Tag Archives: climate change

We’re having a heatwave

Sorry. Wrong title. YOU are having a heatwave. Here in Portugal it’s lovely weather – that is to say: I like some clouds in the morning, and sun in the afternoon, around 25 º with a breeze.

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I guess lots of you are suffering a bit from the heat up there. So … here you go. Good advice from people who have experience with heat and heatwaves.

I thought that could come in handy!

  • Make ice cubes, and a lot of them, use them to cool off
  • Wet towels of any size, put them in the freezer. Good for a quick cool off
  • Invest in 100% blockout curtains if you haven’t yet
  • Close curtains and shutters all the time. Open all of them when it’s cooler in the evening
  • Buy a role of insulation paper from the local hardware shop and stick this to your windows. Cheap and effective (if you don’t do the curtains-shutters-thing)
  • There are lots of animals and insects outside who need a little bit of help. Put some undeep saucers so they can’t drown

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  • If you can, invest in Cool Gelmats. Makes sleeping a lot easier
  • Carry water everywhere. Make sure you drink a lot. You need it
  • Do not use your oven at all. Instead eat salades, raw food, fruit
  • If you’re in a humid place, do not use fans, however tempting it might be. Use ice instead. You’ll get a cold easily with wind being wet
  • Try not to use electric devices – every device you use gets the temperature up. Get a hand fan
  • Stick to the shade (duh …)

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  • Wear sunscreen, even staying in the shade. Reapply every 4 hours. Here’s a recipe for homemade, ecologic sunscreen**
  • Look up the signs of heat stroke and keep them in mind. When you see someone suffering from it, you can help better
  • Wear a broad brimmed hat in the sun. Anyway: head protection
  • Wear sunglasses, you’ll get less tired

  • Wear cotton, not polyester. Breathes easier in the heat
  • If you feel weak or exhausted, lay in a cold bath for a while untill you cool down. If you don’t have a bath, take a lukewarm shower
  • Leave your hair wet, but take care with drafts & wind
  • Make a fire evacuation plan, or study it well in your workplace
  • DON’T FORGET YOUR PETS! Treat them the same as you treat yourself. If you have pets, put ice in their water

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  • Stay out of the sun between 14:00 – 17:00 especially
  • Don’t drink ice water or cold drinks. Your body will need warmth to get it up to body temp, so you’ll loose every effect. Drink lukewarm water or tea instead, and cool yourself off with icecubes or frozen towels (see above)
  • BE CREATIVE!

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** Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

Make your own sunscreen at home with natural ingredients and avoid the chemicals in commercial brands. 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax
  • 2 TBSP zinc oxide
  • 1 tsp red raspberry seed oil (or less, optional)
  • 1 tsp carrot seed oil (or less, optional)
  • 2 TBSP shea butter (optional)

Optional Ingredients

  • essential oils
  • vanilla extract or other natural extracts (not citrus)Instructions
  • Combine all the ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint-sized or larger glass jar.
  • Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place on the stove over medium heat.
  • Put a lid loosely on the jar and place it in the pan with the water.
  • Shake or stir the jar occasionally to mix the ingredients as the melt.
  • When all the ingredients are completely melted, stir in the zinc oxide, and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage.
  • Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
  • Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator to increase shelf life.

Notes

  • This sunscreen is not waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming.
  • Make sure not to inhale the zinc oxide. Use a mask if necessary!
  • Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen.Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.
  • I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
  • Remove the zinc oxide and this makes an excellent lotion recipe!

**

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

  • Throbbing headache.
  • Dizziness and light-headedness.
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat.
  • Red, hot, and dry skin.
  • Muscle weakness or cramps.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.
  • .

Singin’ in the rain

I’m singin’ in the rain / just singin’ in the rain / what a glorious feeling / I’m happy again

This spontaneously comes to mind when I lie in bed, and hear the rain singin’. At half past six in the morning I vaguely wake up and think: “What? Is it rainin’ again? “And just after that:” Oh no! The sheets are still hangin’ outside! ”

(Even in my sleep I can make jokes – not the good ones, but still …)

Then I turn around and go back to sleep again – I can’t do anything about it anyway

“If this is climate change, I’m not a fan”, I make a joke to my son, who’s vaguely awake when he drags himself into the kitchen. He doesn’t appreciate the joke. The morning is the time of the day when he gives a mumbling answer to everything.

Some people are like that.

Doesn’t matter, I’m used to it, and everyone has his/her own way of doing things. This is normal behavior for him. Especially early in the morning. Few hours later, he’s the one making the jokes.

But that rain, that is ab-nor-mal

It’s pleasant for us, because it doesn’t rain all day of course. We’re still talking Portugal. It’s cloudy, sometimes with a beautiful threatening dark cloud in between, which sometimes discharges his/her (?) content above our heads.

Not necessary to water the plants. And it’s 23 degrees, so no complains about that.

Different story in United Arab Emirates, a visitor told me, who had found the Termas on the internet, and was interested in the water. Water is a precious commodity in the UAE, and pure mineral water that just flows out of the hills through a bathhouse – that gentleman wanted to see this!

“It is now 50º there”, he said concisely, “I’m thinking about spending my last years here in Portugal.”

When I almost fainted from only hearing about this heat, he shrugged and said: “Ah, you get used to it. It can be as high as 60º. But then you’ll not be outside anymore. ”

I understand that you want to move to such a wonderfully temperate climate like this, wíth rain every now and again

And I immediately did not really mind the cloudy sky and a little bit of rain.

That got even better when I talked to my Russian guests, who almost started to dance with pleasure. They stayed for a month, and adored it.

“In Moscow it is now very hot, very briefly, and then it soon becomes boots-scarf-hat-gloves-again”, not really agreeable. They found the cloudy skies “just beautiful!”, and the temperature very pleasant.

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In the meantime I emailed a woman from Brazil who reported that she was lying there all day with a fan on the sofa, and was trying to do something on her laptop. No energy. “So humid …” she complains, “I am looking forward to being in Portugal in September!”

The only ones who do not want to be here at the moment, are the people in the north of Europe. They have beautiful weather, almost the entire month of June. Also very rare

Here it’s back to normal again. Nice and warm, sea breeze in the afternoon, a few white clouds, but that’s not bad. The big advantage is: all water supplies are replenished, and there’s much less chance of forest fires.

Normal is for a Portuguese summer: 25º or something, and no cloud in the sky!

The rain brought something more – a rare and wonderful surprise:

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

A fiery year

When I went outside yesterday the horizon was a red glow. And not very far away, on the other side of the valley and then a little further …. by my estimate Figueira da Foz. It’s only 12 km as the crow flies. There is a large dune area there with a lot of flammable greenery …. and it has been dry for months …. and now it’s really warm, for this time of the year.

Yesterday it was 28.9º in the shade

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We always have to see when the autumn is coming in. Will it be mid or late October? It can easily stay sunny till the end of October. You can often sit outside in the evenings. It’s getting darker earlier, and you can’t go in the pool anymore – actually it’s often the best time of the year. The warmth of summer is everywhere, but the fresh and spicy smell of autumn is also around.

It’s been dry for months. It hasn’t rained since June, and the rain before that it also didn’t deserve to be called rain: a few drops here and a few drops there. And that becomes noticeable.

Then you only have to look at a dry shrub with fire in your eyes and it lights up

Last night there was a fire, and not so far away. My son’s friends live nearby, so they kept us informed. “It’s near my father’s house,” said Hugo when he called for the first time, “watch out for the Termas, all firefighters are here! And we can not miss anyone!”

I understand exactly what he means. The fire travels through the sky and crawls over the ground. You need to be careful with sparks. But it was too far away, and there is a very large valley between – which serves as a huge fire corridor. At the beginning of the year we cut everything well, there is little danger.

Perhaps this is lit. There are crazy people doing that; all kinds of stories go around. Sometimes the firefighters want to be insured of work, sometimes people who want to clean a terrain (on assignment). Sometimes people want to take out insurance funds, or project developers who have certain intentions. And sometimes it’s fools who think it’s great to see such a fire.

True arsonists are rare

Usually it’s sloppy people or it’s a small flame, and it gets out of hand. And once there is a forest fire you won’t be able to put it out easily again. The fire brigade, and the residents themselves, usually take care of the houses. Staying and keeping things wet is the motto. There are voting to make evacuations compulsory, people can’t stay with their homes anymore. They will not manage to pass that law and I understand that.

I’d rather stay in my house and do whatever I can.

Now that’s easy for us to say, with that huge fire corridor in front and a bare hill in our back

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Of course, we have plenty of water in our old spa, and the valley is full of ditches and even a river. There is free space all around.

We experienced it once, that it came close by, and there were firefighters cars and planes everywhere. I then had the contents of such an airplane over me when I helped out in the hill – I haven’t been that wet in my life.

It was quite the experience. I understand the fascination, because it is incredibly impressive, such a fire. Just like yesterday evening, it was very beautiful, that orange glow in the dark. Pity to know: this is bad news.

So far, we have been spared a fire nearby. Hopefully that will stay that way. We do everything because one time is enough!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas da Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.