Favourite things – how to survive summer

It’s 41 degrees outside today and to be honest I am struggling to find my joy. We live in an old house with no air conditioning, and the one living space is lit by a skylight that’s half the size of the room, letting the heat pour in without even curtains to block it. My forehead is damp with sweat, poor baby has heat-rash, and Em has been lolling listlessly on the couch for hours. Yet we are stuck inside because outside is a lot worse, and a visit to the beach or pool would be a heat-stroke / sun-stroke / skin-cancer risk off the richter scale.

I am using today’s favourite things post to help me feel better about summer and survive this heat-wave. Anything else you suggest?

1. Make ice cream

tmice-2-2My Dad had an ice-cream maker when I was growing up. It was a plastic, battery-driven contraption that kept on stirring the ice-cream while it was in the freezer. We’d try all different kinds of flavours, and marshmallow was a favourite of us kids. But how about this one folks: toasted marshmallow coconut milk ice cream! Oh my! Get the recipe from How Sweet It Is. (Via B for Bel)

2. Reimagine summer

AlasReimagine summer as a time that is warm but not stifling; coastal, floral, and dreamy. Like this video of a pretty little slumber party, which is quite lovely, but also reminds me eerily of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

3. Plan a winter picnic

winter picnicSupposedly, looking forward to a holiday releases all these good endorphins that help fight depression. So I figure, looking forward to winter and the cooler weather may do the same thing for me. I’m dreaming of a white… picnic. We don’t get snow here in Melbourne in winter, but I do still like the idea of a fresh winter picnic, like this one. I think it could be quite lovely.

4. Drink lemonade

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALitres and litres of the stuff. I don’t think there is anything more refreshing on a hot day. This is my recipe:

1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
1 bottle soda water (the 1.25L kind)

Squeeze the lemons. Dissolve the caster sugar in the water in a saucepan on medium heat. Combine the lemon juice and sugar-water in a two-litre container, then top it up with the soda water, adjusting how much you add according to the strength you want. I often like to add some shredded mint leaves for extra freshness.

5. Start a good, old-fashioned water fight

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis photo was taken in Madeleine’s Nanna’s back yard a year ago, while Mr B chased the cousins around with a bucket and hose. “Hey! I’ve got five dollars for each of you. Line up,” he called. And the little cuties fell for it, each lining up and holding out their hands. “AHA!” yelled Mr B, and pulled the hose out from behind his back and squirted them all. They ran away squealing with delight. All except Livvy, then four years old, who closed her eyes and braced herself as she took the full force of the hose in her face without running away. When Mr B finally turned the hose off she wiped the water out of her eyes and held out her hand again, demanding, “Where’s my five dollars?”

Why do we lose simple pleasures like these when we grow up? We’ve got a couple of friends coming over to join us for fish and chips for tea tonight. I think I might lure them into the back courtyard for an after-dinner water attack of my own.


  • melissa

    I know that the extremely hot days of summer can sometimes be unbearable, but I can’t explain just HOW MUCH I wish I was in Australia right now. I’m in a constant state of being COLD. My fingers are frozen while I type this. I need a sweater all the time. It’s snowing for like the 10th day in a row or something. I can’t believe there are still like… 4 months left of dealing with this OH GOD.

    When you feel like it’s too hot, think of me in Montreal and enjoy it just a *little* extra for your Canadian friend :)

  • modflowers

    I feel your overheated pain! We are staying with my sister in Queensland and the temperatures have been pretty high – for us pale, northern Brits at least. We have coped by lolling about a lot, showering as often as the water tank will allow, putting our feet in cold water (very refreshing!), wetting our hair when necessary, and swimming at the beach or pool as soon as the sun loses its power (around 4 – 5pm). We will go back to miserably cold, wet Blighty soon and I will miss the heat as soon as we get back.

  • The Life of Clare

    What lovely ways to battle the summer heat!

  • Brandi

    I’m all about water fights and making — and eating — ice cream. And I can definitely relate to trying to deal with that heat. The house I grew up in had no air conditioning either and so we spent lots of time in the basement during the summer. I hope you find ways to beat that heat!

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