Tuesday, August 02, 2011

This is not a drill

I don't know if I'll ever take summer sun for granted again. I see friends back in SA complaining about how miserably cold it is in winter, and I know I used to be like that. I would bitch and moan when day-time temps did not soar past 15 in winter. But now, I choose to take my breakfast on the balcony as long as it's in double figures and sunny. 

With 90mm rain received seemingly solidly over two weeks, and gusts of wind 90kmph to boot, July was not a good month for summery breakfasts. The average temperature was a whopping 15 degrees across the Netherlands and according to the KNMI weather website, we accrued a grand total 157 hours of sunshine. We're supposed to get about 15 hours of sunshine a day in theory, at this stage of the year. So of the 465 hours of potential sunshine, we got barely a third of our allocated share. Bastard rain clouds. Amsterdam received a solid 179mm over the month, only slightly higher than the 81mm average. Other areas of the country received as much as almost 300mm.

Good news though, the Netherlands is no longer in drought... not that I realised we were experiencing this in the first place. I cross more than a handful of canals on my way to work every day. They all looked pretty damn full last time I checked.  

But my point today is that when the sun came out and it soared to a whopping 26 degrees yesterday, the entire country wasted no time in getting out and getting semi-clad. I took the opportunity to cycle (fully-clad) to a small town along the Amstel river, for no reason other than "get outside! Get some sunshine! This is not a drill!"

And today, again... what is this strange bright burning ball in the sky? It makes my eyes hurt, and it burns my skin when exposed. What is it called again? I have faint recollections of days gone by when this was a normal experience. 

Everyone is out and enjoying as many summery things as possible, because we know it can't last. It's going to rain again and it's going to rain soon (probably tomorrow).

So this is what I hope to be doing by 7pm this evening. 

Get your summer on, folks. 
This is not a drill.


The braai master said...

You should know by now this is normal weather for Holland!

You should not be bothered about it and just have a braai..:-)

Ahh and then not Dutch style braai ... a proper SA style braai...

Koekie said...

This is very true! We've got our SA-style boeriewors on order... as soon as this is received, we are going to get our braai on. Come rain (most likely) or shine!

rd said...

Ya, I hated my recent trip to the Cape. 20 degree winter's day with a Berg wind WARMING it up to 24!
It was tough