The 5th of February 2011 was the hottest night on record in Sydney— 33.2 °C at midnight; 27.6 °C at the coolest part of the night, just before the sun rose. While most people were hiding from the heat, locked up in air–conditioned rooms, I decided to hold a pool party. I don’t actually have a pool; I have four blue plastic shells, kiddie-sized kitsch parodies of Botticelli’s Venus birthing shell, which I laid around the garden like lilies and filled with water.
My friends arrived at about seven p.m. in their swimmers and we proceeded to spend the night getting with the heat: lounging in the pools one at a time like frogs; doing the limbo under the hose, which we had strung up over the washing line; dancing under the fairy lights in the garden with our kids; drinking wine and lying heavy-limbed on the couch, the heat in us like butter; and idly chatting about this and that.
One friend, dripping from a dip in the plastic pond, remarked that what we were doing was working with the season, not against it. Being lazy, languid, up late like they are in the countries that lie in the world’s heat belts. Moving with the world rather than against it. We realised that she was right. And we realised how infrequently we do it. And then we got on with lying about.
In the days that followed I found myself stuck in a thinking rut, a bit like a stuck record, ruminating on two things. The first thing I couldn’t dislodge was the fact that moving with the world around us is a way of life we in the West, especially in the urban West, have largely lost, with our air-conditioners and rushing about. We behave as if the world around us didn’t shift and slow and speed up and hibernate, as if the year were one long seasonal monotony. We have alienated our bodies, our minds and our way of life from the rhythms of the natural world. In Australia, this largely means ignoring the heat and the languidness it inspires. This is not a new idea, but somehow since that evening I felt, and still feel, that idea in a new way.
Kauai has some good stuff for young kids2003-09-29 16:29:42 by hawaiilover
Lydgate State Park has rock walls built into the ocean to buffer the surf, even a kiddie pool. They also have a huge play structure in the park. Stay at the (Holiday Inn) Sunspree, now called Aloha Beach Resort, to be right next to there. Kapaa is a nice central location for exploring the island. Plus Kauai is not too big so you can get away with taking them in the car for day trips.
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Summer in the States – Keeping Your Cool — Anglophenia
If there's no pool available, consider dipping your feet in the kids' paddling pool. Note – if you live in a swamp-type area, it's a bad idea to leave that pool out overnight, as it becomes a magnet for mosquitoes.