Heat debility

I know at 82 I’m “knocking-on”, but I suspect I am not alone in finding the unremitting drought and oppressive heat rather debilitating.

Having lived for several years in sub-tropical Africa, I’m not un acquainted with long dry hot seasons, but housing is constructed so as to provide overhanging eaves that provide shade and verandah, and no roof spaces where air can stagnate.

Added to that, many sub-tropical countries in Central southern Africa are over 1000 m above sea level, so there is less humidity to add to the distressingly hot sun. In general people avoid direct sun, and seek out islands of shade, however small.

For me, the constant bright sun and. heat is sucking all my energy out of me, and ten minutes or so of exposure brings me to a feeble standstill, if out sbopping or hanging washing on the line. I almost never feel fresh and frisky. Do any others in mid-life or over feel the same?

Our chickens are distinctly droopy, with frizzled crests, pathetically open beaks, and have stopped laying or scratching around the dusty garden

Or am I conking out? :roll_eyes:

Sounds like you, and the chickens need some serious rehydration.

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We don’t go outdoors after about 10.30am… unless there is a good, cool breeze… and at night… we walk around the empty streets only if it is cool enough to do so.

Last night, it was by torchlight at 11pm and even then it was still 30c so we didn’t go far.

Like you, I’m feeling a bit drained. we keep drinking water and fruit juices and placing cold damp flannels across the face and back of the neck… that does help.

EDIT: it hit 44c in the shade here yesterday… yikes…

I am drinking a fair amount, and the chickens are also well supplied, Paul, but maybe I should “push fluids” as you suggest, the phrase does ring true, but I’m more a pusher of others than a pushee, not one to take one’s own sound advice, as is common entre nous, I fear :thinking::loud_sound::sleeping:

Peter… how hot is it indoors ???

We get to about 25c… even with all the windows shut… but we open them in the early morning and it drops nicely to 23c… yippee. Need to slam them shut again as soon as the sun peaks over the roof tops… :wink: and close the shutters as well on the sunny side…

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sorry to hear you are feeling the heat so badly, I dont’ blame you, I hide inside or at the pool until evening! Poor chickens do really suffer in the heat. A couple of ideas for them, in a muffin / cupcake pan put some corn kernals in each one then top with water and freeze. Apparently having the cool on the beaks as they peck to get the corn really helps. Also you can add big iceblocks to their water to keep it cooler. If there is a tree they sit under when it is hot go with a hose at the worst heat of the day and wet the whole tree / underneath with a hose. The drops of water and the damp earth will keep them more comfortable until the temps hopefully drop a bit!


Fairly normal I imagine. I just don’ t go out in the sun, except for brief essential periods. Never did like it much, ever since I got sunburn at the age of seven. (Makes me cringe when I see parents allowing their kids to cook on the beach.)
I do any necessary outside jobs early or late.
Interesting thoughts about building construction. Stone houses take a long time to heat up, but can hold on to the heat for several days. So in a long hot spell, they just get hotter and hotter. No good opening doors and windows during the day, it only makes things worse. I have an inside/outside thermometer. When the outside temperature drops below the inside temperature in the evening, I open the windows so as to lose some heat over night and close them again in the morning.
I have cut a piece of metallised insulating material to fit our one south facing Velux type window and stuck it on the outside with double sided tape. If I had thought about it, I should have installed one with an external shutter, but it didn’t seem important at the time.
I normally drink several cups of coffee and tea each day, but this weather makes hot drinks less appealing, so it is important to remember to dringk something. Iced coffee is good.
Anything more than light physical work can wait, this can’t go on for ever. Roll on thunder and lightning!

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Oh my goodness I despair of you Brits (and the French aren’t much better) and your lack of water drinking :crazy_face: :rofl: . for every coffee you have you really should have an extra glass of water to compensate, tea is a bit better. In normal conditions you should really drink at least 1.5L of water / day, in this heat I probably have about 3 L / day. Less than this and you are probably dehydrated. Best way to tell is to look at your wee, it should be a pale straw colour at darkest, anything darker than that and you have some form of dehydration. If you know you are not drinking enough best to gradually increase, you will have a few days where you are using the bathroom a bit more but that does settle as your body gets used to its newly hydrated state. You will feel like you have more energy, your skin will look better etc. Sorry nurse hat off :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

In Oz this is something that has been banged into our heads for years and most people carry a bottle of water in their bags and sip regularly through out the day. A lot of towns now also have drinking fountains / taps to fill your reusable bottle as well to help folk not buy water.


Unfortunately with a jungle to tame and quite a bit of painting that I wanted to get done while the weather was good (next visit, if we can get over, not until the end of October which is much more variable) I could not avoid having to work outside in the heat for the past two weeks.

But I couldn’t manage more than 45mins to an hour without a break to come inside, cool down (not only thick stone walls but white painted house makes a huge difference) and rehydrate.

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Mine is as clear as a mountain spring, I’ll have you know!
I am always amazed when people can’t spend half an hour at the pool without their personal water bottle. My problem is trying not to drink the stuff!
Aussies only need all that water because beer is a powerful diuretic! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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Our neighbour is milking his cows around 4.30am, so encourages us to get up and do stuff early so we don’t feel guilty about sitting under a tree for a few hours in the afternoon. Since we are at altitude, although it has been hitting 40 mid afternoon it drops and mornings and evenings are fresh. We even still have a tiny bit of dew.

Have just finished my Saturday stint of cleaning, and thanks goodness for stone houses. A month or so ago we put anti-heat film on the velux windows which has helped too.


So true, my house with its metre thick stone walls has heated up like an Aga.
28c in the bedrooms!

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During the last heatwave Mrs Wozza slept in the cellar, she put repointing the stonework in one of our cellars on my list of jobs, it’s looking like a little church down there now. I may even build a cross and bolt it to one of the walls


I suggest a framed icon of Mrs Wozza too. Then an occasional genuflection on your part could be a nice idea too, perhaps? :bulb::hugs::leg::smiley:


If you’re getting 28c in the bedrooms… it could be that you need some more insulation in the ceilings above… (something to think about for next year, perhaps)

another good thing is decent double glazing… and shutters…

also… you might find the night temperature will cool the house down. This does mean being awake to open the windows when the outside temp falls below house temperature, of course… and then shutting them firmly before any morning heat enters…

We’ve got into a routine now… and our old stone house does not rise above 26c max upstairs… 25c downstairs…

and our nice cool cellar is a bonus, except that it is not full standing height… but OH reckons he could still happily live down there, provided I deliver his meals… :open_mouth: :hugs: :hugs:

today hit 44c for most of the day… but we’ve only max’d 26c indoors…

Oh dear ! Looks like he’s turning trollish. Ask him “Guanczag du ashnacuku, isheaum?” and if he nods and smiles, you’re in trouble!

That’s “Fancy a snack, dear?” in colloquial troll BTW :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

We too have a stone house with thick walls and are well into a routine of keeping everything closed including shutters from mid-day and opening everything up first thing in the morning to let fresh air through. Works well - haven’t checked but we must be in the low 20s indoors. We also have a large, deep veranda that runs the entire length of the south facing side of the house, so the rooms that side are never in the sun. Supper in the dining room with a fan going is positively pleasant.
Dehydration is a real issue as we age, not least because even quite small levels of dehydration can contribute to mental confusion and I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get with my remaining brain cells. I drink a glass of water every hour or so, along with the occasional green tea I drink, which I find more refreshing than ordinary tea.


At about one-third your age I was in Seville in a temp of 50degC. I was fairly used to Sevilla being so hot - normally around 40 - but I was pretty much cooked for any activity in anything above 40deg. El Corte Ingles, with its aircon, was a life-saver.

So I think you just need to slow down, accept that you won’t get as much done, and drink as much as you can.

Edit: maybe set a schedule of how much water you should be drinking. I read somewhere that, if you’re thirsty, you’re already overdue.

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We were doing nicely… around 23c… but this week, with the temp in the 40+c range… it’s moved up just a bit. Still OK though… but, I do agree… must keep taking liquids.

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I’m wading waist-deep in buckets, nay torrents, of refreshingly sound advice, and my cup runneth over.

Thanks to all who took my welfare so seriously!

Glug! Glug! Glug! :milk_glass::milk_glass::milk_glass::ice_cube::tea::droplet::droplet::droplet::ocean: