The heatwave continues. There. It’s a sentence I’ve been meaning to write for the past week but haven’t got around to it – too lethargic in the heat – but now as the weather forecast warns of rain and, shock horror, temperatures only in the teens, I’m afraid that I might miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to say it. Here’s another sentence I’ve never written before. May never write again. The Oslo area was the hottest in the whole of Europe on Thursday. And to think I got excited about the car thermometer hitting 29.5 °C a while back. Now it passes 30 °C everyday and I don’t even bat an eyelid. I pick the girls up from school and say things like, ‘Look, 32 °C! It’s as hot as Africa!’
Of course there is a little bit of a downside to this wonderful weather, besides the fact that I can’t cool the bedrooms to below 28 °C making sleep fitful at best; Norwegian houses are built to keep the heat in. Outdoor play requires a lot more supervision than inside, especially as, after three summers in Norway, I have finally given in and bought a paddling pool. But close supervision isn’t always enough, I discovered as I mediated five children at play (two friends came for a play-date) in the garden on Friday afternoon. My daughter stepped on some sort of prickly plant right in front of my eyes, a replica of which I haven’t been able to find since, and now her foot is itchy, swollen and she can’t walk on it. I’m hoping it’s just an over-reaction that will sort itself out, without resorting to a visit to the doctor; she used to swell up really badly when she got mosquito bites in the Philippines. As my husband is living it up on a family visit to Copenhagen, I’m alone with three kids – they’re sitting eating their second lot of breakfast as I tap on my laptop at the table - and as good a story a visit to the hospital emergency room would surely make, especially pushing a toddler in a pushchair while carrying a seven-year old (or maybe the other way around) and haranguing a five-year old to stay close, I’m really keen to avoid it. (I must point out too that so is she, the distress caused by the prospect of seeing a doctor being far greater than that caused by the discomfort in her foot.) There’s only so guilty I can make my husband feel for taking off with a very large empty suitcase which I now realise he intended to fill with shopping. I have not spared him though, as he is staying with his brother who is a neurologist, and obviously then an expert in plant stings, I have sought medical assistance by phone which was as much use as a pair of wellies right now. There’s also the very selfish thought, that if her foot isn’t totally recovered by Thursday, I will be released of the obligation to attend her school sports day. The only other alternative is to start praying for torrential rain which, as much as the grass needs it – there’s a hose pipe ban – would be a bit extreme, and frankly stupid given all my complaining about rain earlier in the year.
Will her foot fix itself? Will I take her to the doctor tomorrow instead of taking her brother to Little Gym? Will I avoid school sports day? Will I be delighted by my husband’s tales of ‘three chickens for 80 Kr’ and Copenhagen’s amazing shopping opportunities for tall, skinny men without any children in tow? Will it rain, making Friday’s school picnic which I’m organising, a wash-out? Will I write any of my novel in the coming week?
Do you care?
I'll keep you posted anyhow.
two days later...
The foot is better without medical intervention, my husband is thrilled with his new trousers and jackets which cost a fraction of the price they would have here, the clouds have moved in but it's still warm, and the forecast doesn't predict rain before picnic day on Friday. So it looks like school sports day will be on and the picnic may be in.
Now I must go do something about that novel....