The end of July, and the languor of high summer has really set in here.
Hot days, warm nights, the roar of the airconditioning in our bedroom and the smell of chlorine and suncream on the boys (which never seems quite to disappear, despite numerous baths). On the plus side, never having to put on more than shorts and a t-shirt. On the minus side, being bitten by mosquitoes every time I step out of the house - that is, without being encased in extra-lethal bug spray.
When I go out to give the garden some much-needed watering at night, there is still the odd beautiful firefly but these have mainly been replaced by the surprisingly loud hum of the cicadas and chirping of crickets. (My un-scientific observation, after three summers, is that cicadas must either eat or kill fireflies. Anyone know?)
We had the tail end of the Midwestern heatwave last week, but really it wasn't too bad. People from England kept emailing us to ask if it was unbearable. Well, no. Two years ago, we might have suffered, trying to keep the airconditioning to a minimum and going out Britishly for walks. But now, we have learned that if you keep the a/c running at home, head for the pool above all other activities, and don't exert yourself too much, it's actually fine. Much worse was the heatwave of 2003 in London, when I recall regularly having to stand in the fridge door and avoiding the Tube at all costs. (Although on the rare occasion when we did march around outside here , it did feel a little like being baked at 350 degrees in an oven).
While England has its silly season, America always seems beset by political wranglings in the summer. At the moment it is the talks over raising the debt ceiling. Will America default on its loans? Can Obama win over the frankly quite lunatic tea-party-ers on the right? As I write, The Doctor is watching CNN with the strapline 'Countdown to Crisis' across the screen. I ought to care more. I know it is important, but I have this slightly bored feeling with the the whole thing, suspecting that of course they are going to resolve it somehow. At the moment, whether or not it's gong to thunder tomorrow and if so, how much I need to water my hanging baskets seems much more pressing.
I think summer's heat must be getting to me....