The heat here in Luxembourg this week has been incredible - it has (from all accounts on the radio) been getting up to 35 degrees or hotter in the day and not dropping more than a few degrees at night.
We're just not equipped for it - places don't have air-conditioning. And I am not just talking about people's homes, I am talking about malls, movie theaters, grocery stores, offices. Anywhere that does proclaim to be air-conditionned, you find that at best is a few degrees cooler than outside.
Every morning there is a weather warning on the radio: put down all your blinds during peak sunshine hours (with an East/West facing house that is from 5 am until almost 10 pm at the moment), children and the elderly needs to stay inside and spend at least two hours a day in a "cool" place (which means less than 25 degrees - it would be helpful if they provided a list of such places), do not leave the house between 11 am and 3 pm, drink 1.5 litres of water a day minimum... etc etc. It doesn't help that we have a water ban on at the moment and we have been forbidden to fill small kiddy pools.
Last night it was 30 degrees on the main floor of our house. I don't even want to hazard a guess what it was on Stu's floor 2 flights up. Luckily we bought a small mobile air-conditioner a few years back that we roll from room to room to cool things down a bit - but it doesn't do as much as we had hoped and needs emptying every few hours.
I have been lying awake since 5 am trying to think of where to take the kids this weekend to cool them off. Poor Stuart fell off something at the park last Sunday and has a cast on his arm until Tuesday (nothing on the x-ray, but they wanted to immobilze his arm as he was in pain - what a week for it!!) so pools, if you could get into them, are out of the question.
My office probably comes close to the 25 degree mark - about 26 or 27 I would say (we hear regularly about how we have air-conditioning, though I sit near the building managers at the moment and I know one of them was up all night night before last because the alarm in the print room goes off at 40 degrees and it went off all night). Marc has nothing at work - how he is managing to wear shirt and sometimes tie is beyond me.
So - next time I am complaining about how short summer is here and how long and dreary our winters are, and how we long for it to be warm... I have something to refer back to!