Retro Music 36

This song was the soundtrack to my summer in 1963. Another marvellous composition from Holland, Dozier, Holland, performed perfectly by Martha and The Vandellas. Released on the Gordy label in the USA, in Britain it was a Motown record. I cannot keep still when I hear this song, even now. My legs are jiggling away as I type this!

Whenever I’m with him
Something inside
Starts to burning
And I’m filled with desire
Could it be a devil in me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?
It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart
Whenever he calls my name
Soft, low, sweet, and plain
Right then, right there, I feel that burning flame
Has high blood pressure got a hold on me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?
It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart
Ooh, heat wave
Ooh, heat wave
Sometimes I stare in space
Tears all over my face
I can’t explain it, don’t understand it
I ain’t never felt like this before
Now that funny feeling has me amazed
Don’t know what to do, my head’s in a haze
It’s like a heat wave
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(But it’s all right, girl)
(Go ahead, girl)
Yeah, yeah
(Well, it’s all right, girl)
(Can’t miss it, that’s love, girl)
I feel it burning
(Don’t pass up this chance)
Right here in my heart
(It sounds like a true romance)
Don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?
Burning right here (Burning, burning, burning)
In my heart (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland / Eddie Holland
Heat Wave lyrics © Stone Agate Music

Hot Nights, Mad Dreams

Getting to sleep during a heatwave can be a challenge. However, I manage to sleep by having a large fan at the end of the bed, which cools me off enough to allow me to go straight to sleep.

But the heat seems to affect my sleep in other ways, by making my mind search deep inside my brain to retrieve long-forgotten memories. Those memories appear as dreams, and I don’t realise they are things that actually happened until I have been awake for a few minutes. They are also jumbled-up, out of sequence, not following any definite pattern.

I am stroking a dog that is lying on the pavement, and the dog rolls over to show me its belly. When I turn around, I am on a beach in France, aged around sixteen. The sand is too hot to walk on, so I am struggling to put on the shoes that I had just taken off.

My first wife is swimming in heavy waves, and I am watching her from a rock that I am sitting on. Then someone comes to get me and tells me we have to go to an emergency call in the ambulance that is parked nearby. When I get in the vehicle, I am wearing my EMT uniform, and the sea and my swimming wife are nowhere to be seen.

Queuing at a van to buy ice creams. There is a pier in the distance, and lots of parked cars. It might be the resort town of Brighton. Then my dad (who I have not seen since I was 24 and is long dead) taps me on the shoulder. He tells me he wants chocolate sauce on his ice cream, and I nod. When I return with the ice creams, he is nowhere to be found.

Driving a left-hand drive car. From the road signs I know I am in Turkey, and I am alone in the car. I get a bit lost and end up in a village. Then I am shocked to see men ahead, forming a roadblock and pointing rifles at me. They are unmistakably Taliban fighters. They pull me from the car, frog-march me into a small room, and one takes a photo of me on a mobile phone.

The noise of pigeons wakes me up. I walk over to the bedroom window and open the curtains. Outside, there are thousands of Wood Pigeons, covering every surface. I close the curtains and go back to bed.

Then I wake up, relieved it is all a dream. I can understand the memories, the pigeons, the beach references, even my dad showing up.

But the Taliban in Turkey? That one is a mystery.

Another Heatwave, And Now A Drought

Yesterday, temperatures climbed back up to 36C (96F) in some parts of England. This heralded the start of another predicted heatwave, due to last for four days until it cools a little on Monday. By late Saturday, we may have seen hotspots of 38C in some areas. That is 100 degrees to those of us old enough to remember when we measured the old way.

Alongside the heatwave comes news of a drought. Some water companies have already introduced restrictions on water pressure, and banned the use of hosepipes and sprinklers. The rest will soon have no option but to follow suit. Reservoirs around England are at their lowest capacity since 1976, and the farmers are warning of crop failures this year, and of not being able to plant anything to harvest in 2023. This is forecast to mean higher prices for potatoes, bread, sugar, beer, pasta, breakfast cereals, and many other staples.

On top of the health issues caused by the heat, those price rises will hit people hard. The same people struggling to pay sky-high electricity and gas bills, and trying to afford to put enough petrol in their cars so they can get to work.

River water levels are very low too. So low that fish and other water-wildlife are suffering. The water quality is deteriorating as the river flow becomes sluggish, and all other wildlife dependent on rivers for drinking water is under threat.

Doom and gloom indeed!

And all I wanted was a nice summer for a change.

Be careful what you wish for.

Staying Hydrated

With yesterday’s hottest-ever temperature in Britain, I took the government advice, and stayed hydrated.

In fact, I think I consumed more liquid in one day than I ever have in the past. I tallied up my intake.

Tea. 6 large half-pint cups
Water. 1.5 litres. (2.6 pints)
Milk. 2 litres. (3.5 pints)
Red wine. 1 large 300ml glass. (Half a pint)

Today we are back down to a maximum of 32C. (Almost 90F)
It still feels very hot, made worse by a strong breeze blowing HOT air.

But so far I have only had 4 cups of tea…

Hotter Than The Sahara

The weather forecasters are jubilant here today, as are the main News presenters. They finally got something right, and all previous records have been broken in Britain.

Last night was the hottest overnight temperature ever recorded in the UK.

At 1pm today, the hottest ever daytime temperature was recorded near Heathrow Airport, 40.2C. (104.3F) And that is expected to be exceeded later this afternoon, with the possibility it may reach 42C (almost 108F) somewhere in England. As I type this in Beetley, it is currently 39.5C (103F) in the house, and I can certainly feel it, despite all the fans running. Ollie is lying in the darker hallway, trying hard to sleep but constantly changing position to get comfortable.

Hopefully, this should be the last day of such extreme temperatures. Tomorrow is forecast to be 29C (84F), and by Friday it will have dropped to a more usual temperature of 23C. (73.5F)

The TV weather pundits keep comparing this heatwave to temperatures in foreign places we think of as being very hot. One of them was grinning all over his face when he announced. “It is hotter than the Western Sahara!”

Of course, he was making that statement from an airconditioned television studio.

Chances are he won’t still be smiling when he leaves for home later, and has to go outside.

Fans And Flip-Flops

After my recent complaints about chilly summer weather, the heatwave arrived yesterday, and is set to last until late Saturday evening.

77 degrees (F) on Wednesday, 80F already today, and a possible 91F tomorrow. (I am going back to the pre-Celcius values, as they still seem more relevant to me.)

Naturally, English people are panicking about sunstroke and sunburn, hydration, adequate sunscreen creams, and not leaving dogs in hot cars.

I took Ollie out much earlier today, and it was still very warm despite that. Ollie’s fur is thick of course, so it must feel like he’s wearing a padded jacket in this weather. He was able to cool off in the river, then I took him into the shade of the woodland area for the rest of the walk.

As for me, I was wearing shorts and a straw sun hat, so no issues. I was pleased to see another bright sunny day. In the house, it is windows open, flip-flops on my feet, and a small ‘doughnut fan’ blowing on me as I sit at the computer.

Making the most of that three-day heatwave.

Too Hot To Blog? Try This

As we continue to experience a remarkable heatwave in parts of Britain, I have noticed a drop-off in blog views, and a reduction in activity by many bloggers I follow.

That’s understandable. Even though it is too hot and uncomfortable to sit outside, being indoors in front of the PC is wearing after a while, even with the windows wide open.

Then I remembered I had one of these. It was free from Amazon as part of their product testing programme, which I am a member of.

(Not my doughnuts. I haven’t got any.)

This tiny fan has three speeds, and is surprisingly effective when placed directly behind my keyboard. It can also be charged up, and used as a portable min-fan, with the charge allowing around three hours of running time. The rubber base is detachable, and the cable can be stored around it. I have it plugged directly into the USB socket of my PC tower, but it would work just as well with a laptop.

***I get nothing from Amazon for recommending this fan***.
If you are interested in getting one, they are very cheap. Search ‘Donut Fan USB’ on Google and you will see many are available.

Autum Arrives early

As the heatwave here continus unabated, and we get a Summer we didn’t expect, it is hard to imagine Autumn, with its fresher days, and chilly mornings.

But I was woken up many times during the night by a familiar sound that I hadn’t heard since late last September.

The acorns were falling from the oak trees. Dozens of them. They clattered onto the garden furniture, and bounced off the flat roof of the kitchen extension. Some even bounced high enough to strike the bedroom windows. The sound is not unlike distant rifle fire, and the random nature of it makes it hard to get back to sleep once you start to notice it.

Once I was thus disturbed, I could also hear the metallic clang as acorns from the other large oak at the front began to cascade down onto our two parked cars.

I had to take Ollie out much earlier today, due to the afternoon heat building up at his normal time. As we walked around Hoe Rough, small leaves were fluttering down around us like green butterflies. Looking up at the small and large trees, I could see much of the new growth was already falling, leaving bare twigs behind that poked up at the sky like skeletal fingers.

I had never seen Autumn in a heatwave before.

But I have now.

Tropical Blogging In Beetley

Well they finally got a weather forecast correct, and it is exceedingly hot today in Beetley. With no breeze, and fairly high humidity, it feels more like the tropics than eastern England. Despite sweltering in my office as I work on the blog posts, I am not complaining. Mainly because it isn’t raining. It is estimated to climb to a possible 36 C by 5 pm, which is over 96 F. It is hotter in Beetley today than in most foreign holiday destinations popular with British tourists.

I write a lot about the weather; mostly complaints, I know. Today, the media is joining me in my obsession, with regular TV news features about how hot it is, and likely to stay so for the coming weekend. The usual hordes of selfish inconsiderate idiots have hit the beaches all around the south coast of England, failing to bother with social distancing as they sunbathe and frolic in the sea. No doubt many will also suffer from sunstroke or serious sunburn, placing more strain on the overburdened health service.

I had to take Ollie out early today, but even at 9:30 it was already 26 C, and he spent most of his walk not walking at all, but standing up to his chin in the river.

Fjui X30 039

Since we got back he has been sleeping soundly, as any excessive movement makes him begin to pant with the heat. I hope he manages okay tonight, as it is not set to drop below 24 C. No doubt I will be sleeping on top of the bed, with no covers.

I know, not a pretty sight…

It made me think of the offer from Barbados, to waive work visas for anyone who wanted to live and work there for six months, to take advantage of the good weather during the time they were working from home.

Perhaps Beetley should be advertising in Barbados instead?

Surviving The One-Day Heatwave

The temperature has hit 32C here in Beetley today. I’m not complaining of course!

I took Ollie out very early, though it was still 26 C then. He had a shorter walk, mostly in the shade, and that included some dips in the river. At least there is a breeze, if you are in the right place.

He has been asleep since we got back, and I had to abandon cutting the smaller hedge, as it is just too hot out the front today. I managed to get today’s blog posts posted earlier, as the window in my office room does let in a nice flow of air. I was going to relax and watch a film this afternoon, but the living room is still too warm to sit comfortably, and using a fan is annoying when watching TV.

So I will stay in the small office for now, enjoy the breeze, and listen to Ollie snoring.