Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be the worst day at 40°C/104°F. (It went up to 42°C. Walking home from work at 6:30 pm was like crossing the Sahara Desert. At one point I thought I was going to faint; I had to sit on a shaded bench for awhile but even that was too hot. Clutching my water bottle, I staggered home in the scorching air.) Now I’m at home, windows closed, shutters down and two large fans blowing at cross-currents. No one I know in France has air conditioning in their home. My office, thank goodness, has A/C. This is a very short heatwave, nothing like the killer one of August 2003 that lasted two weeks and killed 15,000 people, most of them elderly.
The 2003 European heat wave led to the hottest summer on record in Europe since at least 1540. France was hit especially hard.
Back then, I was working two jobs: days in a French law firm, nights in a British law firm. The day-job building had no A/C and the elevator broke down because of the heat. Every weekday at 5:30 pm, I’d sprint up the Champs-Elysées in the suffocating heat and dust, leaving my day job for my night job. Those were not glamorous times.
Eat only cold foods during a heatwave. My favorite tomato-mozza-basil-white onion salad, for example –
Cold pasta with home-made pesto and lots of water –
Alcohol isn’t recommended, but one small glass of a light rosé shouldn’t hurt (well-chilled) –
A fresh berry smoothie with cold nut or skim milk?
Or how about a large quinoa salad filled with fresh crunchy vegetables, chick peas and herbs?