Thinking Out Loud

5 Ways to Stay Cool in Heatwave 2017

Yesterday was apparently the hottest day of the year in the UK and today it’s hotter here than in Ibiza or Hell or something.

I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of a Negative Nancy. Maybe a Realistic Rita or a Cynical Cynthia at a push. However, when it comes to sunshine and the blink-and-you-miss-it British summer I am fighting the negativity. Real life and social media have joined forces to barrage me with moans about how bloody hot it is. Enjoy it! It won’t last forever.

I get that it’s a worry for people with little babies or other vulnerable family members so in the spirit of teaching my grandmother to suck eggs (that’s what blogs are, right?), here are a few of my common sense tips for the no doubt sadly short-lived heatwave:

 

Window
Shut Up: close those windows

1. Shut up

Keep your house windows, curtains and/or blinds closed in the day and it’ll be cooler inside than out for the evening because you’ve blocked the sun. Open the windows an hour before bedtime to circulate the air once it’s cooler. It’s counter intuitive but by Jove it works.

heatwave1
Drink Up: stay hydrated. duh.

2. Drink up

Stay hydrated. Just drink. Give your kids extra water. If they need reminding, remind them to drink. If you need reminding that you and your offspring need water when it’s hot then hang your head in shame. You plonker.

Cactus in the sun
Cream Up: don’t burn in that scorchio sun. The lobster look is not cool.

3. Cream up

In the words of Baz Luhrmann, wear sunscreen. Splodge and spray it on your kids, yourself and anyone else who needs it. Avoid squirting random passing strangers. That’s weird. My boys hate being creamed. We compromised on a spray one.

rollercoaster on sunny day
Strip Off: don’t layer up babies

4. Strip off

Strip off. Don’t wrap babies up in vests and babygrows and blankets. I was a baby and toddler in the Caribbean and I didn’t really wear clothes until we moved to the UK. Older kids don’t need duvets at bedtime, just a cotton sheet. For an extra treat keep your pillow case in the fridge.

choc ice at the park
Chill Out: enjoy it, treat yo’self!

5. Chill out

Stop moaning, stay positive, chill out (in the shade or a cool shower if you prefer).

Yesterday we had an outdoor event at school that lasted about an hour. Predictably I heard cries of “it’s too hot for them”, “it should’ve been moved”, “other schools cancelled sports days”. Did anyone actually melt or spontaneously combust? Quelle surprise, no they did not. Were we reminded to apply sun cream and provide a drink and a hat for our little darlings? Why, yes we were. Did everyone have a lovely time? Oh yes indeedy. Last year, the same event took place in the rain. It was (unsurprisingly) the same people saying “it’s too wet for them”, “it should’ve been moved”, “other schools cancelled sports days”. Did anyone actually dissolve or float away? Quelle surprise, no they did not. We are not made of sugar. We are not the Wicked Witch of the West. (Also, a sports day is a DAY, an hour is an hour. Don’t get me started.)

For a place like the Vale of Glamorgan where we can experience four seasons in a week, we can be a tad melodramatic about the weather.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy the weather in your paddling pools, your local beach, Ponty Lido, Barry Splashpark or from the cool comfort of your own bath.

Let me know your favourite ways to stay cool in the comments.

 

Thinking Out Loud

London Loves

I swanned off to London this weekend to try on bridesmaid outfits, drink copious amounts of Prosecco and meet a good friend’s scrumptious newborn.

Not long after I’d made sure my uncharacteristically tipsy friend was hydrated and tucked into bed and was just getting myself cosy in her spare room she appeared at the bedroom door, phone in hand, “there’s been an incident”. Her brother had heard and messaged her as he knew the bars of Borough Market are a familiar haunt of hers.

By the time we woke up, the scale and implications of the event were unfolding. We carried on with our weekend plans of brunches, walks and baby cwtching. I eventually got back to a Cardiff empty and exhausted from hosting a Big Important Football Thing.

This morning Chalk hugged me and let slip that he’d been worried when he heard the news because he knew I was in London. He’s an anxious little fella, empathetic with a keen interest in what’s going on in the world.

With the Manchester attack still so fresh in his mind, it’s easy to grasp how overwhelming the world is at the moment.

A different year group to his at school were supposed to be going on a London trip soon but it’s been changed to another location. The number of parents who, understandably, said that their children wouldn’t be going to London due to the recent terror attacks will have swayed it.

Will I avoid London? Nope. Will I avoid large concerts? Nope. (Off to one on Friday and I cannot flipping wait.) Terrorists have struck bars, restaurants, shops, public transport, marathon spectators, pavements, they’re really not that fussy. I don’t want to live under a rock and I don’t want my children living in fear. I’ll hug them tight and we’ll carry on living life to the full.