At what point is it polite to say ‘it’s too hot’? I’m currently basking in 28 degrees, blue skies and sun with no let up now for the past 2 weeks. It’s beautifully hot and everything is decidedly parched – but we’ve gone from one extreme to another. We’ve spent 5 months under snow and ice with sub-zero temperatures, and now have a blistering heat that makes us warmer than Phoenix in Arizona and Las Vegas in Nevada. Who’d have thought! The climate is ultra dry so there’s now a province-wide fire ban as the continuing hot, dry weather has raised the wildfire hazard to high, very high or extreme over most of Alberta.
I mentioned in my blog last week, that I’ve finally procured plants and outdoor furniture – along with a rather large BBQ – to revel in the delight of the sunny outdoors. In fact, not only the plants, but the lawn is requiring daily watering just to keep it alive and not parched in the dry heat outside. Watering the grass wasn’t something that immediately came to mind as I’d assumed being subsumed under snow for months at a time, it would relish the prospect of dryer weather at last. Not so. When you’re used to an abundance of rain (cue: NW England) and often several times a day – if not constantly – it’s amazing to live in a climate which is extremely dry and any moisture disappears within seconds. It’s lovely too, and when you get the chinook wind coming across the plains, it’s very pleasant and makes you think you’re on a permanent holiday. Staying hydrated is a challenge, so the obligatory glass of wine for rehydrating purposes only, you understand, goes down extremely nicely too …
The Jeep (you’ll remember me mentioning this in previous blogs) which was super-brilliant in the snow and ice, has now shed it’s ‘hard top’ and the ‘soft-top’ has been deployed. Not only that, the roof has been down, roll-cage visible and it’s all I can do to persuade my husband not to remove the doors (which I’m informed is a ‘quick’ job and ‘won’t take but a minute’). Trouble is, with 3 kids sat in the back, I have visions of at least 2 of the 3 departing the vehicle as we round a corner and if not them, the mounds of absolute rubbish that fester under the seats and on the floor which I’ve given up constantly removing, will make a rapid departure from the vehicle and we’ll be ticketed for brazen littering. It’s a great vehicle though, and perfect for any weather we experience – I quite like the roof down and roll-cage look although I’m not sure the grandparents will appreciate the ‘bare look’ when they visit in a few weeks time. It puts a whole new meaning to ‘air conditioning’, that’s for sure.
Everything is starting to come to life and spray parks, outdoor pools and visitor attractions are gradually opening their doors. Given the current climate, the spray parks are superb and perfect for keeping the kids cool and screaming in delight – and are dotted throughout the City. The River Valley – which I mentioned in a previous blog – is simply stunning and one thing’s for certain, the Canadians certainly know how to embrace outdoor activities and sports. In fact, the National Geographic magazine has just released it’s list of ’11 of the best summer destinations’, and along with ‘stargazing in a canyon in Arizona’ and ‘attending a concert in the shadow of ancient Greek ruins’; ‘hiking through Edmonton’s river valley’ has also made it onto the list. And deservedly so. How fab is that?
Farmer’s Markets are also opening up for the Summer season. There’s a few which are year-round (my market of choice, being in Strathcona every Saturday morning which is exceptionally good), and there’s now one every Wednesday evening just around the corner from our house. It’s on a smaller scale, but the quality of the produce, the home-made chutneys, ice creams, sauces and meats are well worth trying – plus there’s several food trucks which make an appearance for those wanting hot bites to eat or an early tea. My kids sampled ‘popcorn ice cream’ which was delicious and I’ve got my eyes on the ‘black liquorice’ ice cream which my Mum will no doubt make a bee-line for when she visits. Let’s hope there’s some left!
So, here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo), here comes the sun – and I say, it’s alright. 🙂