I just returned from 10 days in Royan, France, a seaside resort on the Atlantic coast....where the weather was good and the livin' was easy. By good weather I mean warm, sunny days and and cool nights with a delightful breeze (okay...often a wind). Actually, the nights were cold and we were obliged to wear jeans and sweaters after 5 or 6 pm. At first I wasn't so sure I liked all that chilliness. I happen to be one of those people that revels in sunshine and heat, given there was so little of it growing up in Minnesota.
As Brigitte and I drove the 7 1/2 hours back home to Aix on Friday, I watched the temperature on the car thermometer escalate and with each additional degree, I thought how nice it would be to be back home…in the south.
And yes, it is good to be back home... but I’m missing the cooler weather just a wee bit. It's only July and we're only just dipping our toes into the caldron that should be at full boil in a few more weeks, but I still had to immediately flip back into summer in the city mode. Lifestyle accommodations seem to be essential in order to battle the heat here. Especially in the city where it is at least 5 degrees hotter than it is in the country.
The afternoon sieste was a tough thing to get used to at first. I mean who, besides young children take an afternoon nap? There are things that need to get done! My resistance to the idea was squashed my first summer here. As was my reluctance to close the shutters against the afternoon heat and live in afternoon darkness. I learned quickly that both are really matters of efficiency. Morning and evening are the times when things will have to get accomplished (which is why I'm writing at night). Unless one can find an air-conditioned store (and believe me they are not all temperature controlled) to do a little shopping therapy.
I’m also taking direction from my cat who seems to have shed 2 seasons worth of fur in every corner of the apartment while I was away. So after I climb all the stairs to get up to my apartment, my clothing is shed into a little pile at the top, to be picked up and put back on later when the sun has decided to be kinder. Luckily, I live in a completely private apartment. The guy across the street, who practices the same personal temperature control, does not. Three cold showers per day seem to help as well (with the heat...not with the issue with the guy across the street) and if my hair is always wet, it’s like personal air conditioning.
I do have an air conditioner of sorts. On my terrace, I have a little door. The terrace, which is walled and private, is nice and warm in the winter and spring because it's so protected. In the summer it's an oven.
But when I open that rickety little portal, I get one kick ass breeze that flows across the terrace and into my bedroom. It’s cheap to run but does eliminate that privacy thing a bit. What clever person thought of that?
Mid-afternoon yesterday as I was laying on my bed, soaking wet, naked, and trying to take advantage of the terrace breeze, I paged through the advertising flyers that had built up in my mailbox while I was gone. One caught my eye because it was advertising great prices on air conditioners…and I was just a tiny bit tempted. The last page nearly made up my mind for me.
The sign says that says installation is included. If I should decide to buy one, do you supposed this lovely morsel (who obviously has no air conditioner of his own) would install it ...say...Friday night? Man, what a country!