It’s hot out there. It’s going to get up to 98 for the severalth day in a row and the humidity is high, making it feel even hotter.

The state issued a heat warning, saying ‘stay out of the sun, get into some air conditioning and drink lots of water’.

For Scots this is hard to fathom. When you come from a country where the average summer temperature is between 60 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit and the highest ever recorded temperature was just over 90 — in 2003, in the Borders, which are about as far south as you can go and still claim to be in Scotland, and where you work on the Celsius scale, the concept of a sustained ‘heat index’ of 110 sounds like a good thing, a thing you would want to be Out In. (We Scots live in fear of wasting a good day. It’s practically a crime to be in on a good day in Scotland, and certainly it is considered a sin. This is one of the reasons I love rainy days: no guilt about wanting to stay in with a book).

People flee Scotland at every opportunity to roast themselves on the beaches of Spain, Portugal, and increasingly Australia, for a couple of weeks. Those 30+ (Celsius) temperatures sound like heaven.

They’re not.

This morning my father came downstairs at 7 am, assessing his own willingness to get dressed for a morning of golf.

I ran upstairs and checked the weather report on the computer. I memorized the government’s health warning and went back down, armed with information.

“Ach well, maybe I’ll go back to bed then,” he said amiably.

Three hours later I stood on the deck, talking with my Mum. We were in the shade, water from the plant boxes dripping and cooling my toes. After about fifteen minutes I started to wheeze and cough.

We came inside.

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