat until it ends - I was
supposed to do a candle making
course on Saturday but they
cancelled it because its too
hot to handle hot wax!

Gavin said...

Hi Kel,

Hot as hell here in Melton! 46C this afternoon, but at least we have a pool. Mind you it is evaporating at an alarming rate, but if we put the pool cover on the temp in the pool jumps to 35C. Not much of a cool swim. I hope it rains soon in both states.


naturewitch said...

Hi Kel

We thought it was hot here, but obviously nothing compared to you, only a mere 37C.

Work is a god-send, with its airconditioned premises, but I'm thinking of finishing a little earlier tomorrow to brave the heat and give my fur children a bath.

The bees were hanging around the front of their hive this evening; obviously it's getting hot in there too.

Hope it cools down for you soon. Even 37C doesn't sound too bad . . . xx

Kel said...

rixa - yes cold showers, or our version; the big bath with inches of water - the home paddling pool. I'd kill for somesnow...

ICG-bunking down and being still..ahhh, radio on all day...wondering how you're going with some fires in Vic reported...

Kerrie- we're doing well, me and B1 especially-school and work well conditioned. B2, bean and bloke doing ok at home, paddling in bath, house has cooled down to a managable 26. Fires here are possible but rare, we live in the centre of our village so well protected but the a fire jumping the ridge is possible...

RNI- im loving the big frozen sarong popsicle idea. wet cloths rule here too, precooked pie from DJs for dinenr with salad and we had COLD BREEZE last night!!! whoohoo

Veggie - hope you got some breeze last night too and that youre not cookin too much . Another day safely past...

NW - im lovin going to work too!!! kindof a sweet image of the bees all too hot to go home, i know the feeling.37, id kill for 37 LOL
Barbara - i had an old stone place in mitcham without air con...great for a day or two and then BOOOM. The idea of hot wax and stoves right now...mmm , youre probably fine it was cancelled!Oven.

Gave..its a cookin everywhere! MUMS POOL ONLY HIT 34! LOL. you could egt really thrifty and toss insome eggs...rain..none in sight... said...

You are surrounded by trees and shrubs, it should be cooler despite that really all time high temp. Just continue to be cool and inspire each other in the family. said...

lol technically, here we are focused on keeping warm ;0)

keep cool!

Karin said...

I've been wondering how you are. It's hot here but not as bad as that though. Sounds putrid!

We roasted today in our un-airconditioned, uninsulated, tile-roofed, no-eaves, practically treeless small government style rented house. (sounds lovely doesn't it) Evening dinner discussion was about how nice it would be to build our own 9 star rated house! Let's do this thing!

Guacamole,Yep. Same here.