Jump to content
Christian

The Weather Thread #9

Recommended Posts

Hi Beantree, I hope you are feeling better today.  Although its easy for me to say, perhaps use the rest of this year to think about your chooks, how many you have and how they are housed.  I know its super difficult in the temperatures we have, and I am certain you give them the best care possible, but when you are feeling calm, maybe think carefully about the balance between the cost/pleasure ratio.  Your health is not something to take lightly.  I can honestly say the only things I do outside regularly at the moment is to water the tomatoes and some young trees first thing and and last thing, once your core temperature has got out of kilter it is very hard to get it back again.    

As far as the house is concerned, I think we live in similar properties - an old stone building with thick walls.  You may be luckier than me if you have proper French shutters.  I expect you know all about keeping windows closed as soon as its warmer outside (so for me they are open between say 9pm and 9am latest).  I have to say its been a game changer fixing cheap Lidl fly screens on most of the windows (make a frame and take them down at the end of the summer, so they last a few years) so they can all be open at night on the upper storey, meaning we get a decent nights sleep, plus for the very hot nights we use a floor fan.  As far as curtains go, getting blackout linings or having interlined curtains is the only thing that helps, lightweight curtains are a waste of time for me.  I also use black out material, cut to size, and stuck on small door windows (with tape, just temporary), and the down stairs windows that I don't want to leave open.  Essentially we live in darkened rooms during extreme heat, and in fact its completely normal for houses here to have small windows, life is all about keeping the heat out, not letting light in!  We don't cook indoors, just use the barbie, but really we try to eat cold food, or cook first thing and heat through in the microwave so you aren't pushing heat out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slightly better today @Daphne, but I've lost my tolerance to heat and get too hot even at 30C. Said on the TV one of the symptoms was not sweating and on reflection, after being outside for too long on Saturday, that was indeed the case. I had a hat on drank a lot of water and limited my movement but clearly that wasn't enough. You are quite right about the chickens, they are a lot of work, as is the management of this place. But we are running the chicken numbers down naturally; some are quite old now so perhaps won't get through this years moult? Improving the organisation here constantly to reduce the work load but this changing climate, with three heatwaves already this year, is costing a lot of time and slowing progress. The land is now in good shape and getting better every year. Our new wild flower patch, although small, looks great.

We have proper shutters on all the windows (an insurance requirement if away for more than 3 days) and are lucky to have a big elm tree to the East which shades the South of the house until about 10.00am and which we have pruned, so Winter sun isn't affected. We have the fly screens on some windows but can't leave them open at night because it stays hotter than the house until the early hours. 6.00 am everything is opened and then closed, as you say, when the temperature approaches that inside the house. All our lights are low energy, so we aren't heating the inside with them. We also only cook outside once the house is closed up, but we have a big extractor fan in the kitchen chimney, so breakfast isn't a problem. We have power to the barn for the chip fryer, a gas hob and now a decent barbecue. The open-fronted barn overlooks the chicken enclosure and faces East, so wind isn't a problem blowing the gas out. Same as you, we cook early and re-heat it later with the microwave. Summer is the season I don't like, the rest of the year it's great to be here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wishing you a full and speedy recovery.  Once you have your equilibrium back physically, the rest will be fine, you will feel up to dealing with it.  You are doing everything you can in the house but its a real shame about the night time temps.  I had one summer when I felt I couldn't cope at night, and I was agitating for A/C, but the screens have made the difference (although there is a lot of toing and froing to open/close things depending on prevailing breezes etc).   We are on a ridge, and at 500m, so its probably cooler at night for us.  Is A/C feasible, just in one room, so you always have somewhere to recuperate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used to have a cellar at 18C maximum to escape the heat. Only 20 minutes was enough to recover and cope with another few hours. We have a spot for A/C but it uses an awful amount of electricity, but we do have some out buildings we could just sit in; plenty of spare chairs. We have a new meter here called a 'Linkey', which sends your consumption readings back every day. There have been complaints about headaches which have been upheld, so compensation paid. In our case it set off the smoke alarms at 2.00am so they have gone. Could be (conspiracy theory) that they are able to shut specific meters off in times of high demand? We have generators but they wouldn't be able to supply an air conditioning unit

So earlier I wasn't sweating outside so using an atomiser spray. Now I am, so perhaps I have recovered.

Big bird is watching me type this, in fact she is now on the table looking at the screen. She has a 3" scar but it is fully healed. A low tolerance to temperature but hopefully there are no any underlying problems apart from being very fat.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

News today says that this is probably going to be the driest July since 1958. We might see some rain on Friday, but it's all looking very brown here and the grass crunches under your feet. Reminds me of the Summer of 1976. Temperatures remain at the seasonal normal of 30C but we are among the 90 of 96 'Counties' on drought alert. Means we can't wash the car (which only happens once a year anyway) and watering the wild flower patch can only be done between the hours of 2000 and 0800. Watering vegetables is not restricted. Lots of wildfires breaking out; over 20 times more area burned than this time last year. We've now cut all our pasture land, so there shouldn't be a problem here.

Saw on the news today that England may be drought struck in August?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We all have adegas (wine making room) which are often under houses, and are always cool (stone).  Ours has a beaten earth floor and is full of wood, so hardly comfortable, but our neighbour takes his siesta in his!

I saw an aerial shot of a major river in Portugal taken one year ago and last week.  The difference is shocking.  It has prompted me to abandon watering everything except one tomato patch and a few perennials I planted earlier in the year which still need to establish.  I can do the perennials using grey water from the house.  We have not had a drought order all the time we've been here, but I won't be surprised if one starts soon.    Have you got an emergency bag/s packed in case of fire?  I strongly urge you to do this, better safe than sorry.  Remember your important documents, a few clothes including long sleeves, water, food, valuables and any sentimental things like photos.  I also pack loo roll, towels, something that smells nice (for a psychological lift), and vaseline/body lotions.  I leave the bags together in one room and forget about them, but we both know where they are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/27/2022 at 10:34 AM, Beantree said:

Saw on the news today that England may be drought struck in August?

They’re saying that here (England) it’s been the driest start to a year since 1976. We’re currently officially in Prolonged Dry Weather (apart from the north-west perhaps) but we (I work for the Environment Agency) have activated our drought incident response ‘cells’ and the multi agency government drought group has met to discuss the situation, so I should think we’ll be in ‘drought’ before long. There’s no significant rain in the forecast for southern England. I think the Isle of Man already have hosepipe bans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday it said that Toulouse has only had 1mm of rain this month instead of the normal 40mm. Today they may have had some, because we have full water butts now after 10mm. It was nice to stand outside and get wet. Next week we get our 4th heatwave this year! House full of chickens again.

All our hay is now chopped down @Daphne, so even if we had a dry lightening strike we should be able to control any fire with the hoses. Good idea about the emergency bag though. We have to carry all our important documents with us when we go out, so they are all ready. Haven't any valuables. Couple of pictures can be picked up and put in a bag. The neighbours cut their hay two months earlier in complete disregard for the requests to support the wildlife. But that doesn't leave them with a fire hazard in an early dry spell, so really I can't blame them. The hay is at its best cut mid-May here, but we don't need any anyway and we are trying to improve the land and not degrade it by letting the farm cut it for cattle feed. So I guess we will live with the fire risk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to check in with you Beantree - are you anywhere near the mega fire?   My OH sent me a pic of the Loire, its even more frighteningly dry than the Tejo is here.  I know there is another heatwave in the UK and you are all on fire alert, just know where your important docs/sentimental stuff is.  As is always the case when the weather in the UK is extreme for some reason or other, our weather here is just normal, so paradoxically we are not in any more danger than usual whilst the rest of Europe is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're a long way off @Daphne, but we can still smell the smoke. Equipment and manpower has been sent from other Countries to help and it seems the big one, which has burned 7400 Hectares in three days, in now under control.

Due to be the hottest day for us today at 39C. We had all the chickens in last night and they will be in again today, starting in an  hour or so. Then the weather begins to break with 36C tomorrow then falling away to 'cold' with rain starting on Monday for several days. The Cou-Nu have been in the back room for nearly two weeks now; only 28C in there. Might take them back up to their parched enclosure on Sunday, if not certainly Monday.

Hope this is the last heatwave of the Summer. Certainly don't want a fifth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As beautiful as it is to see the sun every day, sometimes I wish for just a little bit of rain.

We went to friends in the Forest of Dean a couple of weekends ago and it absolutely poured down.

It was so nice to hear and see the rain.

But it didn't rain where we live and hasn't done for ages.

Our water butts are empty and Bonnie, almost 9 months old now, has finally worked out that it is hot and she might as well just go to sleep.

Stay safe in any fires everyone and hopefully rain will come soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...