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Post Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:20 pm
stewartwillsher User avatar

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As it hit 37C on our finca, this afternoon, in the shade, on the Eastern side of the house, I thought I would share a WAFFLE made previously about 37C.

We all know 42 is a special number, but we should also be aware that 37 is even more important.
I am aware; not because I am a clever clogs, but partly because I have a medical condition (you don't want to know, because I could bore the pants off a deep sea diver describing it) which messes with the means my body has of regulating its own temperature.
Those in the medical world or looking after babies or geriatrics will also be aware of that number.
In the good old days I knew ninety eight point something Fahrenheit, but somehow thirty seven Celsius is easier for me to remember.

Now, I know that in the UK, generally, or perhaps indefinitely, there is no need to worry, and a heat wave is mainly welcomed, but in these warmer climes, watching for that magic number becomes natural to those needing to keep a watch, or even those with a grasp of simple physics, because at 37C the normal body temp is matched.
If something is warmer than its surroundings the cooling of that something is not a problem.
But if that something has an optimum or even critical maximum temperature and the environment it is in is warmer than that, there have to be some tricks deployed.
That's precisely what the human body does if the ambient temp is above thirty seven degrees Celsius.
The old expression (source obscure) "horses sweat, gentlemen perspire, but ladies only glow", is how it is done; except in my case it doesn't work properly.
Anyway, oldies (guess we are in that category now) and nippers, are very vulnerable when the heat reaches the normal body level, as the system has to work hard to try and maintain the correct level.
The bell tolls frequently during July and August for the demise of the frail aged, and some must be due to heat.
Most folk, however, drip, and as the moisture evaporates it cools the surface (simple physics again), which cools the blood below it.

To state the bloomin' obvious, all that needs to be done is to cool things down.
Cooling the environment is best, and air cond is much more common than it used to be years ago.
Many old thick walled buildings do hold off the rise in temp for a while, but unless they are below ground it is eventually a losing battle, over a prolonged hot spell.
We have two rooms where most walls are below ground level.
When we lived in the town, most of our neighbours relocated to the ground floor, often the garage, during the summer months; there would usually be a small kitchen area, and loo and shower room at the back, to make it a little less like camping.

Cooling the body is not that easy.
Some old folk, especially those not clear thinking, hope that sitting in the shade is enough.
True, it is better than sitting in the sun, but if the outside temp is thirty seven or above then it will be so in the shade also, unless there is a cooling breeze.
A hand held fan is what the old girls flap n front of their faces.
A large airy space, but not with too much airflow from outside, is good, hence churches and halls often feel cooler.
Best is to assist the normal evaporation cooling.
Continual topping up with water or soft drinks is of course essential to replace what you lose, or dehydration can rapidly set in.
Very little clothing, perhaps a single layer of cotton like material so the variable density of the sweat glands will be spread by the material.
Create a little air movement, just to make it pass the body, with even a modest fan evaporation of sweat will do the rest; same principle as the wind chill factor in winter windy weather.
Most villages have a water feature, often a dedicated fountain or modernised animal trough, and you will see locals, mostly men, dip their hands in and splash the water over their heads and bare arms.
Even if the water is not cold, this increases the moisture to be evaporated so improves the body's mechanism.
Then the lightest of breeze or even moving around gently will assist cooling.
My trick, at home not wandering about in public, is to soak a flannel and wring it out.
It can then be applied to head, neck and especially face to very good cooling effect for quite a long period before needing to be refreshed.

To draw the attention of the public to the temperature, most farmacias (chemists) have, in addition to the conventional illuminated green cross, a digital read out in degrees C.
When in viewing range of the outside tables of a bar, high temps will usually be a talking point.
During the day, high temps are a brief passing reference - "que calor" (what heat), but overnight discomfort is good for an extended conversation.
Twenty C or more is uncomfortable, but over twenty five results in a restless and disturbed night with the need for a swig of water frequently.
And of course with hot successive nights the houses do not have a chance to cool before the onslaught of the sun during the following day.
When daytime temp exceeds 35 and nighttime over 20 then usually a local alert is issued by the government met office and those needing to take care are warned.

All very sensible and essential, but only when summers like ours are experienced.
Keep cool!
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