Friday, 23 December 2016

The hottest place on earth

is apparently where I live. Really? If I believed the headline in this morning's paper it would perhaps be so.
There have to be hotter places - and places with more prolonged heat.  If there aren't then I had better move. I don't like the heat.
I have never liked the heat.
As a very young kitten I remember playing outside in the heat. My mother had some sort of arrangement I don't remember clearly but it involved a blanket tied to the clothesline and the fence. My brother and I would sit in our little sand pit under that and play in the sand she had damped down with the water. 
I suspect it got us out of the house. I remember it being hot. We moved and lived in the city for a while. We weren't far from my paternal grandparents' house and, in summer, my grandfather would come and take me and my brother for an early morning "swim". At around 5am it would still be relatively cool. Later in the day we didn't want to be out of doors. It was simply too hot. Most of the time we were sent out to the little room next to the shed our father used as a garage. It would be hot in there too - but not quite as bad as it was outside. 
Well, we thought it was hot  but heat was yet to come. We moved again. We moved to the edge of the desert. And yes, it was hot there. To begin with we had no running water and no electricity. On days when the temperature climbed well over the old Fahrenheit century mark (more than 40'C) my mother had to cook on a wood burning stove. There was nothing else. It was the same for everyone. The water was connected to the house soon after we arrived. It came in a very narrow pipe - about an inch or two and a half centimetres in diameter - across the surface of the earth. It came from a very long distance away. And yes, it would be too hot to put your hands under what was supposed to be the cold water tap. The water tasted so salt that tea tasted salty. Thankfully the school had a small rainwater tank and everyone knew to make sure the tap wasn't dripping!
My mother would run a very tiny amount of water into the bathtub and, when it was cool enough, she would put my two small sisters in with various bath toys and leave them to play. It had the added advantage of bathing them at the same time.
We did not have air conditioning or even a fan. When we did get electricity it was in the form of a 32v power plant. It was barely enough to light the house. It wasn't very efficient and it would break down in the heat. The Senior Cat always seemed to be in the little shed in which it was housed. 
Oh yes, it was hot.  We were still sent outside to "play" although it often meant finding what shade we could and reading.
Was it as hot as this though? I really can't remember. I think it must have been. Middle Cat can't remember but she was younger. Our brother remembers it as "stinking hot". He isn't happy in the heat either.
I am about to pedal out and do some essential shopping so I don't need to do it in a last minute rush tomorrow. It is still early. It is still just cool enough to do this and bring milk home in a cool bag. After that I will remain inside until it is cool enough to give thirsty plants more water. 
And remaining inside and not being sent out to play will be luxury in itself.  It's cooler inside.

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