Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What I'm not Looking Forward to in England #1

I'm sitting here in my Chicago house with the AC blasting. (Do I need to learn to say "air con" btw?) Anyhoo, as well as being ridiculously cold in the winter, Chicago gets pretty hot and steamy in the summer. AC is a must. Side note- when I was pregnant with the huge College boy in 1995, it was one of the hottest summers on record and over 600 people died of heat-related causes. That's how bad it can get and you can imagine how tough that pregnancy was. But back to the subject..... 

So yes, you need AC. Many people have it built in, with air being pumped through air ducts that are hidden in the walls. (They also pump the heat out in the winter and it's called "central air".) If you don't have it built in, you can buy window units and attach them firmly onto the outside of the window. That makes for some interesting dog walks in our neighborhood as some of those units are four floors high and look a bit "loose" to say the least. They also drip water which can be a shock when it hits you on the back of the neck as you pass by. 

You don't walk under anything that looks like this. 

But what's all this fuss from my friends and family across the Pond? It can't be that hot, surely? It's England for crying out loud. Wait a minute! It's actually hotter than Chicago at the moment, and I'm moving to a house with no AC? "Nooooooo," she says, in her best American accent. And I've heard that all the portable air conditioning units have already disappeared off the shelves. God forbid that B&Q anticipate a growing trend and actually have some in stock. 

Actually, I'm more worried about the whining that will ensure from American husband and American-raised son. The things is with Americans in England, if you open all the windows they have a fit because there are no screens to keep the dastardly FLIES out. You know, those flesh-eating beasts that will surely bring death and destruction? You should see the Ball & Chain if one gets into the house. So trying to get a cool "cross breeze" through a hot house will be a battle if there are flies and bees in the near vicinity. 

The long term forecast is predicting that this current heat wave will have abated by the end of June, so here's hoping.  England, you're on a promise. 

16 comments:

  1. A house without AC? I couldn't do it. Yes, I'm ridiculously spoiled.

    But good news...looks like Amazon has portable air "coolers" available so maybe all is not lost.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=air+conditioner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do tend to fly off the shelves though!

      Delete
  2. It's been in the high 80 and low 90 (yes, the 90s!) for a week now. Everyone is freaking out, as you might imagine. I just tell them, "This is what we call summer in the US--10 to 12 weeks of this." It's due to cool down today, though.

    We have our windows open all the time and only get the odd bug now and again. YMMV but bugs aren't as much of a problem as in the US.

    Welcome home, BTW ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. We'll have to meet somewhere on the M3 for a pint.

      Delete
  3. We have most definitely had to get used to the no screens on the windows thing, but once I actually ascertained that none of the insects in the UK are likely to bite or sting me (which seems miraculous to a person who lived for almost 11 years in 2 states in the American Southwest, land of the scorpion and rattlesnake) I have wholeheartedly embraced flies, spiders, and woodlice. In fact, I let a very nice spider maintain a web in a corner of my living room for nearly a month because she was doing such a fabulous job controlling the fly and woodlouse population. I just vacuumed up the exsanguinated husks every so often and let her get on with it.

    You're lucky you missed the worst of the heatwave. We've been roasting here in the Southwest - not too bad during the day, but absolutely brutal at night. Woke up to cooler temps today and hoping they'll stay 'normal' - at least until you get reacclimatised. ; ) Oh, and you can order a portable air con online from HomeBase for under £300....just fyi. ; )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like i've timed it quite well.

      Delete
  4. When we travelled to England, I was really surprised to see that they don't have screens on their windows. I'm Canadian and screens are a must. I don't have air conditioning, but we have lots of ceiling fans. -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, it reminds me of a holiday up on Loch Lomond. When I saw the screened porches on the log cabins, I knew I was in for a hard time and I was right. Midges everywhere and I was eaten alive.

      Delete
  5. It's already cooled down, so no need to worry! As to the comment above, most of the time in the UK there is absolutely no need for screens, as there are very few biting insects. Having said this after 10 days of this current heatwave, I have actually been bitten by mosquitoes inside my house in England for the first time EVER! (But it was far worse in NY, where I would step outside to take the bins out and immediately be bitten about 10 times and I took to wearing extra strong bug spray the whole summer long.) And Toni, this is also the first summer since we've been back that I've been too hot in our house - the previous 3 we had the heating on in August....so it may never be an issue for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And let's not forget the double duty that net curtains do - keeping out the peeping Toms and the flies!

      Delete
  6. Too funny! I've been having the same thoughts (expat Brit living just outside Philadelphia). I remember when I first came to the States, I couldn't understand why anyone would use that nasty A/C stuff instead of flinging the window open at night; and why would I block the view with an ugly screen? Woke up my first morning in the American college dorm with MASSIVE mosquito bites on my legs -- lesson learned. Good luck with this transition -- must be really disorienting to 're-patriate' after all this time. Rooting for ya!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, thanks. Yes I will be looking like the proverbial village idiot for quite some months when I have to ask about the simplest of things - with an English accent.

      Delete
  7. I feel you. When I'm in Oxford in a few weeks, I hope it cools down. I hope Oxford's medieval stones don't retain the heat...

    ReplyDelete
  8. You've nothing to worry about! It's over and has been a bit chilly today!
    Maggie x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Back to normal British summer weather now - no need to worry. Admittedly it did get a little warm last week (spot the understatement) but we're over it now - 'summer' is officially over.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, I'm not going to grumble about it being cooler. (Or at least I will try not to. LOL)

    ReplyDelete

The more the merrier....

Blog Archive