Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cool as a Cucumber

We are about to hit a heat wave here in Melbourne. We've had quite a number of hot days already, but the prediction is for 40 degrees plus until Sunday. For those of you in the Northern hemisphere this may sound appealing, but I can tell you that the type of sun here is so scorching you can feel it stripping layers from your skin the moment your are exposed. It has a very nasty sting to it that is accompanied by super heated winds, making you think of life in the Gobi desert. In preparation for this unpleasant event, I've put on my thinking cap to provide you with some creative ways to stay cool this week.

Photo from Exotic Events

Host a Moroccan tent soiree and take advantage of the cool of the evening with friends. Drink oodles of iced mint tea and have several types of Turkish Delight on hand to choose from. All you need then is a handsome someone to hand feed you your choice of sweets, and peel you a grape or two.

Burlesque feather fan from Mame Clothing

Make like an Edwardian Lady and carry a large feather fan with you. Perfect for the still of the afternoon, just accompany with a scintillating mystery novel and a sneaky G&T.

Strangely enough, it seems that the practice of carrying a sun umbrella is yet to catch on with the masses here in Australia. A common scene in Asia where days are also long and hot, it makes sense to bring this one back into vogue. Hats and sunscreen are all well and good, but they don't help to keep you cool. A parasol with help save you from an early grave and keep you looking cool in both sense of the word!

Photo by Blary 54 on Flickr

You've heard me mention the powers of iced tea on a hot day before, a nice change to plain water and a million times better than soda (ewww). Rather than spending a bomb on the pre-packaged kind (although its thirst quenching properties are undeniable), here is my recipe that will only cost you a few cents a pop.

Iced Tea Recipe
4 tea bags ( I like to use White Tea or Orange Pekoe)
2 cups of freshly boiled water
Pop your tea bags into a large, heat proof 2 litre jug
Cover with boiling water, add 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and let steep for 20 minutes.
Discard tea bags and fill the remaining space in the jug with fresh cold water.
Refrigerate. Add ice cubes and lemon slices before serving.

Photo by Alaska Teacher on Flickr

The power of the mind on these hot days is something not to be ignored. Change you wallpaper to winter wonderlands, start planning a ski trip or research the lives of Eskimos. The more time we spend talking about how hot we are, the hotter we get. So close you eyes, feel the arctic wind on your face and think yourself cool.

...You could also...
  • Have a water balloon fight with your boyfriend, children, employer, grandmother...
  • Make a slip and slide in your backyard.
  • Use old fashioned slang to amuse yourself, fanning yourself with your handkerchief if you get the 'vapours'.
  • Eat tiny finger sized cucumber sandwiches for tea.
  • Wear fancy silk bloomer style knickers under your long cotton dress.
  • Sing sea shanties.


Lauren said...

Oh I'm definitely feeling the heat too! I even have one of my first new fitness classes tonight and I'm afraid I might just curl up and melt. Good excuse to peruse some lovely air-conditioned shops though, that's what I did this afternoon! Hope you survive the weather, especially with little ones around to look after as well.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh the slip and slide... it certainly brings back the memories. Do we risk breaching water restrictions though????
Maz, Melbourne

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Lauren: That sounds like a very dangerous way to keep out of the heat. My wallet wouldn't survive!
Maz: I have great memories of crashing head first into the bricks that held the sides down on my slip and slide as a child. Just make sure you use your tank water (if your fortunate enough to have one) and aim it towards the garden beds. Moral dilemma averted.

trishhunterfinds said...


Haha I too just posted about slip & slides, what a marvelous invention.

Another way to stay cool is to spend the day (if you have a day off) on the train, bring card games etc. I've done it before and oh we had fun.

esme and the lane way said...

Oh, isn't the hot heat here HOT!!! I'm with the parasol thing, though I do fl i attract one or two odd looks when I carry mine! I agree – it's about time they became the norm here again. I mean, it is a HOT climate!!

Andrea said...

No, 40 degress doesn't sound appealing to me - one of the reason I could convince my Australian hubby not to move back is the strange way, the anglosaxons treat heat: while in every other hot land people traditionally keep in their stone-built houses during the hottest hours, wear cotton and very often drink warm teas in Australia you find houses with metall roofs, too cold drinks and an astonishingly high amount of acrilyc clothes. That together with water restrictions and the impossibility to wear (and knit) my beloved pure wool sweaters made me finally come to terms with the winter here (which I really hate) :-)
As nice as it is, Australia for me is the strangest place on earth ;-)

Casey said...

I've been rather smitten with the idea of a parasol or sun umbrella in the recent months. I found a gorgeous, brightly-patterned vintage one recently, and my husband just bought me a pretty Chinese paper parasol. So I'm set to keep the sun's rays at bay in style! :D

Rachael said...

Lovely ideas, my main method so far has been to loll about on my bed, under the aircon, wearing nothing and complaining a lot. Fun at first, but it gets old, and difficult to maintain at work.

Ruby said...

I am going to have to remember this post when the Texas heat hits this summer.
The parasol and tea(sweet tea here) are pretty much a consistent part of my life,but you've definitely given me several new and very useful ideas.
Thank you!

emma_G said...

Yesterday for Australia Day even thought we were fortunate enough to not have a scorching day over here in perth, we had a slip n slide in our backyard. so much fuN!!!!

I love your blog by the way :D

Emer Ireland said...

I'm sitting here giggling to myself as I am cuddled down in my flannel jammies and a furry blanket! It's been so cold here in the desert (which is why I'm laughing) I'll be happy when we start to get some of those hot hot days and I can think of water baloon fights.

Meredith said...

Just so you know, this morning it was -30.... right now, it`s warmer with -13 celcius!!! yahoo!!!I live in the province of Quebec, Canada

Sunny, blue sky but will get 20 cm of snow tomorrow!!!

Living in winterland!!! Someday, I will visit Australia for sure!!!

Bucca said...

Water fights are too much fun, great suggestions!

Oh and I LOVE white tea so delicious.

Bec @ honi design said...

It has been disgustingly hot!
some great suggestions there- the last few made me giggle!

WendyB said...

Or you can just come to NYC and visit me.

Anonymous said...

is the heat dry in Melbourne? It was quite humid here in Brissy on the weekend. We set up a 75ft slip n slide in our backyard, fun for all!

K.Line said...

40 degrees is extreme, for sure. Stay indoors and drink lots of that great ice tea you love...

PS It still sounds good from where I sit.

Robo said...

Oh dear, the weather in Melbourne sounds like what summer was like in Southern California last year. It was hot well into November, when fall usually starts. And it seems the sun is just as bad here -- I swear it will dear my face!! Is it really possible to think yourself cool?

obsession of the week said...

As you are thinking cool thoughts I am thinking warm thoughts. I can hardly wait for spring here in the U.S. I miss my front porch, it's too cold and windy to be out there now.

Anonymous said...

Ladies all you need to do to keep cool is hang out in the freezer department of your local Woolworths or Coles. You all like to shop so just hop to it. I spent a good few hours in the dairy department this afternoon before being asked to move on because some ladies accused me of being suspect. Ha In their dreams!

emma_G said...

Thanks for the iced tea recipe I've always wanted to know how to make it from scratch I just buy the satchels or the cordial. Which is still better than soda or real cordial