Tag Archives: heat

The middle of it all…and the heat

Here I am in Bodegraven, Netherlands. What am I doing here? I’ve debated about re-hashing the past four years or so since I last wrote here, but I think I’ll just let things fall out of my head as they will.

Tonight, I will try to sleep in a very old house in a very hot, upstairs room. I am tempted to just lay my spine along that metal strip on the floor (in the photo) because it is very cool. It was 35° today; 27° now, but warmer still inside.

Fortunately, during the day my part of the office had working air-conditioning—some colleagues were less fortunate. When I stepped outside I was slammed in the face by a very tropical heat. I suffered through the start-stop traffic, windows down (which made zero difference for the inescapable heat that scorched its way across my path. And then sauntered my way through a calmer traffic (one-laner) in a south-easterly fashion until I arrived at the oldest house in the Netherlands. (I’m sure it’s not the oldest.)

Ella lives here. She is 77 and doing quite well on her own. In a giant house that she rents out rooms to all sorts of people, through AirBnB. She hates spiders. Makes a great ardtjes?? cake* (no idea what it’s called). Her husband passed away five years ago and he was a bee keeper and liked gardening. Ella doesn’t have as much of a green thumb. She’s lived here for 50 years. She has 10 children and….23 grandchildren! She spoke no English…fair enough…forced me to pull out my Swiss-army-knife of Dutch tools (in my head) and we learned a bit about each other.

She said I should sit outside with her on the back deck overlooking her not-too-bad-of-a-yard-for-someone-who-doesn’t-have-a-green-thumb garden. She brought me a slice of that cake she made…soooo good. Didn’t want more cake (birthday cake at work**), but I also didn’t want to explain why and make her sad after she brought me a piece. It was more the size of half a bread slice, than a big, fat cake slice. So it was doable.

She asked if I was a Christian. I wasn’t surprised after earlier being given her Dutch Reformist newspaper to gander through while I ate my salad that I brought from home. She was very pleasant up until that question. Should I have lied? Said I was what I wasn’t? Her eyes scoffed me when I said I wasn’t. Oops. Then, she was still ‘niiice’, but if I was in a cartoon I’d have released steam from my collar in an uh-oh-sheesh sort of way. And that was that.

*I’ve just been informed that it’s spelled arretjescake.
**You bring your own damn cake to share when it’s your birthday here. It’s very uncivilized if you ask me. Where’s the hoopla and fake-surprise-face when your co-workers present their sugar bomb to you?!
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My answer to the Slurpee

No Slurpees here. I wanted one over these past few sizzling days.

So, I made one of my own. I had blueberries (from our garden), peach slices and seedless green grapes freezing in the freezer, but I didn’t use them all for the white sangria when Alka was here. So, I put some of each in the blender with some white grape juice and voila! Slurpee. HEALTHY Slurpee. Noms.


it was super hot yesterday

Apparently, it was hotter here than it ever has been in this area. It reached 38°C. Scorcher. Holy Moley! Aside from watering the plants, I stayed inside for most of the day. I tried to read out there, but all I did was sweat. And sweating when you’re just sitting is ridiculous. We all stayed indoors for most of the day. I used ice packs at my neck and feet to help cool down enough to sleep. Also ridiculous. : )

I don’t remember being this hot outside of Africa! Temperatures there did reach the low- to mid-40s, but at least at night it would rain and cool everything down. —Oh the rain there!! I loved the rain at night, the smell of it, the sound as it hit the roof and the sweltering ground. The storms were the best!!— I remember once I was going to walk to the local shop in Bloemfontein for a cool beverage with just my bare feet. I got across the grassy bits perfectly fine, but then I went tharn when I couldn’t seem to move off the scalding asphalt. Stunned with disbelief. I didn’t know if I should give up on the cool soda and return to the grass or hot-foot it across the remaining few steps. I, smartly, returned to get sandals and THEN get the icy goodness at the store. But I actually burned the soles of my feet on the black asphalt. Also ridiculous.


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