Fully two-thirds of France, including our département (Loir-et-Cher), is under an official heat wave or canicule ("dog days") warning today and through the weekend. Only the coastal areas along the English Channel are exempt. The temperature here in the Saint-Aignan area is supposed to hit 30ºC (86ºF) by noon. This morning's low on our thermometer is the highest low temperature we've had all summer. The historical average high for this date, according to Accuweather, is 25ºC, which is 77ºF.
The weather sites I monitor don't precisely agree on what the late afternoon high temperature will be here. One says 33ºC, another 34ºC, and still another 36ºC. Anyway, 35º in Celsius is the equivalent of 95º on the Fahrenheit scale. At least it's not predicted to hit 100ºF the way it did for many consecutive days in August 2003, our first summer in Saint-Aignan. That was a catastrophe and across France thousands died of dehydration and heat exhaustion. The heat is much worse in big towns and cities than it is out here in the countryside where there's less concrete and asphalt. Still, the concrete roof tiles on our house get so hot you can't touch them.
There are two reasons why this kind of heat is so hard to endure here and so dangerous to people's health. The first is simply that it's so unusual to have extremely hot weather for so many days in a row — people just aren't used to it. The other is that the houses and apartments in France, in their vast majority, are not air-conditioned. In our particular case, the only way to escape the heat is to go out for a drive in the air-conditioned car.
The blue flowers in these photos are the second most plentiful blossoms in and around the vineyard this summer. They are called "cornflowers" and in reality they are the blooms on wild chicory plants. They're common in Europe and North America, so you might see them where you live too, if you're out in the country
In Salton City, there were white blooming wild chicory. I never saw a blue one there.ReplyDelete
We had some white ones in the vineyard one summer: 2015 postDelete
Talking about S.C., the thermostat in my apartment in Paris shows a balmy temperature of 26°C (79°F), close to the 80°F we kept in the house all year around. Very comfortable!ReplyDelete
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com tells me I should have written all year round! No hyphen. You learn something new every day.Delete
S.C. is South Carolina. Our thermostat is showing 24.5ºC right now on the dining room table and one the table on the terrace. Very comfortable... It will not last. You are lucky to be "sheltered from the (heat) storm" by the buildings that surround you above and on all sides. You live in an artificially temperate climate there. Here, the sun beats down on our roof and the back of the house in the afternoon and the place becomes an oven. You'd probably love it, but it's too hot for most people.Delete
You hyphenate "year-round" when it's used as an adjective before a noun. The American Merriam-Webster and the Collins (British) English dictionaries both say it's "year-round" either as an adjective (a year-round vacation spot) or as an adverb (to travel year-round). The Webster's Unabridged gives an example or two where "year round" as an adverb (he worked the whole year round) is not hyphenated. British usage of "round" is pretty different from American usage, because we prefer the word "around" in many contexts. Look at this post on the blog called Separated by A Common Language, which is written by an American linguist who lives and teaches in England. A quote: "Adverbial and prepositional round [instead of around] is far more common in BrE than in AmE."
Thank you for the clarification. I'll try to remember all this, it might be a little late!Delete
Since I had mentioned Salton City above, obviously that’s what I meant by S.C. Or should it be SC? As far as I know, South Carolina doesn’t have a trademark or a monopoly for the use of these two letters.
I had lunch at the « Japanese » restaurant. As I understand it, they’re all Chinese !
But people don't understand S.C. or SC as anything other than South Carolina, unless I am mistaken. Did you have a look at the Separated by a Common Language blog. It's interesting, but maybe more to Americans and British people.Delete
Yes I did. It’s interesting, but as a non-native of the language, I don’t get or feel the difference between round and around, To me, round (with or without apostrophe) is just a shorten version of around and they are interchangeable. I’m probably wrong depending on the context!Delete
I’m sure that non-U.S. anglophones have no idea that S.C. means South Carolina, and probably could not locate it on a map!
Well, 'round' and 'around' are not interchangeable to me. They are often "markers" of different dialects of English. In AE 'round' is an adjective except in a few expressions like "year-round". The big difference between French and English is that France is still the center (centre?) of the francophone world, but for English the anglophone center is the U.S., not England or the U.K. In my experience of teaching English in France, I've found people much more interested in learning more about the U.S. and its language than in the U.K. and it's dialect.Delete
As for non-U.S. anglophones, they need to get a clue. After all, the U.S. anglophones are 300 million or so strong, and the others in other countries just need to keep up. There are as many or more English-speaking people in California than in Canada, and many more than in Australia. Then there's the rest of the U.S. U.K. and Australian English are interesting but they are not the future — especially with Brexit. If the European Union continues to consider "English" as a lingua franca, which dialect of English will have the upper hand? American, I'll wager.
Very interesting! I think you've mentioned this particular blog (Separated by a Common Language) before, Ken. It's become one of my go-to places when I try to look up differences between British English and American English. I go there for one word or expression, but usually stay for hours on end, going from one explanation to the next. :)) A couple of months ago she published a book, The Prodigal Tongue, which is on my wish list. I'm currently reading a book by M. Engel, That's the Way it Crumbles, also about the differences between the 2 'Englishes'. Lynne Murphy reviewed this book on her blog last year. I suspect her own book is more academic, based on a lot of research. I keep learning all the time! ;)Delete
it was 68 here this morning in western NC....... very cool esp for august...we have yet to turn on our ac....do u think more people will put in ac since it seems to be getting pretty hot in summer now?ReplyDelete
It's not simple to retrofit these stone and brick houses with central air. And this heat wave may or may not be part of a pattern we have to worry about. If you've been in hotels with wall-mounted air-conditioning units in Paris or elsewhere, you have probably noticed that they are not very effective.Delete
And I am happy we are going to have storms ... it is 93ºF here ,right now - it is not yet 10 am. I just remembered why I hate Florida :)ReplyDelete
I hope your AC is working.Delete
I never tire of cornflowers- they don't grow much around here since our soil is acidic. I hope it cools down soon, but think how happy your tomatoes are right now.ReplyDelete
I spent 2 or 3 hours out in the back yard, under the linden tree in the shade, this afternoon. It was very pleasant. It was much cooler than on the front terrace or in the house, I think. Our soil is fairly acidic too, I think, but the cornflowers do well here. Who knows why...Delete
I imagine as warming progresses, more and more homes in France with have A/C. A lot of LA used to be built without air conditioning, especially along the coast, but this is changing rapidly. We've had long stretches of weather just under 100 degrees this summer.ReplyDelete
I think American houses, built of wood and plaster board (sheetrock), with space behind the inner walls, are much easier to retrofit with AC than these stone and brick houses in France. Maybe I'm wrong. Our friend Cheryl, who passed away a couple of years ago, lived in Silicon Valley and had AC put in at her house a couple of years before she died. She never used it, or very little. Also, the woman we bought this house from, and who moved to Tours a couple of years later, had AC installed in the aftermath of the 2003 heat wave. In 2008 or so, she said she had never yet had occasion to turn it on. Getting it put in was a big deal. She had to get permission from her condo board (la copropriété) to punch a hole in the wall to have the unit put in, and that took a year of negotiations..Delete
I'm considering aestivation. Plenty of suitable caves around here.ReplyDelete
Probably better just to go swimming in a river or pool.Delete