Life in a hot climate
It’s been a sweaty old day chez Mrs Dubai. More than once I’ve caught myself wiping a haze of moisture from my brow. By 3pm, and after a particularly sweaty school run, I quit trying to look graceful in linen, skinny jeans and heels and changed into shorts, a vest and flip-flops, while the children, looking slightly damp and pink of cheek, retreated languidly to the sofa from which they watched Horrid Henry DVDs (after promising to model themselves on Perfect Peter, not HH, natch).
The problem is, it was only 34˚C outside and, just as my father resolutely turned off the heating on April 15 each year (no matter if I was building a snowman in the garden), I just can’t bring myself to turn on the air-conditioning until it’s at least 36˚C.
Because once the a/c is on, that’s it till November. Sometimes even December. And I can’t bear the thought of breathing that artificial, recycled air 24 hours a day for the next six months. It makes me want to run outside and hyperventilate by the frangipani tree just thinking about it.
But the relationship I have with the air-conditioning is, as Facebook would say, “complicated”. There is love as well as hate. There is a critical tipping point at which I can’t live without it – as anyone whose a/c has broken down in the summer will testify. I think it’s about 36˚C; 38˚C if I’m feeling tough.
Meanwhile, I feel we’re about to enter the few days of “cheating” that I sneak in before going fully air-conditioned – a buffer zone, so to speak, a period of adjustment, during which I switch on the a/c but keep the patio doors open to give the illusion of a cold breeze wafting through the house.
It’s our last gasp of fresh air till we reach Europe in July.