Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heat Wave

So many people that I have met while travelling over the years have had such a stubborn conception of Canada as a cold and snowy place locked in permanent winter that they could not imagine it to be warm ever.  I wish those people were here now.

Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and most of the other Canadian cities, towns, villages, and hamlets in southern Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes are locked in a heat wave at the moment.  In Montreal, the temperature yesterday was 30 degrees Celsius and with the humidity (Montreal and most of the lake-regions are  unbelievably humid - it's almost a jungle, I swear) temperatures reached 40C.  So far today the real temperature is  29C at 11:30, feels like 39C with the humidity, and is expected to reach 33C.  It was 27C when I was staring with despair into my closet, trying to figure out the coolest item of clothing to layer onto my sticky skin without also being inappropriately dressed for work, at 8:30 this morning.

The bright yellow room in our sub-let apartment is amazing for being cheerful and having a breeze blow through, however it did not come with any curtains to keep the burning sun out.  This morning I hung blankets over the windows to try to keep the room cooler, while Colbert stretched himself out in a variety of rooms to try to find the coolest.  I feel so bad for cats and dogs in this weather.  Especially when they live in an un-air-conditioned apartment like ours.  Colbie seemed to prefer the bathroom tiles for a while, but finally settled on the hallway where his fur was ruffled by the draft of air.

There is no sign of relief this week.  The weather people are calling for rain on Friday, but the heat will remain even after that.  It's a hell of a thing for people to be working outside in this, and I'm thinking of Drew biking around the city especially.  My new office (free of BackCheck, at long last) is on the fourth floor of an old house bought by McGill, and therefore is not exactly an oasis of coolness on a hot day, but at least I am stationary and have a semi-effective air-conditioner box chugging in the window.

Freezies, popsicles, cold showers, and running through sprinklers are my new top priorities.

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