Dried Acorns and Mirabelle Vodka

Of all the things dropping to the ground this summer, rain was particularly scarce. The area of eastern France where we live is always hot in August. This year, though, after a rainy spring, June started heating up. And then July was hotter. As hot as August, but weeks early. The minimal amounts of rain…

Read More

It’s A Hot One

The little digital thermometer on my window here in south-eastern France read 50.1°C (122.2°F) yesterday. Today it’s even higher. Not that the outside air is really that hot. It’s just the sun heating the glass of the window to that searing temperature. Until I get around to moving the thermometer to a location that offers…

Read More

Heating Up, Cooling Off

It’s a paradox of life that what gives us pleasure in moderation often gets us into trouble when we get greedy. I’m not talking about food, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate, or any of the other things that might come to mind. Because the second-highest heat index ever recorded in a city was marked today in Bandar…

Read More

Sparse Harvest

  Here’s the bounty from the garden fig tree this year:   Granted, it’s not from the generous old tree we had for fifteen years, the one that didn’t make it through a transplant followed by a harsh cold snap a couple of years ago. The fig newbie managed a decent harvest last year; probably…

Read More

Dog Days

We’re in the middle of a significant heat wave here in eastern France – the French call it la canicule, a word which has at its root a reference to a celestial body other than the sun. Between July 3 and August 11, the star Sirius rises almost in conjunction with the sun – and…

Read More

Sky, Painted or Clear

I don’t have much to say today. It’s been a week of uplifting news, it’s been a week of bad news. Like most weeks, I guess. We are settling into our first major heat wave of summer here. Temperatures pushed the planned evening walk later and later until we only left once the sun had…

Read More

The Hot Koala

Last week, the image of a heat-struck koala in parched Australia inspired a tweet: And @Curt_Ames noted that ‘hot koala’ sounded like a good name for a cocktail. I agree. So I made a Hot Koala. My first version, without the Tabasco sauce or fresh mint, suffered from both a lack of heat and cool.…

Read More