07 January 2009

Staying cool and doing chores

When did shopping centres become the place to keep cool? "I'm thinking of hitting the shops today to beat the heat" was just said to me by an acquaintance in Sydney. Now I now it's hot - very hot - in Sydney today and perhaps it's just me but is it really going to be any cooler in a shopping centre?

I didn’t say anything to her comment (very unlike me), but I wonder just how much keeping cool in a shopping centre is going to cost her today? Petrol or fares to get there and no doubt some money will be spent during the stay, so perhaps $10? $20? Or more? At that price air conditioning at home would be cheaper or at least cost the same and far more pleasant than battling hundreds and hundreds of other hot and frazzled shoppers, all trying to stay cool in a confined space.

It's cool enough here today, and I am very grateful. The windows are open and the slight breeze is actually cold. But yesterday was a stinker, hot, humid and windy, but we still managed to stay cool at home.

When the alarm went off I jumped out of bed and ran around shutting the windows tight and closing all the blinds and drapes. Just that alone makes a huge difference to the temperature in the house. Then the ceiling fans went on and the doors to rooms not being used were closed. The house stayed a very comfortable 20 degrees all day, while outside it was 30. As soon as the sun was down the windows and doors were opened to let the cool air in and we were able to turn off the fans. And I didn't have to go to a shopping centre to stay cool!

Hannah and I are going to sort out the stationery drawer today and work out what she needs for school. The sales are on so if she needs anything now is the time to get it. I'm rather hoping that we will already have everything around the house. I know her pencil case just needs a soak and a rinse and it will look almost as good as new, so that's one expense avoided, it was a rather expensive gift last Christmas. Apparently in high school if it doesn't have a brand name on it then you are just plain dorky!

I also need to get out and pull some weeds and plant a few more lettuce and cabbages. The tomatoes are going great guns and the lettuce have been amazing. Just pulling a few leaves off each plant each day has kept them going for almost three months. I hope the next lot last as long.

While we were away I tried a delicious potato salad and it's so easy I couldn't wait to try it myself. We had it over the weekend and it's become a favourite so I'll make some more this afternoon and use up some potatoes. You simply steam one potato per person, skin on. When done, cool a few minutes and then cut into chunks. Fry an onion in a little olive oil until crisp (this takes a few minutes). Mix a good slurp of balsamic vinegar with a good egg mayonnaise and stir into the potato. Mix through the fried onion. Chill. You would not believe how nice this is. Not necessarily good for the figure but very tasty and a nice change to regular potato salad.

And then if I have time I need to clean the inside of the car. I had a little altercation with a cup of coffee while we were travelling on Friday night and the carpet needs to be shampooed. Warning: don't ever trust that the lid on a take-away coffee is actually on when you pick it up. Trust me on this: if it's not you could end up wearing it!

So this Wednesday is going to be busy, I'd better get to so I can cross some things off the list.

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